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Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines: How to Raise Native Chicken

Native chicken farming in the Philippines is a highly profitable poultry farming business if done properly. Many backyard farmers are raising native chickens in their backyards for both personal consumption and as an extra source of income. The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) are actually encouraging Filipinos, especially returning OFWs, to raise more native chickens as the price of commercially-grown broiler chickens is continuously increasing due to costly expensive commercial feeds. Native chickens don’t need large amounts of commercial feeds.

Farming native chickens for profit is becoming one of the best alternative income-generating activities for many rural Filipinos. Due to the popularity of different types of chickens in the Philippines, you may think that native chicken farming is no longer fashionable. But the truth is, you can still make money by raising and farming native chickens! You know, a lot of consumers are looking for native chicken for a variety of reasons. So if you’re looking for a livelihood that doesn’t require high capital, why not try native chicken farming?

Native Chicken Farming in the Philippines
Philippine native chickens

What is Philippine Native Chicken

Native chicken is the term given to a group of chicken breeds endemic to the Philippines. There are several Philippine native chicken breeds and among the most popular ones include darag, banana, bolinao, camarines, joloanon, and paraoakan among others. Although finding any of these pure breeds might be difficult as most native chickens are crossbreeds, pure native chicken breeds can still be found in places where they originate. For example, a State University in Iloilo has been developing darag chickens and promoting them to local farmers.

Target Customers for Native Chicken

There are restaurants that prefer to serve native chicken to their beloved customers because the taste of native chicken is more delicious compared to broiler chicken, or 45 days chicken. But since most farmers are obsessed with caring for 45 days for a bigger income, restaurant owners often have a hard time finding a regular source of native chicken. Another reason is due to the inequality of size, weight, and meat quality of native chickens. This is why farmers are less interested in native chicken farming. But, read this article to see that it is still possible to earn money by raising native chickens even without spending a lot of money.

Not only restaurants but ordinary Filipinos love native chickens. If you are raising native chickens in your backyard, chances are, your neighbor will always ask you if you have available chickens to sell.

Farming Native Chicken: How to Feed and Care Chickens

Native chickens are easier to care for compared to other breeds of chickens because of their ability to take care of themselves. You don’t have to buy a lot of commercial feeds and medicine for native chickens. Once you have created a good habitat and pasture for these chickens, they will look for their own food. The good pasture will provide them with proper nutrition; insects, grains, and leaves needed for their health.

Similar to the commercial production of broiler chickens, adequate nutrition is needed to supply their growth and spawning. You need to adjust the grazing schedule of your chickens in each part of the pasture to ensure that the plants or weeds grow back properly.

Just like raising broiler chickens, native chickens also need vitamins and minerals as well as clean water to be healthy. If your pasture does not have an adequate supply of the aforementioned, you will need to provide feeds as a supplement to what your native chickens eat.

One of our neighbors in Silay City has been raising native chickens for six years now after he retired from working in sugarcane fields and became an SSS pensioner. 

You can mix your own feeds with ingredients that are not too expensive. This will save you up to half the original cost compared to if you just rely on commercial feeds.

Supplementary feeding to native chickens is done every morning and afternoon to teach them where they need to go home. As already mentioned, it will also help to maintain the health of your pet chickens.

The pasture should be capable of feeding native chickens. You need to plant grass or plants for them to eat. Just make sure the plants you plant are actually edible and nutritious. Avoid plants that you are not sure you can eat or not. Remember that there are plants that are poisonous for pets!

Here are some of the grasses and plants you can give to your chicken or pasture them.

  • Peanut
  • Corn, rice
  • Sorghum
  • Carabao grass
  • Malunggay
  • Centrosema
  • Guinea grass
  • Horseradish
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Ipil-ipil
  • Night
  • Duckweed
  • Azolla, and many more

To make your care of native chickens easier, you can feed them leftovers on the table or in the kitchen. Fruit and vegetable skins are also eaten by native chickens. Just make sure they have an adequate supply of drinking water for the whole day.

Native Chicken vs Broiler Chicken Meat Quality

Consumers prefer native chicken as opposed to broiler-type or 45 days chicken for so many reasons. Mainly, the taste and flavor of natural or native chicken meat are unique. Its meat is also sweet and less fatty.

So if you’re looking for a livelihood, try raising native chickens. It can increase your family’s income without the need for large capital, energy, or time.

Native Chicken Farming Success Story

Manong Enteng, a 66-year-old retired sugarcane worker has been augmenting his SSS pension with income from selling native chicken. He doesn’t have a farm. His chickens are just roaming around inside his 2,000 square meters property. When the Barangay has some visitors, he is the go-to guy as people from the city always love to eat native chicken tinola.

Manong Enteng is an old bachelor who is survived by his orphaned nephew and niece. Both have finished college (thanks to him), working, and only return home from the city every weekend. He enjoys the life envied by many fathers of his age in our rural barangay – thanks to his hobby of raising native chickens, pigs, and vegetables.

When I visited him last January of this year, 2022, he had a total of more or less 500 chickens. He said he is selling around a dozen every week just inside the barangay. He said he cannot keep up with the demand. He can sell more but he limits his turnover to less than 50 heads a month to maintain the population.

“Selling the laying hens that provide me chicks would be a problem that’s why I limit my sales. Mine is not a business really but just a hobby”, he said.

Although he doesn’t have a documented accounting, he said raising native chicken is highly profitable. He also sells native eggs from time to time and the price is P1 higher than the common table eggs. He also sells fertilized eggs of his pure Darag and Joloanon for P30/egg.

“I tried a 45-day broiler before but I stopped after two batches. I didn’t lose but I just don’t have enough time to take care of them. Besides, people here prefer native chickens”, he said.

Enteng’s native chicken breeds include Darag, Joloanon, Banaba, and many crosses of hybrids and natives. He also raises Rhode Island Reds in limited numbers just for selling chicks.

Enteng said he is making a net income per month between P4,800 and P6,500.

“I can make more but I’m already old and I’m doing it alone so I don’t really need that much money anymore”, he continued. 

For a single man who receives P4,500 monthly from SSS plus P5,000 from chickens and living in rural provincial Barangay is already considered an above-average income.

“I can probably raise 3,000 to 5,000 chickens here but I can’t deal with the weight of the feeds anymore so I better stay this way”, he added.

Manong Enteng is encouraging his neighbors and other people who have enough space in their backyard to raise native chickens for additional income.

“If you have 500 heads and know how to take care of them  I think you can make up to P10,000 net income a month. Making this amount of money here is more than enough to feed a family of four. If however, you can deal with 5,000 heads, I think that would be a big business and anyone who is in his prime could handle it alone”, he added. 

The biggest advantage of raising native chickens according to him is they do not need a tremendous amount of time to take care of. They are also resistant to common diseases like colds although he still gives vaccination against Avian Flu, Mareks, and other infectious diseases.  He is also growing leafy vegetables and cassava to lessen his feed expenses. 

Conclusion

Philippine native farming is a profitable poultry business and can be a good source of extra income for those who have extra space in their backyard. Native chicken meat is superior to broiler chicken and is in high demand marketing is not a problem as people always look for delicious and healthy meat.

Questions Related to Raising Native Chicken in the Philippines

Is native chicken farming profitable in the Philippines?

Highly profitable. There is a large and growing demand for native chicken meat and eggs. Filipinos who venture into this specialized farming area are guaranteed a ready market. Native chicken eggs sell for between P8 and P10 per piece while the meat can sell between P300 to P450 per kilo depending on the place.

What is the best native chicken in the Philippines?

There are many types and breeds of Philippine native chicken but some of the most popular are Banaba, Parawakan (Paraoakan), Darag, Camarines, Joloanon, and Bolinao. You can find more details here:

How many eggs can a native chicken lay?

The average native Philippine chicken produces eggs only up to sixty days annually. So each chicken may lay 150 to 200 eggs each year. Whether she has a good diet affects both the number and quality of these eggs.

How to grow Philippine native chicken faster

While chickens need a lot of carbs to meet their energy needs and make them put on weight, a high-protein diet can help your native chickens grow faster. Animal by-products are generally some of the best quality protein sources for your chickens. Aside from commercial feeds, feeding them with termites and other insects could be beneficial.

Is Philippine Native chicken classified as a breed?

The Philippine Native chicken consists of several breeds like Banaba, Bolinao, and Darag to mention a few. They are considered local breeds and are adaptable to the country’s tropical climate which sometimes could turn harsh, especially during rainy seasons.

What is the difference between native chicken and commercial chicken?

One of the most popular native chicken breeds, Darag meat contained 59.1% unsaturated fatty acids (USFA) and 40.8% saturated fatty acids (SFA) when cooked while commercial broiler meat contained 61.2% and 39% respectively. Based on the results, native chicken meat provided higher protein and lower fat in the diet compared with commercial broilers.

Is native chicken farming profitable?

These special characteristics of native chicken contributed to the establishment of its niche market which is seemingly unaffected by pressures from commercial layer and broiler markets. Hence, this makes native chicken production a top investment option for small and medium entrepreneurs. Native chicken farming is highly profitable.

Is native chicken good for business?

Resiliency is one of the important characteristics of native chicken making it a preferred business option. They are known for their adaptability to local agro-climatic conditions, hardiness, and ability to utilize naturally occurring feeds, farm by-products, and high tolerance to diseases.

How do you raise native chickens?

Native chickens should be provided with ample housing structures where they can roost during the night, find shelter during rainy weather, and build nests when they are of laying age. Provide adequate range-type housing for growers and breeders with 1-2 square meters per bird.

How long does it take for a native chicken to grow?

How long does local chicken take to mature? Generally, chickens are assumed to be mature when they attain sexual maturity, and this period is between 16 to 28 weeks depending on the breed However, other factors like feed, genetics, management, weather, etc, can influence the rate at which local chickens attain maturity.

What are the best feeds for native chicken?

Farmers may use the following feed ratio to meet the nutrient requirements of native chickens: 50% rice bran, 20% corn bran, and 30% copra meal. 75% of the preceding mix and 25% commercial feeds. 50% cereal and 50% forage with other supplemental feeds.

What is the most profitable type of chicken?

In the long run, Layers farming on a large scale will be more profitable and bring in more revenue than broiler farming as after laying of eggs, the birds can be sold out as meat even though at a lesser price than that of broilers.

How much is a kilo of native chicken?

In the first quarter of 2022, the average farmgate price of native/improved chicken (backyard) was recorded at ₱220.09 per kilogram, live weight, which registered an increase of 41.9 percent compared with the average farmgate price of ₱155.14 per kilogram, live weight, in the same quarter of 2021.

How many eggs does a native chicken lay per year?

Despite all these, a native chicken lays about 40-60 eggs in a year. However, recent findings showed that when properly managed and fed with the right quality and amount of feeds, the native hen can produce as many as 130-200 eggs in a year (Roxas, 1997).

What is the lifespan of a native chicken?

With any luck and barring any genetic issues, your chickens should live for 8-12 years, with some chickens being reported to have lived for 15-20 years!

What makes chickens grow faster?

While chickens need a lot of carbs to meet their energy needs and make them put on weight, a high protein diet can help your indigenous chickens grow faster. Animal by-products are generally some of the best quality protein sources for your chickens. You can also supply them with some plant protein.

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