Summer Impact: Chicken prices skyrocket in Warangal

The surge in chicken prices in the district has left buyers dismayed. Skinless chicken, which was priced at Rs.220 to Rs.240 per kg

Warangal: The surge in chicken prices in the district has left buyers dismayed. Skinless chicken, which was priced at Rs.220 to Rs.240 per kg just two weeks ago, has now reached Rs.300 per kg in several parts of the erstwhile Warangal district.

The cost of live birds has also witnessed a significant increase, currently being sold at Rs.180 per kg, compared to the earlier price of Rs.120. Within a month, the price of chicken has skyrocketed. On April 1, a kilo of chicken was available for Rs.154, and just a week ago, chicken with skin could be purchased for Rs.213 per kg, while skinless chicken was priced at Rs.243. Now, prices have hit the all-time high of Rs.300 per kg.

Traders attribute the steep rise in chicken prices to the fluctuating temperatures, which have been hovering around 45 degrees Celsius in several parts of the State. The heat is causing delays in the growth of chicks and leading to their deaths as they struggle to withstand the scorching sun. Poultry farm owners report a mortality rate of 40 to 60 percent among chickens due to sudden weather changes. Normally, it takes about 40 days for a chick to reach a weight of one and a half kilos, starting from December or January. However, the blistering heat since March has extended this period to 50 to 60 days, according to poultry experts.

Consequently, chicken productivity has been severely impacted, despite the installation of coolers and air conditioners on farms. To manage excessive production, some poultry farmers have significantly reduced the number of chickens in their farms, resulting in a gradual decline in the overall chicken population in the region since February, ultimately contributing to the surge in prices.

“We have stopped buying chicken on Sundays due to the recent surge in prices. We can no longer afford to include chicken in our Sunday meals,” said Swapna, a housemaid whose husband runs an autorickshaw in Srinagar Colony, Hanamkonda.

The erstwhile Warangal district is home to approximately 1800 poultry farms, where an estimated 2.24 lakh kg of chicken is sold daily. On Sundays and other festive occasions, this figure rises to as high as 3.12 lakh kg. As the cost of chicken continues to rise, consumers are becoming increasingly worried and disappointed, leading to a decline in demand.

The price of chicken feed has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chicken feed primarily consists of soybeans and corn. Previously priced at Rs 35 per kg, soybeans have now surged to Rs 105 per kg. Similarly, the cost of maize feed has risen from Rs 13 per kg to Rs 40. This surge in feed prices has significantly burdened poultry farmers, causing some to halt chick rearing activities. Additionally, transportation charges for fodder have increased by 40 to 50 percent. To meet the growing demand, poultry farm owners are now importing feed from West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.


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