A heat wave across the Indian poultry producing state of Andhra Pradesh has taken a heavy toll on the local poultry industry, with producers suffering heavy losses.
Over 2 million birds have died in hundreds of farms spread across the district since May and the toll is mounting with hundreds succumbing to the searing heat. Small farmers, already facing losses on account of increase in cost of poultry feed and labour charges have been hit the worst.
As many as 150,000 eggs were being exported each day to surrounding areas prior to the heat wave, but daily production has dropped to 90,000 eggs since May, negatively affecting exports.
One poultry farm owner says he has lost 5,000 chicks in one week and estimates the casualties on other farms in his village at 20,000. Heavier losses have been experienced with broilers than layers. The weight of broiler chicks has dropped – from 2 kg to 1.5 kg.
Experts predict the total loss will be around Rs. 200 million to 300 million ($3.6-5.4 million).