YAP Proposal #17: “Native Chicken Production” (Jorge Dominguez, Philippines)

Banaba native chicken
Banaba native chickens

Utilizing the Rich Heritage of Philippine Agriculture through Native Chicken Production

I am Jorge Dominguez, 24 years old, a graduate of Agriculture and currently finishing my graduate study specializing in Animal Breeding and Genetics. As a member of Dream Agritech Consultancy Services, we are one in the belief that farmers should be empowered through capacity building and providing support if necessary. Our vision is to help anyone plant, grow and harvest. We want to be able to share what we have learned and experience to enable the farmers access to scientific and sustainable methods of farming.

Southeast Asia is considered the center of domestication of chicken. According to recent studies, the Philippine native chicken might be the progenitor of the domestic chicken.

Native chicken production is an integral part of farming in the rural areas in the Philippines. This serves as a source of protein and provides additional income.

There are eight Philippine native chicken breeds and there are many still being identified today. One of them is called the Banaba native chicken. Banaba is an indigenous chicken found in the Quezon and Batangas provinces, northern part of the Philippines. According to the latest findings, the Banaba shows promising characteristics in terms of egg production and growth.

However, production of native chickens has become unpopular to farmers due to the advancement in commercial chicken production. Although commercial chicken strains have good reproduction and production qualities, the breeding of these types of chicken are solely in the hands of big breeding companies. This makes the Philippines a captive market.

Additionally, the importation of costly raw materials for feeds, supplements and veterinary inputs to achieve the commercial chickens’ maximum potential makes it hard for poor farmers to achieve high profit margins. Moreover, these chickens are susceptible to heat stress, making it unsuitable for production for smallhold farmers since they cannot provide good housing that can help cool the chicken in these tropical conditions.

These issues are the primary motivation in crafting this proposal.

We believe that native chicken production in the rural areas should be revitalized and popularized. Based on our experience and observations, we saw a great potential on these underutilized local genetic resources.

These chickens are well adapted to the tropical condition and usually raised under a scavenging system. They are perceived to be tolerant with the common chicken diseases and parasites. The meat of native chicken is increasingly preferred because of its suitability in native dishes and can be considered as a healthy alternative to commercial chicken meat due to fewer antibiotics and artificial hormones present in the chicken’s system.

The price for a kilogram of native chicken is also higher compared to the commercial chicken. Regrettably, there are no clear national breeding programs being implemented in the native chicken and there are also few reliable sources of breeding stocks currently available.

Our group will develop a breeding program that aims to produce dual-purpose (meat and egg type) Banaba chicken.

The project will adopt a two-tier breeding scheme which consists of an open nucleus farm and a multiplier/production farm. The nucleus farm will be the birthplace of the improved Banaba chicken and will serve as its development center. It will also be designed to serve as a model farm for the dual purpose Banaba production. Initially, all breeding activities will be exclusively performed in the nucleus farm. After purification, the improved Banaba line will be distributed to the multiplier/production farm in the identified community. The role of the multiplier farm will be the mass production of the improved Banaba and can also be a source of breeding stocks for the nucleus farm. We are aiming for sustainability.

The project will also implement a community-based farming for our multiplier farms. The project aims to provide training and assistance in production techniques. The proposed project will focus on alleviating the major constraints in native chicken production such as low quality stocks and high input/ equipment costs. This can be achieved by providing the farmer the necessary knowledge and introducing new technologies that are suited and can be easily adapted.

The grant will help finance the production of high quality breeding stocks, improved forage production, improved incubator and brooding equipment, Vermiculture (composting using African Nightcrawlers) using chicken waste and other income generating activities related to chicken production.

The firm has already developed the breeding plan for the development of the dual purpose Banaba chicken, a profitability analysis of a 50-hen module and we have a farm ready to be developed as a nucleus farm.

The nucleus farm will be located in the Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines. The capital investment for the establishment of the nucleus farm will be $2,500. This includes the purchase of breeder stocks ($1,090), housing ($455), incubator ($682) and brooding ($227) equipment, and setting up the forage area ($46). The $1,000 will be used for the production and operating costs of the nucleus farm. The remaining $1,500 will be used in conducting the training and assistance in farm inputs and equipment for the multiplier farms.

The first year of the project will be focusing on the establishment of the nucleus farm, and the development of the dual purpose Banaba chicken. Before the end of the first year, multiplier farms will be identified in the rural areas around Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines. The number of improved Banaba chicken, genetic improvement of the Banaba chicken, and number of identified multiplier/production farm will be the indicator of success for the first year.

The second year will focus on the training of the identified farmers. The farms will also be improved in order to enhance the capacity of the farmers to produce the improved Banaba chicken. After the completion of training and enhancement of the farm, dispersal of the dual purpose Banaba chicken will commence. The performance of the Banaba chicken under the multiplier farm, improvement of the farm and the profit of the multiplier farm will be the main indicator of success for the second year.

The project will be further expanded with the income that will be generated in the sales of the breeding stocks. This project will also show the profitability of investing in native chicken genetic improvement and production.

Through this project, we will be able to raise awareness about the Banaba chicken and help bolster its profile as a great alternative to commercial chicken. Add to the fact that this will be produced by rural farmers; helping them profit from this and encouraging other rural areas to adapt this type of production system.

Our group is committed to preserve and promote the rich heritage of the Philippine Agriculture by advocating Philippine native chicken production.

Blogpost submitted by Jorge Dominguez (Philippines) – jorgemichael.dominguez(at)gmail.com
Photo courtesy: Prof. Medino Gedeun N.Yebron, Jr (Project of Phenotypic and Molecular Characterization of the Different Genetic Groups of Philippine Native Chicken)

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


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166 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #17: “Native Chicken Production” (Jorge Dominguez, Philippines)

      1. Hi Jorge,
        Your blog piqued my attention.. I’m interested and actually have started a little steps align with your proposal.
        I’m interested to provide capital and in fact my place in Cavite for this project.

        Add me to your contacts and let’s discuss deeper ..

    1. Thank you for you question.

      We are not targeting the market of the commercial chickens. The native chicken has its own niche market. We want to take advantage that market.

  1. A very timely and relevant project especially since we are now in the post antibiotic and climate change eras. I hope this pushes through especially the sake of the local farmers.

    1. Thank you.

      We hope that our proposal will be chosen. Surely, climate change is one of the biggest challenges in chicken production. But in our breeding plan, we added heat tolerance in our traits to be incorporated in the native chickens. We will also promote organic production system which will lessen the use of antibiotic.

  2. Interesting, improving native chickens would aid for the conservation of its genetic resources and would also help farmers especially those small scaled ones to have higher production. Nice job!

    1. Thank you. Yes, it is the current trend in the Philippine Animal Industry. It is time to invest time and money in developing the Philippine native chickens.

  3. This project is very timely and relevant. Indeed, there is a need to conserve native animal genetic resources as this is one of the best ways whereby we can address climate change-related problems.

  4. This project is very timely and relevant. Indeed, there is a need to conserve native animal genetic resources as it is one of the best ways to address climate change-related problems. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you. We are not just promoting the conservation of the Philippine native animal genetic resources but also popularizing the improvement and utilization of these rich genetic resources.

  5. This is definitely a good project that we can invest on as it can create a huge impact in the general poultry industry. Kudos to the maker of this proposal!

  6. This is a good proposal, it could help our fellow Filipinos in raising their own chicken for their consumption and business as well.

  7. This is a very relevant project for the local native chicken raisers: an answer to increase their income despite the problems brought about by climate change to poultry and livestock raisers.

    1. Thank you Ms. Galang

      We agree with your sentiment. Climate change has a big impact in our poultry industry. Therefore, we should think ways to lessen its impact. And one way is to develop our local native chicken. This chicken are well adapted to the tropical condition in the Philippines

  8. I’d love to raise those chickens when this proposal comes to life and succeeds. Great idea Jorge and colleagues. 👍👍👍

  9. This is a very relevant proposal! Most especially with the ASEAN integration. The Philippine needs to pile up all resources to ensure its native products can compete with others. Maximizing our very own resources helps our farmers especially. We mustn’t let foreign products overpower local ones. Great job on this! I hope this bears fruition soon!

    1. Thank you Ms. Thine

      As a young researcher, I believed that the best opportunity for research is the local genetic resources in the country. These resources are unique and there are still research gaps that needs to be filled.

  10. This is a great proposal! Hope this can be funded very soon since chicken production is very relevant in the Philippines! Cheers to the proposer! Good job!!

  11. I see this as a total game changer for the agricultural aspect since we mainly rely from what the media or the mass say that is good. Goodluck on doing so 🙂

    1. Thank you Mr Magboo

      We agree with your sentiment. All over the world, local chickens are at the edge of extinction. And one way to avoid that is to characterize, conserve, and utilize these rich genetic resources.

  12. It is good that your proposal will promote effective utilization of our native genetic resources. 👍 Please always recognize our farmers. They are the reason we still have native chickens.

    1. Thank you Ms. Bartolome.

      Yes we also believed that the rural farmers are the reason why we still have our native chickens. And one way to pay them is to improve their native chickens and train them with the modern practices in chicken production.

  13. This is a very nice proposal! If you win I hope that this idea would be known all-over the country! But for the mean time, I’d like to ask, how many of the farmers do you plan on training, as said on the second-year layout? And what will you do to convince them to join you on this venture? What could they possibly gain during the training (ex. Incentives such as payment, etc.)?

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your nice questions.

      As many as we can identify. We have criteria for selecting farmer to be our multiplier farm, one is that the farmer should have an experience in raising chicken, second the farmer should have the passion in raising native chickens, and etc.

      Since the nucleus farm will be a model farm, we will tell them the business portfolio of the model farm.

      The incentives will be free native chicken, subsidies farm inputs and etc.

  14. Interesting. But won’t it change the general characteristics of the breed including the quality of its meat?
    We were taught that cultivation changes characteristics of wild varieties as in the case of plants (i.e. cabbage).
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Mr. Montanez,

      Surely, we will change the “general characteristics” of the breed but with a specific (economic) purpose. The characteristics that will be improved will be based on the consolidated ideas of the firm and the farmers. That consolidated ideas will be the breeding objective of thebreeding program

  15. It’s very timely to invest in this type of project that will not only improve our native chicken, conserve their genetic resources but also provides opportunity to rural farmers. I hope that this project will be chosen.

    1. Thank you Ms Duka

      Hopefully, if our proposal will be impelmented, the project would have a good impact on the native chicken industry, most specially the source of breeding stocks.

  16. Great proposal! Hoping that this will inspire other researchers and the local government as well, to look on the agricultural development of our country. Job well done to the team!

    1. Thank you Mr Roberto

      Hopefully with this project, we will enable to popularize this underutilized agricultural resource. Also, if the project will be implemented, we are planning to collaborate with the local government.

  17. In recent decades, reviving heritage breeds have been of an increasing concern, especially in the animal industry. This project has the potential to be of great interest to animal scientists and farmers alike, due to the Banaba’s genetic and market potential.

    Banaba has been known to be a sturdy breed, however, comparing to the existing commercial breeds — it pales in terms of FCR and ADG. It is indeed a brilliant idea to improve this heritage breed of ours, which can be very feasible in promoting local produce as well as it being marketed as a specialty product.

    I wish you all the best in your project, Jorge! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ms Timan.

      Currently, government efforts are concentrating in documenting and improving this heritage breeds. However, there are few farmers and investors that are interested in raising native chickens. Hopefully, with the model farm that we are proposing, investors would have the idea that the native chicken production is feasible and can generate profit.

      We also plan to have a stall in the wet market we’re we can sell the meats of the native chicken. This way, the consumers can differentiate the meats of the native chicken and commercial one. At the same time, this will promote the consumption of native chicken in the municipality.

  18. Great! Native chicken production and marketing is also one of our priority project under Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) and this will surely help local farmers.

  19. Great! This proposal will surely target important goals; preserving our native breeds, improving our native chicken industry and especially increasing farmers income.

  20. This will not only help us learn and know more of our native animals, but will also help our farmers and us consumers to have more options in our food choices. it is time that we get to know more and appreciate the biodiversity of our land particularly in our own native animals. Promote agriculture! promote culture and heritage. yes to native products! this is a great proposal. i hope more studies like this will be done in the future.

    1. In behalf of Jorge, Thank you for this comment Eds! Indeed, we have been blessed with this breed of native chicken, sturdy and resilient, just like the Filipino. Dream Agritech appreciates your support!

  21. Good job, Sir Horhe 🙂 Hope your project will be funded for the benefit of our farmers :)) Good luck 🙂

    1. Jorge is currently working on his Master’s thesis right now so I will reply for him. Indeed, all the work that we do is for the farmer. We want to help improve their quality of life.

  22. Good job in supporting our native species. I hope you can promote this kind of livestock raising especially to small farmers or even for those practicing backyard farming. I guess you also have to show that native species can compete with commercial chicken in terms of taste and quality. I suggest you target people who are into naturally grown and/or organic produce. Good luck!

    1. All of your ideas will come into play Rei 🙂 We want to help the backyard farmer be able to produce food, first for himself/herself and his/her family then if there is surplus, they can sell it. Back to basics approach.

  23. this is a nice project helping promote local breeds. not only we can maximize the gene pool of our own chicken breeds but at the same time this will promote love to our own heritage resources.

    1. Thank you Ms Christine.

      Truly, our native breeds should be promoted and appreciated. In this way, the future generation can inherit the greatness of our native chicken breeds.

  24. Great idea! Promoting native chicken farming is ideal especially because of their resiliency towards climate factors, correct?

    1. Yes. It is one of the factors as to why we want to promote native chicken productions. Lower production per unit cost also is one of the key factors because there are observations that this breeds have perceived resistance to some avian diseases.

    1. Thank you Sir Ancheta.

      Based on our research, native chicken meat is tougher compared to the meat of the broiler chicken. However, it should be noted that the broiler chicken is consumed at 30-45 days old while the native chicken is consumed at approximately 2-3 months old. So we can say that age effect is more significant factor that can contribute to the toughness of the meat rather the breed effect.

  25. Love local right? We hope that we can also inform people through this project about the advantages of the local breed as compared to the commercial ones

  26. This is what the Philippines need right now. Appreciating what is ours, and utilizing our own gene pool of Chickens. We were impressed by the foreign species of chickens in the world, what we do not realize is that we have much better species of chickens here and we need to cross them with each other so that we can have a hybrid species that can compete in terms of egg and meat production in the local and international market. A very timely proposal indeed this is, hope this one be considered and be chosen. Kudos to your group! I just hope that there are more passionate young agriculturists in the Philippines who are like you and your group!

  27. I hope this proposal gets funded. It’s high time to promote our native chickens. Congratulations for doing a great job in this area. Best wishes!

  28. An interesting proposition. Well done on this proposal. A great impact on the farmers who do not have a means for sustaining foreign breeds of chicken. Also, it’s about time someone took notice of our native chicken and its potential in the market.

  29. I appreciate this very much because this is also my interest? I would also like to know a technology in raising the native chicken for its eggs. I grew up with native chickens and I know that there’s a difficulty separating the hen from its eggs as this is conditioned to incubate the eggs automatically. Is there a technology to do the separation without having to hurt the hen “psychologically”?Thank you very much.

  30. I’m happy to have read your post on the Banaba native chicken as I have been looking for this breed for quite some time already. I have always loved the looks ( bulik roosters ), the size as well as their egg laying and chick caring traits which I witnessed in my cousin’s house in Lucena City, Quezon way back in 1963 as a gradeschool student. I’m very much interested in your program and hopefully youcan help me get my initial stock of genuine banaba strain. I recently retired as a bank auditor and I’m hoping to raise these banaba chickens in my friend’s farm in Pulilan, Bulacan.

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