Baby chicks are expensive, of poor quality

Dear Editor,

Over the past six months there has been a rapid increase in the price for baby chickens sold in Guyana. The price went from $100 to as much as $180-$200 per baby chick. One can see how the chicken price increased to as much as $400 per pound for plucked chicken and $300 per pound on the market for live chicken.

If this continued high price cannot be con-trolled then it won’t be surprising if the price for baby chickens reaches $300 by the end of the year. From my personal observation by rearing the chickens, I note with interest that the chickens are of very poor quality. The chicks will eat feed up to 10 weeks and won’t reach 5-6 lbs average weight. Thus farmers are forced to sell out their chickens at 3.5 to 4 lbs average weight because they are losing money since the chickens are eating rapidly but won’t increase in weight.

It’s amazing that some chickens will remain up to 2 lbs average weight up to 16 weeks and will fly like birds in the chicken pens. It tells me clearly that the eggs that hatcheries are importing are of poor quality. The chicken feed sold on the market dropped in price recently by a few hundred dollars but the quality of the feed is so poor I wonder if the feed is just a mixture of fine rice, bran, copra and palm oil. I cannot see any corn and soya and the real rich ingredients in this poor quality feed. I would like to get this feed tested in a lab not in Guyana but somewhere in the Caribbean.

Why is it that the chickens sold cannot reach five pounds in 10 weeks even if they are eating the highest quality imported feed?

Why is it that these hatcheries are sorting out these chickens and only hens are sold and the cocks are going to their farms or special friends? Why is it that chicks will remain up to two pounds after eating feed for 16 weeks? Why is our feed quality so poor compared to the Trinidad imported feed?

I have the poor quality feed and 2-lb chickens which I would like to be analysed by the Ministry of Agriculture. I bought chickens for my personal use and none of them reached 5 lbs. The entire country is plagued by poor quality and high prices for chickens.

For the chicken price to go down the baby chickens will have to drop in price to about $100 per baby chick and the quality of chickens hatched will have to be from very good quality eggs. The feed will have to be of better standard and quality than currently sold to the Guyanese public and the cost per bag will have to drop. It is my sincere hope that the Hon. Minister Mr. Robert Persaud looks into these issues I raised.

Yours faithfully,
Rev. Gideon Cecil

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