Pakistan produces over 1.2 billion broiler chickens annually, and has become 11th largest producer in the world, said the Founder chairman of Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) Khalil Sattar.
“Chicken, once considered a luxury, has now become the cheapest source of animal protein in the country,” he added in a statement.
He said that these days, chickens’ diet mostly constitutes of corn, broken rice, wheat bran, corn by-products, oil seed meals, vegetable oil, etc. Sattar denied that local poultry industry is using hormones saying,
The weight gain of broilers in the US is far greater than what it is in Pakistan without using any hormones. On the basis of rapid weight gain, the consumers would jump to the conclusion that they are fed hormones. If it were so, firstly, the FDA would lodge criminal cases against the producers, besides, the consumer would file suits of billions of dollars against such producers.
The US, Brazil and Argentine produce feed with much higher energy content than that is produced in Pakistan, because of the low price of edible oils and feed grains.
The PPA Chairman, giving an example, said that a broiler chick gains more than two kilograms of weight in five weeks, while it takes about six weeks to gain the same weight in Pakistan.
He said he had not come across any publication showing any benefit of feeding hormones to the chicken. But, local chicken has the same genetic package as is available in the US, Europe, India, Brazil, Argentine, China, and elsewhere in the world.