The poultry industry in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is being hit hard by a heat wave that has resulted in the deaths of over 2 million birds in the East Godavari district since the first week of May, according to reports.
Small farmers, already facing losses due to increases in the cost of poultry feed and labor charges, have been the worst hit. 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 1, negatively affecting exports, according to the industry.
Poultry farmer Kovvuri Srikantha Reddy said he lost 5,000 chicks in one week and puts the casualties in other farms in his village at 20,000. The casualties among broiler chicks are more when compared with layer chicks, and the weight of broiler chicks has dropped from 2 kg to 1.5 kg.
According to producers, the total loss is being estimated at between Rs 200 million (US$3.6 million) and Rs 300 million (US$5.4 million).