16:24 | 03/02/2017 Society
(VEN) - Quy Phi chicken, also known as Royal chicken, originated from Europe. With crests that look like Buddha’s hands, black and white feathers, and red eyes, Royal chickens look quite different from other breeds. Due to its special name and attractive appearance, Royal chicken has become a favored choice for many Vietnamese consumers, especially on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet). Tran Huy Hoi was the first farmer to introduce the regal breed to northern Vietnam.
Special and strange gifts
Hoi’s chicken farms are located in Cat Duong Hamlet, Tong Phan Commune, Phu Cu District, Hung Yen Province. He says most of the chickens in his farms have already been ordered by customers ahead of the New Year and Tet holidays. Royal chickens are considered special and strange gifts because of their dual purpose – they can also be used for worship.
Hoi said that he first saw Royal chickens in 2010 on a trip to the south. Talking to breeders, he found that apart from their handsome appearance, this chicken breed is disease-resistant and its meat is both delicious and of high nutritional value. Hoi immediately decided to bring this chicken breed to his homeland in the northern province of Hung Yen.
Back home, he looked for further information on the internet about Royal chickens, which were unfamiliar to most poultry farmers in the north. Then he went back to the south and negotiated the purchase of 70 baby chicks worth nearly VND100 million. After six months, the first hens began reproduction with an egg drop rate 1.5 times higher compared with other chicken breeds. The initial egg batches were incubated, yielding a high hatch rate.
However, success never comes easily. His first locally hatched chicks only survived for four to 15 days. Within just three months, Hoi lost almost 1,000 baby chicks worth more than VND40 million. “I once again searched for information from the internet, which could help me adjust the feeding regime and temperature. Thanks to these adjustments, early chick mortality has stopped,” he said.
After seeing considerable improvement, Hoi expanded his enterprise, simultaneously selling chickens for meat, chickens for breeding, and decorative chickens. Currently, about 1,500 Royal chickens are raised for egg production in his farms. Following active market access efforts, Hoi has become a supplier of meat and breeding chickens to the northern localities of Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Duong, and Hai Phong.
He has also opened a branch in Binh Phuoc Province to supply products to the southern market. Hoi’s flare for marketing was clear. In an effort to win customer trust in the quality of this chicken breed, he brought Royal chickens to restaurants and invited staff to taste them for free. He even told them how to process Royal chicken to make delicious kinds of food.
According to Hoi, due to their special appearance, Royal chickens are also raised as pets by many Vietnamese families. They are also bought for presenting as gifts on special occasions, such as Tet and other holidays.
Depending on the size of the crest, decorative Royal chickens are currently sold at prices ranging from VND800,000 to VND3 million. Attractive decorative Royal chickens are those with six or more very sharp spurs. Chickens with eight or nine spurs are rare and can fetch as much as VND10 million each. Royal chickens for meat are sold at prices ranging from VND250,000-300,000 each, while chickens for breeding purposes go for about VND40,000 each.
For Hoi, Royal chickens are not just a source of income. They are also a source of joy. He admitted to feeling happy when looking at the chickens on his farms and especially when listening to them crow.
Desire to expand
Hoi intends to invest about VND2 billion in building new facilities to raise some 3,000 chickens along with pheasants and wild ducks in farms covering a total area of eight hectares. Though not very big project, he hopes to supply consumers with absolutely safe poultry meat and just as importantly, to develop a reputable chicken brand in his homeland.
According to Hoi, raising Royal chickens is similar to raising other breeds in terms of care, sanitation of breeding facilities, selection of baby chicks, and disease prevention. To ensure clean breeding, however, great attention should be paid to feed for the chicks. Hoi feeds his Royal chickens with paddy, maize bran, sweet potato buds, water spinach, water-ferns, and banana trunks (vegetable available in his gardens). This combination of feed helps Hoi save money and ensure the absolute safety of the poultry meat.
Hoi’s Royal chicken farms represent the first model of its kind in Hung Yen Province and the entire northern region. He has helped many households in Tong Phan Commune raise Royal chickens to increase their incomes. In recent years, many Vietnamese families have added Royal chicken to their trays of food for worship during the Tet holiday to wish for a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.
Crests resembling a Buddha’s hands are a major feature that distinguishes Royal chickens from other breeds. Vietnamese
people use Royal chicken for worship on Tet or other important occasions. Beside the crest, customers also pay attention to
the spurs when buying Royal chickens. Nice-looking Royal chickens have six to nine spurs. However, chickens with nine
spurs are rare and can be sold for VND10 million each.