China has independently developed white-feather broiler breeds, breaking the country’s 17-year reliance on imported genetic resources for the chicken.
The national committee for livestock and poultry genetic resources has approved three new varieties－Guangming 2, Shengze 901 and Wode 188－meaning that domestically bred broiler varieties will appear on the Chinese market, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said early this month.
At a news conference held to officially release the Guangming 2 variety, which was codeveloped by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Animal Sciences and Xinguang Nongmu Co in Foshan, Guangdong province, the institute and the company signed a contract on the industrial development of the new variety in the next 10 years. Chinese people consume more chicken than any other meat except pork. Last year, the country produced 18.6 million metric tons of chicken, with white-feather broiler accounting for 52.4 percent, the academy said.
China developed a domestic broiler breed in the 1990s, but it was wiped out by a disease outbreak in 2004. Since then, the country has relied on imported genetic resources of white-feather broiler chicken, importing 800,000 to 1.2 million breeding broiler sets-each consisting of one rooster and 10 to 15 hens every year to meet domestic demand for foods including fried chicken. Wen Jie, chief scientist for the national broiler industry technology system, and his team prepared to work on core technology for the broiler in 2009, and called on enterprises to launch independent breeding.
“The slaughter weight of a 42-day-old broiler reaches 2.8 kilograms, which is suitable for producing split chicken and is convenient for making fast food, group meals and deep-processed products,” Wen said. “Its major performance is on par with the similar variety cultivated overseas, and has advantages in meat quality.”