Free-range chicken is carving its niche in the poultry industry of Negros Occidental, which is considered by many as the poultry capital of the Philippines.
Negros Occidental produced 5.13 million native chickens in 2016, making it the top native chicken producer in the country. Iloilo came in second with 4.16 million.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said that the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) noticed the growing demand for dressed free-range or native chicken among markets in Negros Occidental, including public markets, wet markets and supermarkets in malls.
Decena noted that free-range chicken is complementing the already established market for white chicken or broiler.
“Free-range chicken is part of organically grown chicken being distributed by the provincial government through its animal dispersal program,” Decena said, adding that the province is now trying to get a big ratio of native to white chicken.
Negros Occidental’s PVO has dispersed 11, 447 heads of free-range chicken in 2016. That number is part of the 56,602 heads of various livestock and poultry animals and five units of incubators amounting to P13 million distributed to 776 recipient-raisers in the province.