The intensive use of high-performing strains in poultry production has led to the extinction of several autochthonous chicken breeds and, consequently, loss of genetic variability. Interest in saving biodiversity is growing rapidly and has become a major objective worldwide. The aim of this study was to shed light on the production trends of native Italian poultry breeds and the related market. A questionnaire, which asked about the production cycles, the number of animals and table eggs produced per year and their retail prices was completed by 121 breeders across Italy. The surveyed breeders were divided into two categories: breeders conducting an agrozootechnical farm, referred to as ‘farmers’ (F); and breeders keeping chickens as backyard poultry, referred to as ‘fancy breeders’ (FB). Analysis of the data acquired indicated that animals were mainly slaughtered between 6 and 12 months of age, with F processing more animals per year. The same production trend was observed for table eggs. The recorded retail prices of native chicken products were higher than those for conventional products, but similar to those reported for valuable niche poultry products, such as the Poulet de Bresse in France and organic eggs. Knowledge about these highly valuable markets should be used to encourage the use of local breeds in alternative poultry farming and help protect biodiversity.

Overview of Native Chicken Breeds in Italy: Small Scale Production and Marketing

Marzoni, Margherita;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The intensive use of high-performing strains in poultry production has led to the extinction of several autochthonous chicken breeds and, consequently, loss of genetic variability. Interest in saving biodiversity is growing rapidly and has become a major objective worldwide. The aim of this study was to shed light on the production trends of native Italian poultry breeds and the related market. A questionnaire, which asked about the production cycles, the number of animals and table eggs produced per year and their retail prices was completed by 121 breeders across Italy. The surveyed breeders were divided into two categories: breeders conducting an agrozootechnical farm, referred to as ‘farmers’ (F); and breeders keeping chickens as backyard poultry, referred to as ‘fancy breeders’ (FB). Analysis of the data acquired indicated that animals were mainly slaughtered between 6 and 12 months of age, with F processing more animals per year. The same production trend was observed for table eggs. The recorded retail prices of native chicken products were higher than those for conventional products, but similar to those reported for valuable niche poultry products, such as the Poulet de Bresse in France and organic eggs. Knowledge about these highly valuable markets should be used to encourage the use of local breeds in alternative poultry farming and help protect biodiversity.
2021
Franzoni, Alessandro; Gariglio, Marta; Castillo, Annelisse; Soglia, Dominga; Sartore, Stefano; Buccioni, Arianna; Mannelli, Federica; Cassandro, Martino; Cendron, Filippo; Castellini, Cesare; Mancinelli, Alice Cartoni; Cerolini, Silvia; Sayed, Ahmad Abdel; Iaffaldano, Nicolaia; Di Iorio, Michele; Marzoni, Margherita; Salvucci, Sonia; Schiavone, Achille
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1084598
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