Kadaknath Chicken- The Latest Talk In The Culinary World

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If you haven’t heard of Kadaknath Chicken, you are in for some big surprises. Also known as Kali Masi, Kadaknath is a unique breed of chicken that is entirely black. And we are not just talking about feathers; even its organs, bones, and eggs are black! This is mainly on account of the high melanin pigment presence in its system. 

This chicken is mainly found in the tribal regions of Madhya Pradesh namely Alirajpur and Jhabua. Besides its unique physical properties, this breed of chicken has higher protein content than the regular breeds and is extremely lean meat; which means it contains little or no fat. 

Known for its hardiness and ability to adapt, it is an excellent forager, which also helps growers to reduce feed costs. While this chicken variant is relatively less known, it has picked up popularity in recent years owing to its unique visual appearance, taste, and high nutritional profile. In fact, it was demanded to be on the menu of the 21st edition of IIFA awards which was held in Indore during the year 2020.  

Kadaknath chicken is listed as an endangered species by the Livestock Research for Rural Development, Madhya Pradesh. The local government has taken several steps over the years to promote the breed and conserve it over time through a series of goal-oriented initiatives. 

Varieties of Kadaknath Chicken

There are three variants of Kadaknath chicken available in India.

  • Jet Black Kadaknath: Both the hen and cock are black. 
  • Penciled Kadaknath: This variety has a white coloured feather around its neck.
  • Golden Kadaknath: Both hen and cock have golden-colored feathers around the neck.

A similar breed of this chicken is also found in China and Indonesia. This particular breed of chicken is considered to be one of the rarest species of bird in the world. Due to high consumption, this breed of chicken has almost been on the verge of extinction. With various impetus from their respective governments, locals engaged in the rearing of this bird have been increasing the number of these birds steadily over the years so they can preserve the species while also raising enough to sell in global markets. 

Nutritional Information

Kadaknath chicken cooked

One of the biggest selling points of Kadaknath Chicken is not only its taste but an impressive checklist of high nutrient content in a single plate of this delectable meat. 

  • 10x higher iron content compared to other ordinary variants of chicken.
  • 25% more protein content.
  • Low cholesterol content of .73% -1.03%.
  • Contains Vitamins B1, B6, B12, C, and E. 
  • Enriched with calcium, niacin, nicotinic acid, and phosphorus.
  • Increases hemoglobin count in the blood.
  • Medical applications in homeopathy.

The point to be noted is how we cook the meat also determines its nutritional profile per serving. Having the chicken as a stew or plain grill usually retains most of its nutrients. However, you if prefer to fry it or make curry from it, you could lose a significant amount of its nutritional value. For this reason, most health enthusiasts eat Kadaknath chicken by grilling or boiling it.

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Commercial Aspects of Kadaknath Chicken

A kilo of Kadaknath chicken can set you back anything between Rs. 400-800 per kilo depending on the variant and the region. One of the reasons why it is so expensive is because of the low fertility rate and its availability only in very specific regions of the country. Unlike broilers and country chickens, they also take time to grow which means their rate of availability is also lower. Also, this chicken tastes better only when they are mature which takes up to 6 months compared to the broiler chicken which is ready to be processed within 45 days.

The poultry industry in India is mostly primitive or bare-essential at best. The region of Madhya Pradesh rearing this breed has also been given the Geographical Indication tag with the objective to provide added benefits to the people engaged in this trade. Krishi Vigyan Kendra, the state government agency has been at the forefront of this effort to popularise this meat and generate livelihood for the tribal people of the state. They also provide loans and other forms of support to help the locals to set up their farms and raise these chickens to meet the increasing demand for them across the country. 

With the introduction of new technology, the mortality rate of this chicken breed has reduced from 50% to 10%. They can be reared like a country chicken without the need for any particular care except during the initial stages of birth. All you need is an open field and let it free over there unlike the broiler variant which requires care from the time it is hatched until it is processed. 

What Sets Kadaknath Chicken Apart?

Besides its unique looks, amazing taste, and high nutritional value, what makes this chicken variety a powerhouse is its hardiness. They are very popular among poultry breeders due to their adaptability to their prevailing environment, disease resistance, and ability to forage. They can be fed any leafy vegetables, grains, and kitchen waste beside the feed which in turn minimizes their expenses and increases the profit margin considerably.

That’s not all, laboratory tests have also confirmed that Kadaknath chicken contains certain hormones that can cure various ailments such as sterility, menoxenia, and blood leucorrhoea in women. Black meat is also believed to cure pulmonary problems such as tuberculosis, heart diseases, neurasthenia, and children’s osteomalacia. It is also believed to act as an aphrodisiac. 

To sum it up, there are many ways to maintain good health and lead a life unfettered by illnesses. One way to achieve this goal is by managing our eating habits. You can eat various forms of food items which include vegetables, meats, grain, lentils, and fruits among others. All you need to do is maintain a routine and stick to it. Whether you prefer non-vegetarian, vegetarian, or both, the key is to create a balance that will allow you to reach the peak of your health and maintain it for many years to come.

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