Egg shortage in the egg capital

Choki wangmo | Tsirang

A frustrated grocery store owner in Damphu town, Zangmo, tried to contact poultry farmers in the dzongkhag.

She was worried that she would not be able to meet the demand for eggs for the dzongkhag hospital.

With a continuing shortage of eggs in the country’s second-highest egg-producing dzongkhag, traders, vendors and residents are disappointed.

A vegetable seller, Doli, collected a carton of eggs for nyilo.

He contacted poultry farmers in the dzongkhag but could only find one box, which cost him 3,500 NU. In the past, he paid Nu 2,600 for a box. “Most poultry farms are closed and production is at an all time high. The size of the eggs is also smaller.

Traders who used to hoard eggs now sell a Nu 500 Egg Tray, which previously cost Nu 380.

A resident of Damphu said that in the absence of egg production on the farms, she relied on eggs produced by native breeds of chickens.

Some locals claim that since egg prices are higher in Thimphu, poultry farmers and egg merchants bring whatever is produced from the farms in the capital, leaving nothing for the people of Tsirang.

However, the situation is different depending on the owners of poultry farms.

They claimed that with problems in Karma Feed’s product called “Layer Mash” that caused the deaths of chickens and pullets earlier this month, egg production has hit an all-time high.

Poultry farms that are not fully closed can only produce about five eggs per day.

A successful poultry farmer from Sergithgang, San Man Subba, said that out of 5,800 layers on his farm, 3,000 have died. “There are only 1,000 out of 4,000 broilers left on my farm. I used to produce 3.5 cartons of eggs, but now I only collect about five eggs.

He said most poultry farmers have been affected by the feeding problems and some are already bankrupt. “The company has not reduced the price of feed, even in such situations.

Farmers cannot afford feed when production is nil.

A bag of layer food costs 1,900 Nu.

Farmers, he said, were told production levels would improve within 14 days, but the situation did not change even after a month.

Phurba Moktan’s farm in Mendrelgang has been closed for almost a month.

She said that after her layers and 400 pullets died, there was no egg production.

EMT Poultry Farm in Gosarling supplies eggs to Thimphu and Tsirang when production is good. The farm, however, has also suffered since last month. Layers’ feathers fell off and egg production declined.

An employee, Choki Dema, said that during normal production, a batch of layers (125-128) can produce more than 80 eggs. “We used to supply the stores and vendors in Damphu, but now we can’t.”

A farmer from Doonglagang said egg production is expected to drop further in the gewog.

Gyem Tshering, head of Tsirang dzongkhag breeding, said that although the dzongkhag produced 27.7 million eggs last year, egg production in the dzongkhag has not improved yet. “Due to feeding issues, egg production was severely affected.”

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