|Paraoakan breeders at the Abalos farm.|
Paraoakan is becoming the choice of native chicken raisers. And it is for a number of good reasons.
Paraoakan, of course, is the native chicken from Palawan. Of the several strains of native chickens, Paraoakan is the biggest of them all. It has long legs, bigger body than the rest, long neck and bigger head.
Latest to be convinced about the Paraoakan is Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao. He has launched a provincewide dispersal program of Paraoakan chicken to provide his constituents with a new source of income.
He said that earlier, the provincial government has promoted the growing of two commercial plantation crops, namely oil palm and rubber. These are profitable crops but they take a few years before the farmers can have their first harvest.
That is why in the meantime, while the farmers are waiting for their oil palm and rubber trees to yield their first harvest, the farmers are being encouraged to raise native chickens and vegetables.
Very recently, Gov. Mangudadatu bought his initial stocks from Ernie Abalos for dispersal to his constituents. For a start, he said, one male and two females are given to each beneficiary. From there, the farmers could start multiplying their chickens.
Abalos had the foresight to multiply Paraoakan because he saw the potentials of this native strain. He bought a few breeders several years ago and multiplied them in his farm in San Mateo, Rizal. At the latest Agrilink trade show last October, he displayed adult Paraoakan as well as organic Paraoakan eggs. The adult chickens sold like the proverbial hotcake at P700 each and the eggs at P10 apiece. That further motivated Abalos to produce day-old chicks by the hundreds and then thousands because there are so many interested customers, including Gov. Mangudadatu. At P75 apiece, the day-old chicks are also bestsellers.
Gov. Mangudadatu has bought all the female pullets from Abalos and also intends to buy cocks from other sources also for dispersal. This will ensure that there will be no inbreeding which could cause deterioration among the succeeding generations.
Gov. Mangudadatu plans to saturate his province with Paraoakan so that the province could also become the source of breeding stocks for other provinces in Mindanao and perhaps Visayas and Luzon.