The Increasing Popularity of the Paraoakan Native Chicken in the Philippines

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Paraoakan is one of the many native chicken breeds found in the Philippines. These chickens are native to Palawan. It is one of the bigger native chicken breeds in the country and that means plenty of poultry meat once they have matured.  The Paraoakan native chickens are generally characterised by their bigger bodies, long legs, a long neck as well as a bigger head.

 

Like we stated in a previous post, there is a growing niche of Filipino consumers who prefer the native chickens in the Philippines to the commercial exotic varieties in the country. Part of this is due to a growing organic farming movement in the Philippines but for many Philippines, native chickens such as Paraoakan give them the true taste of chicken, one that has traditionally been used to prepare the many tasty Filipino chicken recipes. It is a niche market that is growing fast with many individual buyers and even restaurateurs now preferring the native chickens for some dishes.

 

More Filipino buyers are becoming more health conscious but also ethically conscious. They know that the commercial broiler production puts a strain on the birds as they are forced to grow in small cages with a formulated diet and many don’t even get to see sunshine from the time they hatch to slaughter. They also have concerns that in an attempt to minimize losses and maximize yields, many commercial producers might be abusing antibiotics and even growth hormones to boost production and some of these pass to the human system leading to antibiotic resistance. These are not just the concerns of the Filipino consumers but global poultry consumers in general. There is a general agreement that factory farming is not an unethically and healthy way to produce food.

 

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This is one of the core factors that has driven many Filipino buyers to the native chicken in the Philippines such as the Paraoakan that grow in wholly free range conditions and have full access to the outdoors for their entire lives. They free range, feed on grass and grubs and forage over a diverse diet of proteins, minerals and vitamins that produces poultry meat that is quite nutritious.

 

Eating native chickens such as Paraoakan native chickens improves the eating quality and leads to less lifestyle diseases. For many buyers, it means you are going to access to leaner, healthier and organically produced chicken meat that you can eat with a clean conscience and without any health concerns.

 

Thanks to this demand as well as the recognition of the quality of the native chicken meat, many research organizations have emerged that seek to improve the native breeds in order to make them more profitable but also give farmers guidelines on the best feed quality and poultry husbandry techniques that they can adopt in order to boost the production of the native chickens in the Philippines.

 

The Paraoakan native chickens are valued for their flavours, aroma, structure and even the tenderness of the meat. Of the many native chicken breeds in the Philippines such as the Banaba, Joloanon among others, the Paraoakan native chickens are known to produce the best meat quality with the highest crude protein content.

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Just like the broilers, the Paraoakan native chickens can also be used in making various value added poultry products such as canned chicken, chicken nuggets, corned chicken, chicken burgers and chicken frankfurters.

 

This is why in some provinces in the Philippines such as Maguindanao, there is already an active effort by the local government to promote the rearing of these native chickens in order to help farmers supplement their incomes.  In the market, the Paraoakan chickens are popular with many buyers and they sell like hot cakes and for a good price. Other provinces embracing Paraoakan native chickens include Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao.

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