In rural India’s backyards, a thriving free-range chicken breed is able to forage, nest and do all the things a chicken naturally does. And this simple, low-cost method of raising chickens brings surprising benefits for people too: it is already helping fight poverty, improve diets and create opportunities for women in over 1 million households.
The ‘Kuroiler’ chicken breed is the brainchild of the Keggfarms company, which seeks to create better lives and long-term economic stability through innovative agriculture. It supplies this unique local breed to poor families at low cost, with amazing results…
Natural lives. The hardy Kuroiler is free-ranging, fit enough to fly from predators and able to behave naturally, foraging and feeding on food scraps. A world away from the tiny cages and suffering of industrial farms, the Kuroiler is healthier, slower-growing and longer-living.
Healthier diet. In West Bengal alone, nearly 300 households keep Kuroilers; unsurprising when you realise that few families have reliable year-round access to food. The Kuroiler provides a supplementary diet as well as income; in the poorest households eggs are most commonly given to the children.
Extra income. The eggs and meat of the Kuroiler offer a high return for poor families: the birds are inexpensive to buy and keep, without compromising their wellbeing. Building on the unique selling points, Kuroiler owners are increasingly successful at getting the best prices for their produce, described as “rural entrepreneurs” by the Business India Innovation Awards.
Creating equality. Many thousands of women have been empowered by profits made from the Kuroiler breed. Women typically invest their income in the home and therefore in the future, paying for medicines, education and ensuring food is on the table.
Keggfarms’ kinder, chicken-centred business model allows poor families to eat better and to generate extra income, proving that animal wellbeing has very human benefits.