Sat, Jan 18, 2020 - Page 2 News List

Council touts better meat, eggs of new chicken breed

By Wu Chun-feng  /  Staff reporter

Two black velvet silkie chickens stand on grass in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Council of Agriculture’s Livestock Research Institute

The Council of Agriculture’s Livestock Research Institute yesterday unveiled a new chicken breed it has developed that it said has softer meat and increased egg production.

The black velvet silkie, which took the institute 12 years to develop, is “of the highest quality,” it said at an event in Tainan to promote its products.

Compared with other Taiwanese silkie breeds, which are black, the black velvet silkie is dark gray and smaller, the institute said.

Despite being smaller, it has tender meat and lays more than twice as many eggs as other Taiwanese silkies, it said.

The development of the new breed took 11 generations of careful selection, with all of the large chickens removed, said researcher Liou Hsiao-lung (劉曉龍), who took part in the project.

The result is a bird with very tender meat with a sweet taste, Liou said.

The breed also has a higher egg production rate, he said, adding that a 40-week-old black velvet silkie hen can lay as many as 102 eggs, compared with an average of 44 for other Taiwanese silkie breeds.

The black velvet silkie’s eggs are more nutritious than those from other Taiwanese silkie breeds, with higher levels of lecithin, docosahexaenoic acid, folate and iron, he said.

The institute also presented other products it has developed, including a probiotic supplement made with antler extracts and calcium supplements made from deer bones.

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