ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The capital of the Kurdistan Region recently held a festival to showcase the beauty of more than 30 types of Kurdish chickens.
They include roosters and hens. The beauty element is just part of the event. Organizers want to show how better treatment and feeding also makes the animals healthier.
"They’re like other normal chickens. But you don’t let these go to wastewater and dirty places. Their places must be clean. Concerning the food, we give them protein and wheat. We also get them chicken feed from factories," said farmer Faisal Abdulkarim
One of their aims is to get the Kurdish breeds of chickens recognized by the Kurdistan Regional Government, according to Bakhtiyar Khalis.
"We’ve implemented this initiative for Kurdish chickens. We want the KRG to certify the chickens so they can be recognized," Khalis, the head of a local animal rights advocacy group said.
The Animal Resources Department of Salahaddin University has identified the DNA of the animals.
"After the analysis we’ve uncovered that 50 percent of the genes of Kurdish chickens are different from other chickens. This proves that the Kurdish chickens are unique and an independent breed," said Dr. Yusif Barzainji, a veterinarian.
Little research previously was conducted on Kurdish chickens.
"These chickens are different from all others. They have different eggs, color and weight. Each of these chickens lay 40-120 eggs. Sometimes they may lay fewer and some lay more," explained another farmer.
Reporting by Hadi Salimi