31/01/2017 10:42 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Ga Ho Crows for the Coming of Tet

Ga Ho, a rare species of chicken which was previously offered to the kings and was also painted in pictures as a sign of good luck in the New Year, has been raised and successfully commercialised as a luxury meal for Tet (Lunar New Year Festival).

In Lac Tho village, people consider Ga Ho as a village speciality and a boiled Ga Ho is essential for worshipping.
The domestic fowl, also called “Ho chicken”, is an indigenous chicken in Lac Tho village, Ho town, Thuan Thanh district in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Local elders said over the last 600 years, Ga Ho is well known all over the north because of its outstanding characteristics such as its large size, double combs, red neck, mussel-shaped wings, yellow skinned legs and long and thick tails. In addition, the chicken boasts an august appearance with a strong crowing voice, which is depicted with five characteristics of a gentlemen including: literature, martial arts, courage, righteousness and prestige.

According to the president of Ho Chicken Club Nguyen Dang Chung, there are about 100 households raising the purebred chicken breed in Lac Tho village, with a total number of 1,500 – 2,000 roosters and hens.




Ga Ho farm owners were received technical supports from several international organisations such as
Global Environment Facility (GEF) and 
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).Photo: Khanh Long/VNP


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And also supports from local academic organisations such as Hanoi University of Agriculture. 
Photo: Khanh Long/VNP



Due to the low reproductive rate, most of the coops were equipped with egg incubating machines in order to ensure
the rate of live chicks.
Photo: Khanh Long/VNP


           
Households in Lac Tho village apply modern technology as instructed by the Vietnam Institute of Animal Science such as
installing ventilating and heating equipment in hen-coops. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP



             
Ga Ho is fed with natural cereal such as, rice, corn, and vegetables and not fed with industrialised animal feed,
which ensures tasty meat. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP




Ga Ho is raised in open – air gardens under the shadow of large trees to avoid direct sunlight. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP



Mussel-shaped wings of Ga Ho. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP



Vaccination is essential for the health of Ga Ho. 
Photo: Khanh Long/VNP


       
   Ga Ho which is well known all over the north because of  its outstanding characteristics such as its large size,
double combs, red neck, mussel- shaped wings, yellow skinned legs and long and thick tails.
In addition, Ga Ho boasts an august appearance with a strong crow. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP




The price of a Ho chicken depends on the weight of the chicken. A Ho chicken of over 5kg will be priced
at 500,000VND (22 US dollars) to 600,000VND (26 US dollars) per kilogram.
Photo: Khanh Long/VNP



Over the last 600 years, Ga Ho is well known all over the north because of its outstanding characteristics. Photo: Khanh Long/VNP

The Ho town registered Ga Ho as a trademark in the beginning of 2016. Every chicken is now stamped to ensure its origin.
“Ga Ho is raised in open-air gardens and fed with natural cereal such as  rice, corn, and vegetables and not fed with industrialised animal feed, which ensures tasty meat,” said Nguyen Van Truong, owner of a farm with 200 chickens.

Besides raising Ga Ho in the traditional way, households in Lac Tho village also apply modern technology as instructed by the Vietnam Institute of Animal Science such as installing ventilating and heating equipment in hen-coops.

The new techniques aim at better economic efficiency while maintaining this genetic heritage and sustaining the biodiversity of the avian breeds in Vietnam.

According to some Ga Ho farm owners, due to the low reproductive rate, most of the coops were equipped with egg incubating machines in order to ensure the rate of live chicks.

In addition, in order to avoid close blood line mating, farm owners bring their roosters to another farm for mating with hens, which will ensure healthy chicks.

“Thanks to its unique characteristics, the chicken is in great demand, especially before Tet holiday” said the president of Ga Ho Club Nguyen Dang Chung .
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As many as 2,000 Ho chickens have been sold before the Lunar New Year of 2017. The price of a Ho chicken depends on the weight of the chicken. A Ho chicken of over 5kg will be priced at 500,000VND (22 US dollars) to 600,000VND (26 US dollars) per kilogram.

 
Story: Thuc Hien - Photos: Khanh Long