Shortage of day old chicks as influenza virus spread

By Taurai Maunga

An outbreak of influenza virus has seen a shortage of day old chicks hitting Kwekwe.

The situation has seen some shops availing the chicks once or twice a week.

In a recent survey carried out by this publication it has been established that most retail shops in Kwekwe have run out of day-old chicks and stocks of table eggs are fast depleting.

This situation is due to the outbreak of the avian influenza virus which has also affected the country producer of poultry Irvines Zimbabwe, so this is causing limitation in supplying of day-old chicks in the country.

A number of some retail shops in Kwekwe which sells day old chicks are failing to supply to their customers on daily basis because of this outbreak.

For one to buy this day –old chicks you have to book first and then you will come to collect your chicks the following week.

“We are now not selling the day-old chicks until everything is sorted because we are not receiving supplies from Irvine’s since last week due to shortage of eggs that hatch the chicks are not being supplied from South Africa,” said an employee at one of the merchants.

The biggest supplier of day-old chicks in Kwekwe, Feed Mix has been overwhelmed by demand and supplies have since run out.

“We do bookings on Wednesday but at the moment we don’t have anything, the demand is too high than we can supply. So you book on Wednesday, you will get your order on September 20,” said an employee at Feed Mix.

Fears are that the disease could become difficult to control if it is allowed to spread to small scale chicken producers who do not have sufficient resources and experience to deal with it.

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