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Chickens Are Raised on Trees in Guangxi

It is a common practice for Chinese farmers to raise chickens in the backyard, but farmers in south China's Guangxi make money by feeding fowl on the trees at hillsides.

At a hillside near Liumutun Village, Bose City, trees are found dotted with bamboo or straw sheds which are built for chickens to rest in.

Li Puji, a villager at Liumutun, has constructed two big bamboo sheds at the hillside. Some of his chickens roam on the grassland outside the sheds, others rest in the trees like eagles.

According to Li, 54, his village has very little arable land, but has many hills. "Previously, by relying on tilling the land, we could just solve the problem of having enough to eat and wear, not much left by the year's end," said Li. "With the encouragement and aid by local officials, I started to raise chickens on the trees at the hillside in August 1999."

Because chickens raised on trees, which are fertilized by fowl dung, have insects and grass as food, they are beefy and have no fishy smell, and taste good, said Li.

So, chickens raised on trees sell like hot cakes in urban districts and fetch higher prices than chickens fed in normal ways.

Li raises 1,500 chickens and sell most of them every two months. The market price for chickens raised on trees stands at 15 yuan (about US$ 1.8 dollars) per kilo, 30 percent higher than those raised in normal ways. Last year, Li earned more than 80,000 yuan (about US$ 9638).

According to Li, 27 households in his village, where live 62 families, have followed him and started to raise chickens on trees.

(21DNN.com 01/15/2001)

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