Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse

Thrabam (native) cows are becoming rare in Bragong chiwog in Minjey, Lhuentse. Native poultry birds are also now few and far between.

Bragong Tshogpa Sonam Norbu said that people prepared jersey to thrabam cows. “The breed has almost extinct.”

Thrabam cow

Thrabam cow

One of the contributing factors, villagers said, was the changing rural economy. But there is no danger of the breed disappearing completely.

In 2018, the government has come up with a native poultry- and heifer-breeding centre in Sertsam.  The centre has close to 150 thrabam and nublang breeds and over 700 native poultry birds.

The centre was set up to conserve pureline native poultry and dairy breed (nublang). However, mandate has changed and it is now also working on promoting and supplying the breeds.

So far, the centre has supplied 16 heifers and breeding bull to the farmers of Lhuentse and Trashiyangtse.

A thrabam costs between Nu 8,000 and Nu 9,000 depending on weight. A breeding bull is supplied at government rate of Nu 6,000. The farm has around 20 pure thrabam heifers in stock.

The farm’s manager, Tashi, said the stock was supplied based on demand through district livestock officer.

Tashi said the farm was focusing on producing sex-sorted heifer for breed improvement. The farm has a capacity to produce about 30 crossbred thrabam annually.

Native poultry birds were brought from Dagana, Tsirang, Mongar, Sarpang, Wangdue, Pemagatshel, and Lhuentse. In order to maintain the number of parent stock at 1,000 thousand, Tashi said his team was currently in Gomdar gewog in Samdrupjongkhar to look for additional birds.

The farm aspires to increase the stock to 2,000 through both natural and artificial hatchery.