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A chicken and egg situation in Namakkal

Poultry City Namakkal has egged on Tamil Nadu as India's second-largest egg producing centre, after Andhra Pradesh. Even compared to other countries, India is not left with egg on its face; with a smashing production of around 75,000 million eggs a year, it is the third-largest chicken egg producing country in the word, next only to China and the US.

About 80 percent of the layer farms in Tamil Nadu are concentrated in and around Namakkal. The region is a dry, semi-arid zone with little water, so agriculture is not a viable option.

Poultry farming in Namakkal took off in the early 1970s with the vision of one farmer who started out with a 100 layer chicken egg farm in a thatched poultry shed. A few farmers started preparing their own feed as well. By the early 1980s, several breeders started rearing poultry under tiled roofs.

Today, even electricity is generated from poultry waste and fed back into the state grid.