The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the Canary Institute of Agrarian Research (ICIA), studies and values the morphological and genetic characterization of the poultry population of the Archipelago through the project ‘The Canary Island chicken: livestock heritage of the islands, history, genetics and sustainability’.
This scientific study on the local population will contribute new data that will allow to propose these animals as a new autochthonous breed, in addition to highlighting his productions in the economic and social field of the island’s rural sector.
It also includes a series of objectives, among which is the evaluation of the productive parameters of its main products, which will help, in the case of meat, to a greater presence in the local market for the benefit of the gastronomy of the islands, and in the case of eggs, parameters are sought that consumers can identify as unique in order to compete against other commercial eggs.
The study focuses on the Canarian hen, an animal that has had and has significant economic and cultural importance within the livestock sector of the islands, suitable as a dual-purpose animal (meat and egg) and distinguished by its rusticity and resistance. to diseases.
These elements are indicative of its adaptation to the Canarian environment and its suitability for production in agroecological systems. In addition, this research addresses the study of archaeological and paleontological evidence of possible remains of birds corresponding to the Gallus gallus species found in aboriginal sites.
Another aspect considered in the research project refers to the genetic characterization of the different local populations collected with the collaboration of the ‘Asociación La Campera. Recovery of the Canarian hen ‘through the use of molecular markers recommended by the FAO. The results showed that the Canarian hen has a different genotype from other Spanish breeds and commercial chickens.
The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Alicia Vanoostende, stressed that this project “represents an important boost for the protection of our local breeds, as well as a commitment to agroecology as a tool to promote sustainable practices”.