China's chicken farmers hit hard by bird flu scare

BEIJING - Chinese chicken farmers are hurting as consumer concerns rise over eating chickens amid the H7N9 bird flu scare, Chinanews.com reported.

Since the beginning of April, a poultry farm in East China saw a drastic sales drop in both chicken and egg products, losing several thousand yuan per day. Its unsold stock of eggs has reached 2,500 kilograms, and it is growing by 100 kilograms a day.

The farm in Jingshanzhen county of Hangzhou´╝îcapital of East China's Zhejiang province, outputs more than 100,000 native hens for meat and 70 tons of eggs annually. Its daily sales reached 5,000 yuan before the bird flu scare, but now it hardly gets any business.

Shi Zhengxiang, owner of the farm, said he wants to sell the chickens as soon as possible at lower prices. He has cut their poultry feed by half to lower his costs.

So far, Zhejiang had 16 H7N9 cases reported and two deaths by Monday. Sixty-three people have been infected with H7N9 in China, with 14 deaths.