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S29. Transforming to English: Dong Tao Chicken: The Exotic Poultry Species Making Waves Worldwide with its Giant Feet. S29




Speaking of delicious and strange dishes of Hung Yen province, one cannot ignore the specialty Dong Tao chicken or Dong Cao chicken – an endemic and rare chicken breed of Vietnam.

The outstanding feature of this type of chicken is its large, rough and ugly legs, with the impression of giant legs. This is also a Pet for many people and is also a very popular gift every Tet holiday.

This is a specialty chicken breed of Dong Tao commune, Khoai Chau district, Hung Yen province. In the past, people often used it to worship at festivals, or to pay tribute to the King. Dong Tao chicken belongs to the list of rare poultry breeds in Vietnam that are currently being preserved in genetic resources.

Món ngon từ gà Đông Tảo

The model is implemented with 8,000 chickens in a number of communes and wards in Hung Yen to transfer the technical process of raising Dong Tao hybrid chickens using biological products to treat livestock waste, increase value…

Chicken is a large breed of chicken with an imposing appearance, with a large body, red skin, majestic head, and sturdy legs. Dong Tao chickens have two basic feathers: plum plumage (purple mixed with black) and plum color. Chickens also have rough legs. The rooster’s legs are large and surrounding the legs in the front is a layer of skin scales arranged in irregular rows. The remaining part (3/4 of the area) is rough like the surface of a mulberry fruit. , the 4 toes are spread out, clearly divided, the feet are thick and balanced so the chicken walks steadily. The rooster’s comb is a sun comb (short and elastic), purple in color, wattles and earlobes are red, underdeveloped, compact and strong looking.

Kinh nghiệm chọn gà Đông Tảo thuần chủng

Hens have three basic coats including banana plump – light yellow, brown plum or light brown – the color of earthy soil or dried banana leaves, and ivory plum – milky white. Hens’ neck and wing feathers often have a mixture of yellow, milky white, reddish brown, and black feathers. Hens also have a comb similar to a rooster’s, but only 1/3 as big as a rooster’s.

The skin areas without feathers on the chicken’s body (both male and female) are red. Newborn chickens have white feathers. Newly hatched weight is 38-40g, feather growth is slow, when mature the male weighs over 4.5kg and the hen weighs over 3.5kg. The chicken is delicious, sweet, with a large mass of pink breast meat, and thigh muscles with billowing muscle bundles squeezed together in meat without tendons or toughness.

A Dong Tao chicken farm.  (Photo: Minh Son/Vietnam+)
A Dong Tao chicken farm. (Photo: Minh Son/Vietnam+)

Dong Tao chicken is a very fastidious species, not used to being kept in captivity, used to running and jumping, so the barn must be spacious so the meat quality is delicious and firm. It takes a year to a year and a half of raising in a free-range environment, eating natural bran that does not promote growth, for chickens to be able to produce meat.

Dong Tao chicken is also popular for its special fragrant meat flavor, which according to some people is “like beef,” as no other type of chicken has.

With one Dong Tao chicken, people can prepare dozens of dishes for Tet feasts such as chicken feet stewed with herbal medicine, chicken thighs steamed with lemon leaves, chicken sausage, chicken skin mixed with mushrooms, grilled pork rolls, chicken spring rolls, etc. chicken patties, chicken sausage, chicken stir-fried with chili, chicken intestines stir-fried with beans, chicken sticky rice, egg wine, imitation civet, chicken bones stewed with vegetables…

Dong Tao chickens usually lay fewer eggs than regular chickens. Their large, clumsy legs make them very clumsy in incubating eggs. Chickens start laying at 160 days old. If you let the chickens lay eggs and incubate them themselves, they will lay 70 eggs every 10 months. Egg weight ranges from 48-55g/egg.

Dong Tao chicken dish steamed with mushrooms. (Photo: Vietnam+)

Currently, Dong Tao chickens are being kept in many ways, especially through the program “Preserving the livestock gene fund” funded by the State. Many localities are raising Dong Tao chickens because they are easy to raise and have high economic efficiency, including the largest purebred Dong Tao chicken farm in Vietnam located in Dong Tao commune, Khoai Chau district.

A donated Dong Tao chicken costs 2.5-3 million VND/chicken. In particular, chickens with boat bodies, round legs, fleshy scales, and thin combs will cost up to 4-5 million VND. Chickens that do not meet the standards for donation are sold at a lower price, about 1-2 million VND/4kg chicken. A chicken with beautiful appearance and big legs can be offered for sale for tens of millions of dong/chicken.

Every year, from the beginning of the 11th lunar month to the days leading up to Tet, a number of customers from all over flock to Dong Tao commune with the desire to buy quality chickens to eat, give away, or sell. Therefore, chicken farmers are never afraid of being unemployed, on the contrary, chickens sell very well.