Run chicken run! Villagers count their chickens and their cash

Updated 2018-04-15 13:09:56 Xinhua

On a vast farm in north China's Hebei Province, chickens roam here and there, occasionally fluttering up into the trees. The only unusual thing is that each fowl wears an electronic anklet.

Like humans with activity trackers, the free-range chicken in Wuyi County wear anklets counting their steps to determine when they are ready for market.

"We don't sell them until they have taken over 1 million steps, roughly 160 days," said He Xiaofei, manager of the chicken farm. Walking about tightens chickens' muscles and makes the meat more tasty. Some 10,000 chickens are currently strolling around the farm's 14 hectares, all of whom eat only natural food.

The chicken farm is a poverty alleviation project supported by the county government and shopping site

Wuyi is one of the poorest counties in China with most of the farmland barren and alkaline. More than 60 percent of poor residents are elderly, sick or unable to support themselves.

With small interest-free loans provided by, villagers are able to claim a number of chicken and get a dividend when they are sold. Some also have part-time jobs on the farm.

The government pays for insurance for the chicken, guaranteeing the incomes of the "investors."

Li Xisheng, 76, borrowed 4,500 yuan (6) to claim 100 chickens last year. When they were ready for market, paid him 10,000 yuan. Deducting the loan repayment and farm management fees -- water, electricity and slaughtering -- Li earned 3,000 yuan.

"The chickens have changed my life," Li said, adding he has just bought an electric tricycle.

The ready-to-cook chicken sell well online even though they cost 168 yuan to 188 yuan, three or four times the normal price. Buyers have left over 14,000 comments on, most in awe of the taste.

China's expanding middle-income group has created a lucrative market for high quality agricultural products, attracting investors including Internet giants Alibaba and NetEase. Both companies have free-range pig farms.

Liu Wei, deputy head of Wuyi County, said the chicken farm benefited poor villagers while bringing profits for big business. The farm has helped lift more than 400 households out of poverty in the county since March 2016, and will be expanded this year, with facilities to cater for tourists.

"With more income expected, more people will cast off poverty this year," Liu said.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58August 19 2019 09:50:02

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16August 19 2019 09:50:02

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18August 19 2019 09:50:02

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords