Broiler chickens witnessed a notable hike in prices in the city markets in the past one week, augmenting woes of the people on low incomes.
The price has shot up to Tk 160-170 a kilogram from Tk 140-150 a kg a week earlier.
Poultry sector insiders attribute this uptick in feed cost, closure of many firms and a hike in day-old-chick (DOC) price to the surge in both poultry meat and egg prices.
Broiler and farm egg are the key protein sources for low-income group, but egg prices hiked again only to add to public woes.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has sent the poor to their knees with declining income.
Egg prices increased further to Tk 115-120 a dozen from Tk 108-110 earlier, according to city groceries.
Broiler prices rise 15 per cent in two weeks while the current price is 35 per cent higher than last year's, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.
Egg prices have witnessed a total 25-per cent hike on average in a month, according to trading sources.
Rayerbazar-based chicken vendor Rafiqul Islam said poultry cost increased to Tk 145-150 a kg in Savar, Manikganj, Tangail, Sirajganj and Pabna hubs from Tk 125-130 a kg a week back.
The price was below Tk 110 a kg a month back, he added.
According to Mr Islam, prices of Pakistani and Sonali chicken varieties also increased further by Tk 20-30 a kg at the farm's end.
Pakistani fowl retailed at Tk 290-310 a kg on Thursday.
Adil Hossain, a small-scale poultry farmer at Tangail's Bhuapur, says feed prices of different brands surged to Tk 49-50 a kg from Tk 42-44 two months ago.
It now sells at Tk 2,450-2,500 per 50-kilo sack.
He says DOC price is now above Tk 84-95 per chick which is normally at Tk 45-50.
Mr Hossain said broiler production costs have increased to Tk 145 a kg now. "Despite raising price, we're still counting losses for a rocketing feed price trend."
When asked, Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) president Moshiur Rahman said maize, the key feed ingredient, now sells at Tk 30-32 a kg.
The price was the highest Tk 24 a kg last year.
Prices of other raw materials like soya meal and edible oil by-product rose by 30-40 per cent in six months.
Mr Rahman, also owner of the leading poultry firm Paragon, points out that the demand for poultry meat and egg has increased notably after full withdrawal of coronavirus lockdown.
But by the same token, he says, supply is not aplenty amid closure of more than 30 per cent of farms during the one-and-a-half years' pandemic.
The business leader said the situation might return to normal within three months as many farmers would start operation again following a positive market trend.
He has thus exhorted the government to rationalise prices of feed ingredients to minimise production costs of feed, meat and egg.
Mr Rahman suggested that the government restrict exports of soya meal, mustard meeal, edible oil by-products and maize to stabilise their prices.
According to the Department of Livestock Service (DLS), Bangladesh had 76,000 poultry farms before the outbreak of the pandemic.
The farms used to produce 45-million eggs and 16,000 tonnes of chicken meat a day.
BPICC sources said production might have declined notably in the past one year and a half amid the pandemic for farm closures.