Besides generation of extra income, indigenous chicken provide food for majority of households in rural areas in form of quality meat and eggs. A baseline survey was conducted to determine status of indigenous chicken production in Busia, Kakamega and Siaya Counties of Western Kenya; majorly focusing on feed quality, reasons for keeping indigenous chicken and production challenges faced by producers. A total of 180 households were visited with 60 households in each county. Farmers were selected purposively based on chicken population and activeness of farmer groups. The selected farmers participated by filling a questionnaire. Feed samples were collected from first, third and fifth farmers in each group. Proximate analysis of feed was done to determine dry matter (DM %), crude production (CP %) and ash (ASH %). Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20 for survey and Genstat 14th edition for feed quality. Cassava had low CP% (2.4%) as compared to groundnuts with 19.9% while home-made rations (HMR) and commercial feeds (Cfeeds) had high ash content of 13% and18.3%, respectively. Results indicate that reasons for preferring indigenous chickens were Economic (36.7%), Nutritional (21.7%), Cultural (4.4%), Health (31.1%) and others (6.1%). Feed shortages (31%) and predation (27%) were the most common challenges faced by indigenous chicken producers in the region. Findings of this study should be met for improving indigenous chicken production in terms of feed quality and minimizing challenges. In particular, there is dire need to improve quality of locally available indigenous chicken feeds and modernize indigenous chicken production so as to maximise productivity.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Working document series
Agris Subject Categories: