The study was conducted in Gimbi district which is located in Oromia National Regional State West Wollega administrative Zone located at 441 km from Addis Ababa to the west. Geographically the district is located 9°10°-9°17° North latitude and 35°44°-36°09° East longitudes and elevated from 1200m-2222m a.s.l. The average annual rain falls ranges 1000 to 1800mm and the mean annual temperature range is 10-30°C. The total surface area of the district is 112969hectare with a total population of 89243 with the proportion of 45657 male and 43586 female. Climatically, the district is categorized into three: 70% high land, 10% mid highland and 20% lowland. Mixed crop and livestock faming system is the mode of agriculture practice in the district. The most widely cultivated crops in the study area include coffee, maize,’ teff’, barley, oil seeds (niger seed, sesame, sunflower), pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas) (CSAGW, 2017/18). Like other different parts of the country, the study area is enriched with immense types of livestock: 111697cattle, 47039 sheep, 9458goats, 9926 donkey, 123 Mule, and 92347 poultry and 14472 bee colonies (CSAGW, 2017/18).
Village chickens raised under scavenging production systems in the selected study sites constitute the study population. Cross-sectional type of study was conducted to collect data required for this study from May to July 2018 using questionnaire survey, observation and group discussion. The sampling units were defined as households keeping local chicken.
Study kebeles and households in the study area were selected using purposive and simple random sampling procedure. Out of the total kebeles of the district, three kebeles (Lelisa Yesus, Waraseyo and Bikiltu Tokuma) (about 10% of the total kebeles) were randomly selected based on the extent and intensity of local chicken production. From each kebele, 60 households were randomly selected, making a total sample size of 180 households. The sample size was determined following the formula developed by Arsham (2002):
Where, N = Sample size,
SE = Standard error.
Thus, using the standard error of 0.038 with 95% confidence level, 180 households were included in the study.
The primary data were collected by using semi-structured questionnaire, field observation and interview from 180 randomly selected respondents. The secondary data were collected from reviewing published and unpublished sources and reports of the CSA and district agricultural office. Focus group discussion was also carried out with key informants from poultry development experts, development agents, and some individuals, who are believed to be knowledgeable and well experienced about chicken production for supplementing and crosschecking the data acquired through the household survey.
The data were entered using Microsoft excel spreadsheet 2007 and analyzed using SPSS version 23 software. Survey results were reported using descriptive statics such as frequency and percentage and presented in the form of table, graphs and rank.
The result of this study revealed that keeping of chickens is widely and commonly practiced in the study area. Almost all farmers keep chicken in varying number of flock size aspiring of egg production and meat mainly for income generation and household consumption; and also for other purposes such as hatching and rearing of chicks for replacement of future flock and as insurance (Table 1). In line with this study, Felake (2015) also report the same result.
|No||Purpose of chicken keeping||Frequency||% Respondents|
|4||Replacement for future flock||8||4.44|
Sex of the head of the household is believed that it is one of important factors that affect adaptation decision of the households to village chickens production improvement options. From the total respondents, 90% were male households and female headed household accounts of 10% of the total sample. The average family size of sample respondents is 6.10 (ranged 2-12) which is in agreement with the finding of Bereda et al. (2014) who reported average family size of 6 ± 0.18.
|Read and write||69||38.33|
|Farming systems||Livestock production||7||3.89|
|Crop and livestock||170||94.44|
|Responsible family member
to manage chicken
As the study result illustrated, majority (93.3%) of the respondents practiced chicken production system in the form of a free range or extensive type. Chickens were managed mainly on free ranging, utilizing various feed sources searching by their own in the field, with conditional feed supplementation. However, the rest (6.7%) of the household respondents practice semi-intensive types of chicken management using fences around their homestead. As the response of respondent farmers and group discussion with key informants, farmers in the study area are going to change and improve chicken management practice for future by improving the management activity as well as using improved chicken breeds.
Housing facilities for rural chicken are usually made of small wooden structures aimed at keeping the birds at night and thus, variety of night sheltering of chicken are practiced. The majority (66.11%) of farmers were housed their chickens on perch in the main house; whereas 22.22% and 7.78 farmers were housed their chicken in the main house at one of the room and in the kitchen, respectively. Only 3.89% of the farmers were used basket in the main house for housing of their chicken. Even if, the farmers were used the same room with and without perch to housed chickens, they can produce low amount of products. However, they were constructed chicken houses to protect chickens from predators, rain and wind during night time.
Although the supplementary feed is not satisfactory in terms of quality and quantity, all (100%) respondent farmers practiced in providing supplementary feed to their chickens. However, the frequency of provision per day varies mainly based on seasonal availability of feeds sources; while 83.75% of them did this between the months of July to September. In the study area, grains and household leftovers were the major kinds of feeds stuffs supplemented by chicken owner farmers. Most of these chicken owners (87.1%) used crop harvest (self produced grains) as supplementary feed. Maize (64.4%), wheat (25.6%) and feed leftover (10%) were the first, second and third types of grains provided as supplementary feed in the study area, respectively.
The result of the current study indicated that 95.5% of village chicken owners of the district experienced chicken disease problems. Newcastle disease (NCD) was the most prevalent and economically important (98.2%) disease problem affecting village birds and it is reported to be the first major causes of chicken death/loss in the district. The prevalence of the NCD and mortality of chicken were higher at the start of rainy season, mainly on April (71.26%) and May (28.74%).
In Gimbi district all of the farmer practice incubation and hatchability. All of the respondents practice natural incubation system with the help of broody hens. About 82.7% preferred dry season period of incubation because of chick mortality is very high at the wet/rainy season. All respondents reported that they use broody hens for hatching eggs and growing chicks. Most farmers incubate eggs using their brooder hens during the dry seasons when there is good feed resource, less disease risk and favourable environment for growing chicks. Similarly Fisseha., et al.(2010) reported the same findings. Of the incubated eggs 98% of eggs hatched out to healthy chicks; this implies that egg hatchability at household level is more economical. But the total number of grown chick into pullet/cockerels at 3 age months is limited to 50% due to seasonal disease (42%) and predators (58%). Different authors reported the same result from different parts of the country: Melkamu and Andargie, 2013; Matiwos., et al. 2015.
As discussed above high incidence of chicken diseases, mainly Newcastle disease was the major and economically important constraint for the existing chicken production system of the district. The most important constraints impairing the existing chicken production system under farmer’s management condition in the study area in their order of significance were disease, predators, lack of veterinary health service, lack of proper agricultural services with related to chicken husbandry and with limited feed supplementation, poor housing and poor chicken husbandry management by producer farmers.
|Constraints||No of respondents in the selected kebeles|
|Lelisa Yesus||Ware Seyo||Bikiltu Tokuma||Total||Mean||SD||%|
|Lack of veterinary health service||12||14||14||40||13.33||1.15||22.22|
|Lack of proper agricultural services with related to chicken husbandry||6||4||7||17||5.67||1.52||9.44|
|Poor chicken husbandry management by producer farmers||2||2||3||7||2.33||0.57||3.89|
- Strong and holistic extension services such as applying breed and management improvement methods, disease and predator control activities, providing frequent extension services in terms of regular training to farmers focusing on overall chickens’ improvement strategies is highly recommended.
- More study is also required to characterize the village chickens of the area, major diseases and predators of economic importance and to exploit the potential of the area.
I would like to show gratitude to Gimbi District Livestock and Fishery Resources Development Office staff members and development agents for their cooperation during this study. At last but not least, heartfelt appreciation goes for respondent chicken keepers in the study area for willing to be interviewed and giving me all valuable required information.
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