Epidemiological assessment of productivity constraints and appropriate intervention measures on indigenous chicken production in Southern Nyanza, Kenya
The purpose of this study is to determine the factor(s) that limit indigenous chicken productivity; assess and prioritize them and come up with appropriate interventions that are sustainable in this livestock production system. The study was conducted in three phases in Migwa and Kagak villages in Kasipul division of Rachuonyo South Sub-County in Homabay County. The first phase was a rapid rural appraisal study that was followed by a cross-sectional survey in the second phase whereby identification and prioritization of indigenous chicken constraints was carried out. The third phase was a one year longitudinal study that assessed and quantified the constraints, and the benefits of controlled interventions. The data was obtained by actual measurements, on spot observation, interview of household members directly responsible for management of chickens, community and focus group discussions, post mortem examinations and laboratory analysis. Post mortem examination and laboratory analysis were conducted on sick and fresh dead chickens to establish causes of deaths throughout the study period whenever such cases arose. Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Learning and Action studies that complemented the other study approaches ran throughout the study. The major production system was free-range whereby the birds got much of their own food through scavenging with irregular and inconsistent supplementation (mostly cereal grains and kitchen left overs) and housing mainly provided at night in human dwellings. Women controlled most of the activities related to the daily management of the birds.