Indigenous chicken production systems were studied in Limpopo, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 137 households in the three provinces. The study showed that a small proportion of the households (9.8%) derive their livelihood from livestock compared to social grants (52.0%) and wages (35.9%). Fifty percent of the households owned chickens in comparison to 49.7% that owned other livestock. The mean flock size was 10.9 ± 1.95 chickens per household with a range of 1 – 56 chickens. The mean number of chickens per household differed significantly among districts but not provinces. Households with multi-species owned on average 6.28 ± 0.92 goats, 2.55 ± 0.57 sheep and 2.71 ± 0.52 cattle. Results indicated that indigenous chickens perform significant functions in the livelihoods of rural farmers primarily for household meat (89.8%), egg consumption (64.2%) and to a lesser extent for manure, cultural ceremonies and income generation. Farmers cited sub-standard housing, poor disease control, and absence of organised vaccination and poultry extension services as the main problems for chicken production in the provinces.
Characterisation of production systems for indigenous chicken genetic resources of South Africa
Author: B.J. Mtileni, F.C. Muchadeyi, A. Maiwashe, P.M. Phitsane, T.E. Halimani, M. Chimonyo and K. Dzama
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