Seasonal effects on village chicken flock dynamics in the Chris Hani Municipality, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Author: B. Gunya, N.L. Mlisa & V. Muchenje
Year: 2014
Issue: 1
Volume: 7
Page: 11 - 16

The objective of the study was to determine village chicken flock dynamics in Chris Hani, Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Thirty village chicken flocks reared by smallholder farmers were randomly selected and monitored for four seasons. The data was obtained by administering record sheets, which included consent forms, demographic characteristics of farmers, entries and exits of chickens to the flock. Generally all the entries were higher in summer and lower in winter. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) on gifts-in of chickens across seasons. The highest flock size (24.6 ± 0.24) of chickens was observed in autumn, while the lowest (15.6 ± 0.22) was observed in spring. Sales were significantly (P <0.05) higher (4.3 ± 1.07) in summer and lowest (2.3 ± 0.99) in spring. Consumption of village chickens was higher in warmer seasons (spring and summer) and lower in cold seasons (autumn and winter). The mortality of chickens was highest (5 ± 1.23) in winter and lowest (2.3 ± 1.23) in summer. No seasonal variation (P > 0.05) was observed on the gifts-out of chickens across seasons. It was concluded that seasonal changes influence village chicken flock dynamics.

Keywords: village chickens
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