Housing for village hens
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CTA. 2004. Housing for village hens. Rural Radio Resource Pack 04/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/57198
Maurice Munyenyembe, and expert with the FAO in Malawi, explains the important principles in building appropriate housing for village chickens.
Housing for village hens Cue: One of the most important aspects of keeping poultry is providing suitable housing. A good poultry house needs to offer protection for the birds from bad weather as well as from predators. It also needs to be well ventilated and easily cleaned, to reduce the risk of disease spreading in the flock. In Malawi, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is currently supporting poultry keeping under its Special Programme for Food Security. As part of this support, farmers have been trained in how to build poultry houses or kholas. Excello Zidana spoke to Maurice Munyenyembe, the National Expert for the programme, to find out more about the qualities of a good poultry house, and other aspects of poultry rearing. IN: ?To begin with there are recommended ? OUT: ?.fertilisers are very expensive.? DUR?N 4?55? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Maurice Munyenyembe emphasising how poultry and crop production can support each other. Transcript Munyenyembe To begin with there are recommended technologies in how to build a poultry house which does not leak, which has enough ventilation and which is having nice bedding for the chickens. There are two types of poultry houses that have been introduced in this programme. One is the raised khola and the other one is the ground khola and both of these are ensured to have enough ventilation. The kholas which are raised they have got advantages in that the droppings of the chickens go down and can be cleared quickly and easily leaving the khola clean. That?s the main advantage of having the raised kholas. Zidana I understand that the project is targeting the poor masses in the rural areas. Is it easy to construct these types of kholas as you are saying? Munyenyembe We are aware that there are problems of money and these kholas are constructed using locally available materials such as poles, grass and just earth. In the areas where farmers cannot find the special poles the ones which in some cases are very scarce we encourage farmers to mould bricks and these bricks are very easy to find. And they can have burnt bricks or sun dried bricks to build their chicken houses. Zidana With the problem of predators in the villages like wild cats and snakes, what do you advise farmers to construct to protect them from these predators? Munyenyembe There are two strategies of trying to prevent the chickens from being predated. One is to ensure that the ventilators are not below one metre from the ground. Secondly the farmers are advised to build some fences around their chicken kholas so that the predators are kept out because these chickens are fed with a free range system. So during the day time they can go out but in the evening they are taken in, in their khola which is surrounded by a fence. Zidana Is there any special lesson in terms of space provided for each bird? Munyenyembe I can say that there is enough space given to each bird so that diseases are not rampant within their kholas. Zidana Do you also construct these kholas looking at providing perches or the laying spaces for the birds in the khola. Munyenyembe This is done for the improved birds like the Black Australorps and perches are provided for those kinds of chickens but for our local chickens we do not have perches in those kholas. Zidana Now you talked about disease or protecting the birds from disease spread. In the villages there is this problem of Newcastle, what arrangement is there or what mechanism is put in place to make sure that the birds are protected from the spread of these diseases? Munyenyembe We have done three stages of prevention and treatment of the Newcastle Disease. The first line of defence has been the training that we have given to the farmers. All farmers in the communities where we are working have been trained on the importance of vaccination of their chickens. And a vaccination regime of three monthly intervals has been put in place. Secondly the communities have selected two of their own people from each community that we are working with and those have been trained as paravets. And after training these they are able to assist their fellow farmers in ensuring that the vaccination regimes are adhered too. The project has also given a drug box which includes vaccines as well as the storage of those vaccines. So with these kinds of mechanisms we are very sure that the farmers are well protected to ensure that their chickens do not get wiped out by the Newcastle Disease. Zidana Lastly looking at the introduction of these poultry elements in these schemes, is there any change in terms of maybe production from crops regarding the introduction of the poultry? Munyenyembe As a matter of fact the packages that we have put together are complementary in the sense that indeed the products, the by-products from the crops are fed to the chickens like the vegetable leftovers, like the husks from maize bran, as well as the crops benefiting from the chickens by use of the chicken manure into their gardens. So productivity has actually been improved realising that fertilisers are very expensive. End of track.
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