Traditional poultry production and commercial broiler alternatives for small-holder farmers in Botswana
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Aganga, A.A., Omphile, U.J., Malope, P., Chabanga, C.H., Motsamai, G.M. and Motsumi, L.G. 2000. Traditional poultry production and commercial broiler alternatives for small-holder farmers in Botswana. Livestock Research for Rural Development 12(4): 1-8.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/67005
Internet URL: http://www.lrrd.org/lrrd12/4/Aga124a.htm
Two studies were conducted: the first study evaluated the production potential of indigenous (Tswana) chickens under an extensive free-range management system in the Gaborone agricultural region of Botswanal; and the second study was a survey of 25 randomly selected, commercial small-scale broiler farms in the Southern region of Botswana. Data were obtained using a structured questionnaire, interviews and direct observations of the birds and their management in the two systems. Study 1 involved 85 farmers. Ten different common supplementary feeds fed to the free-range chickens together with soil samples from where the chickens roost were collected. The feeds were: sorghum grain (Sorghum bicolor), maize grain (Zea mays), jugo bean, also known as bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea), tepary bean (Phaseolus acutifolius), millet grain (Pennisetum glaucum), melon seeds (Colocynthis citrullus [Citrullus lanatus]), Tswana water melon fruit (whole), sorghum milo, maize bran and sorghum beer residue (moroko). Mean adult body weight of the birds (n=713) was 2.2 and 2.0 kg for cocks and hens respectively. Average egg weight (n=188) was 48 g with an annual production of 34 eggs laid in 2 to 3 clutches. Production varied little among flocks. Sexual maturity was attained at about 6 months for females. The crude protein content of the feeds (as-fed basis) given as supplements was: maize grain 9.8%, millet 6.5%, sorghum 11.1%, tepary bean 18.5% and jugo bean 15.8%. All the feeds had a low level of calcium, for example 0.22% for melon seeds. The farmers kept the chickens for home consumption and occasional sales. In study 2, all the farmers practiced intensive housing on deep litter. The number and size of the poultry houses ranged from one to eight, with floor area of less than 100m2 to 1000m2. Numbers of chickens in each batch ranged from less than 1000 to 10000 with about 4 batches in a year. The broiler strains were Ross hybrid, Indian River and Cobb with 56% of the farmers keeping Ross hybrid. Various heating methods were used for brooding with more than 40% using gas as a source of heat. Vaccinations for either gumboro and/or Newcastle were used by 76% of the farmers. Feed was provided ad libitum in all instances.