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Title: A comparative assessment of management practices and livelihood roles of indigenous chicken in pastoral and agricultural households of Kenya
Authors: Lotesiro, Jacob Ekaran
Keywords: Roles of indigenous chicken
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Indigenous chicken (IC), which have traditionally been an important component of livelihoods among the agricultural households are being integrated into pastoral livelihoods as a diversification strategy. The goal is to reduce vulnerability of ruminant livestock to recurring drought events. However, sustainable utilization of IC could suffer in the absence of adoption of improved management practices supported with access to inputs and output markets and advisory services which support IC utilization in the agricultural households. This study compared management practices, livelihood roles and needs for inputs and extension services for IC utilization between pastoral and agricultural households. A questionnaire was administered to 256 randomly selected households in a cross sectional survey in Counties where pastoral (Turkana) and agricultural (Trans-Nzoia) households predominated. Data was subjected to chi-square test of independence when data were categorical variables and to independent sample t-tests when data were continuous variables. Compared to agricultural households, the pastoral households keeping IC were of lower literacy levels, younger age and lower income levels. Their foundation stocks were more from gifts (67.2% vs 18.8%) or from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) (29.7% vs 3.1%) and the flocks were smaller (6.7 vs 26.6) but with more cocks (27.2% vs 10.2%) and fewer growers (40.4% vs 61.2%). Among the pastoral households, the entire total monthly incomes were from IC (100% vs 20%) and more used the income to purchase food (89.1% vs 58.6%), to finance school fees (94.5% vs 39.8%) and to access health care services (95.3% vs 85.9%), but fewer used chicken manure in kitchen gardening (0.8% vs 92.2%). Adoption of improved management practices were on average, lower among the pastoral households, with regard to improved housing (0% vs 28.9%), purchasing supplementary feeds (1.6% vs 28.9%), vaccinating flocks (12.5% vs 88.3%), practicing artificial incubation of eggs (0% vs 14.8%) or artificial brooding (0% vs 45.3%). Similarly, fewer of the pastoral households could access vaccines (22.5% vs 59.4%), drugs for treatment (30.5% vs 93.7%), agro-vet stores (30.5% vs 96.9%), extension advisory services (6.2% vs 27.3%) or credit facilities (2.3% vs 15.6%) that they needed to improve management of their IC flocks. These results suggest that improving input and output markets and service delivery will be critical in enhancing IC contribution to pastoral livelihoods.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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