Main Article Content
Across - sectional survey was conducted to establish the characteristics of rural chicken production in Apac and Kumi districts. This was necessary to establish a baseline benchmark against which the impact of the NARO/DFID chicken project could be gauged. Systematic sampling techniques were applied to 120 households to capture the necessary baseline data. The study revealed that farmers keep indigenous chickens mainly for food, cash and gifts and use eggs mainly for hatching chicks. Most people keep 2-10 hens and 1 breeding cock, and in a family, the majority of chickens are owned by the husband and w ife. The production indices obtained were typical of African rural chicken production systems and most chickens depended mainly on vending for themselves. Lack of proper housing and diseases were cited as major constraints and few farmers ever vaccinated their chickens. Traditional medicine is greatly used in disease control. Selection for genetic improvement is not commonly done although occasionally farmers buy new cocks. While women care for chickens, the decisions on sales and cash are jointly taken by the husband and wife. The results indicated that rural chicken production is still at subsistence level and the production indices still low, implying that the system is amenable to improvement in order to raise household incomes.