[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Indigenous chickens in Kenya are estimated to be 21.5 million and are found in all the ecological zones in the country. They are 75% of the poultry population and produce 46 and 58% of the egg and meat, respectively. These levels of production are comparatively low compared to their numbers. The low productivity of indigenous chickens in Kenya and other parts of the world is partly attributed to poor management practices, in particular the lack of proper healthcare, poor nutrition and housing. This study was designed to determine the effects of dietary protein levels on egg production, hatchability and post-hatch offspring feed intake, feed efficiency and growth rate of indigenous chickens. Seventy two hens averaging 46 weeks in age, were offered four diets formulated from similar ingredients but differing in protein levels: 100, 120, 140 and 170 g CP/kg DM. Diets were randomly allocated to hens such that each diet had nine replicates each consisting of two hens. The hens were housed in battery cages and diets offered ad-libitum . Laying percentage, egg weight and feed intake were measured over an 8-week period. There was an increase (p<0.05) in egg weight from 42.9-46 g and laying percentage from 37.8-43.6% with increasing protein levels from 100-120 g CP/kg DM, but not (p>0.05) at 120 and 140 g CP/kg DM. The laying percentage of hens offered 170 g CP/kg DM was lower (p<0.05) than that of hens offered 100 g CP/kg DM (22 vs. 37.8 %), although feed intake was similar for all the levels of CP. Hatchability of the 328 fertile eggs set in an electric incubator ranged from 66-73% while chicks weighed from 31.6-32.8 g for the four levels of CP tested. The level of CP had no pronounced effects (p>0.05) on offspring feed intake (51-56 g), live weight gain (6.5 -8.5 g / day) and feed conversion efficiency (0.13-0.15). It is, therefore, concluded that the dietary crude protein requirement for laying indigenous hens is about 120 g CP/kg and maternal dietary protein level has no effect on hatchability and post-hatch offspring feed intake, feed efficiency and growth rate. The findings will help in the formulation of indigenous chicken layer diet with the appropriate protein content.
International Journal of Poultry Science. 01/2010;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Indigenous chickens in Kenya are about 22 million and are kept by 90% of the rural communities in small flocks of up to 30 birds mainly under free range system. The industry is flexible and does not require a lot of space. When people retire or are retrenched they easily start poultry keeping. Distinct indigenous chicken ecotypes have been identified and named. The names are phenotypic descriptions of the birds. The names used to describe the common phenotypes in Kenya are-frizzled feathered, naked neck, barred feathered, feathered shanks, bearded and dwarf sized. The local ecotypes of the chickens vary in body size, conformation, plumage colour and performance. The birds are hardy and thrive under a harsh environment with minimal inputs. They get most of their feed from scavenging and may occasionally benefit from kitchen and other household wastes. Eggs and chicken meat contribute to the protein nutrition of the rural population thus alleviating malnutrition. Sales of eggs and meat earn and diversify incomes for rural households especially among women and children who control benefits accruing from the enterprise. It has also helped those affected and infected by HIV Aids because it does not involve a lot of hard work. Indigenous chicken in Kenya are about 76 % of the total poultry population and produce about 55 and 47% of the total meat and eggs respectively. Productivity is low due to factors which include genotype, poor nutrition, diseases and management. Feed supplementation, provision of housing and disease control was found to improve growth rate and egg production.
International Journal of Poultry Science. 01/2010;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three experiments were conducted to determine protein intake and the response of growing indigenous chickens to protein supplementation under free-ranging conditions. In the first experiment, data were collected from which a model was designed to estimate daily feed intake of free-ranging indigenous chicken from the Crop Contents (CC). The second experiment applied the model under on-farm conditions to estimate feed intake of free-ranging growers. Crude Protein (CP) intake was calculated as the product of crude protein concentration and total intake of feed. Results indicated that the mean protein level of CC was 11.2%, Dry Matter Intake (DMI) of free-ranging growers was 78.3g/grower/day and the mean Crude Protein Intake (CPI) was about 8.5 g. In order to establish the response of the growers to protein supplementation in an on-farm set-up, the third experiment provided protein supplements at 0, 1.6, 3.2 and 4.8 g CP/bird/day. Daily CPI for each of the four supplementary groups was calculated to be 8.5, 10.1, 11.7 and 13.3 g/bird. Growth rate and body weight increased with increasing protein supplementation up to 3.2 g CP/bird/day. Higher levels of protein supplementation did not significantly increase growth rate or body weight. Therefore, the CP requirement for growing indigenous chickens on free-range was estimated at 11.7 g/day. Protein supplementation of 3.2 g/bird/day to a growing indigenous chicken on free-range is therefore mandatory for optimum growth.
International Journal of Poultry Science. 01/2007;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to investigate the growth response of growing indigenous chickens between 14 and 21 weeks of age to diet protein level. The chickens were offered diets ad libitum with 100, 120, 140, 160 and 180 g crude protein (CP)/kg diet. Body weight and feed intake of the birds were recorded weekly. Feed intake and weight gain increased significantly between the 100 and 160 g CP/kg diets where-after they plateau. Feed efficiency measured by feed conversion ratio improved with increasing dietary protein level up to 160 g CP/kg after which there was no further improvement. It is concluded that the CP requirements for these chickens between 14 and 21 weeks of age is 160 g /kg.
South African Journal Of Animal Science 01/2003; 33. · 0.54 Impact Factor