BIOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF ARTIFICIAL INCUBATION AND BROODING FOR INDIGENOUS CHICKEN PRODUCTION SYSTEM IN KILIFI COUNTY, KENYA
KAFAHAMU, KALAMA MWACHIRO
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Consistent supply of indigenous chicken (IC) products has been lacking in the industry with farmers unable to keep up with the normal consumer/market demands in Kilifi and the country at large. Optimization of indigenous chicken output for sustainable and profitable commercialization of the production system through management of egg incubation and chick brooding time is necessary. Discharging hens from the productive roles could make them to be only lay eggs. Whereas brooding artificially also exempts experience to killer external environmental effects, increasing chick survival. The study employed a 2X3 factorial in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with chicken phenotypic lines as first factor and the blocking factor: (naked neck (NN), frizzled feathers (FF) and normal feathers (NF)). The second factor was the management system adopted; a combination of incubation mode (natural incubation (NI) or artificial incubation (AI) and brooding method (natural brooding (NB) or artificial brooding AB)): (NI*NB, NI*AB, AI*AB). The design also embedded two sub-studies using factorial treatments in a RCBD, involving the first factor (NN, FF, and NF) with the second factors as NI or AI and NB or AB. Investigations were created in relation to size of clutches, interval between clutches and yearly number of clutches. Gross margin analysis was applied to determined economic efficiency. The NN had higher (P<0.05) clutch sizes than FF and NF at 17.44 against a mean of 15.71 for the latter. The NN and FF had similar and better clutch intervals (P<0.05) at 58.79 days than NF at 62.66 days. The NF exhibited lower (P<0.05) number of yearly clutching at 5.82 compared to NN and FF which had no significant difference at 6.25 and 6.17 respectively. Incubation mode did not show significant variation on the size of clutches. The incubation mode showed clutch intervals varied significantly, that AI had a mean at 41.25 days against 83.33 days for NI. The yearly clutches were higher for AI (P<0.05) reaching 8.85 relative to 4.13 attained during NI. The brooding method had no influence on clutch size; whereas vi intervals of clutching were longer (P<0.05) for NB reaching 114.28 days relative to 53.41 for AB. The effect of brooding on yearly clutching was significant with AB realizing 6.83 while NB gave 3.19 clutches. The combinations AI*AB, NI*AB and NI*NB did not affect size of clutching. All the clutch intervals were varied (P<0.05); the combinations recorded intervals of clutching as 40.88, 68.30 and 114.05 days for AI*AB, NI*AB and NI*NB respectively. The three combinations demonstrated significantly varied yearly clutches; AI*AB scored the highest at 8.85, NI*AB at 5.33 and NI*NB had 3.19. Adoption of AI*AB or NI*AB is suitable in the improvement of indigenous chicken productivity; respectively increasing output by 171.30% and 63.40%. Gross margins showed AI*AB had the highest profitability while NI*NB the lowest (Kenya Shillings 958,076, 720,332 and 240,745 for AI*AB, NI*AB and NI*NB correspondingly). This represented 298% and 199% more profits for AI*AB and NI*AB respectively compared to NI*NB. Minimally, IC producers should adopt AB for improvement of productivity.