Production Systems and Management Practices of Chicken Populations in Zambia

  •  Sylvia Jana Harrison    
  •  Mayoba Barbara Moono    
  •  Idowu Kolawole Odubote    


The study was carried out to describe the population, population dynamics, production systems and management practices of chicken types reared in Zambia, using the 2017/2018 livestock and aquaculture census data provided by the Zambia Statistics Agency and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. Data on the chicken types - Indigenous, Broiler and Layer, was analyzed for both quantitative and qualitative parameters. The population estimates for the chickens were 15,313,780, 6,078,694 and 742,981 for indigenous, broiler and layer, respectively. Flock dynamics could not be ascertained conclusively due to inadequate information. Chicken ownership was significantly skewed towards the male gender for broilers (67%) and layers (79%) while almost equal for the indigenous chickens. Indigenous chickens were more prominent in provinces with high agricultural production (Southern, Central, and Eastern at 51%). Broilers and Layers were more prominent in provinces with commercial centres (Copperbelt and Lusaka at 68% and 75% respectively). The main purpose of rearing indigenous chickens was mainly sales for income (66.1%) and home consumption (32.3%). The main production systems were found to be traditional for indigenous chickens (87%) and intensive for broiler and layer chickens (70.3% and 44%, respectively). The main feeding practices were free-range feeding (80.6%) and free-range with supplementation (17.4%) for indigenous chickens). Diseases notably, Newcastle was found to be debilitating and a great hindrance to livestock production and productivity. The data collection instrument will require fine-tuning to obtain more technical details on production and productivity and better estimate the population dynamics.

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