The present study was conducted to document the rearing practices of village chicken production in the Northern midlands, agro-ecological zone comprising Kannur and Kozhikode districts of Kerala state, India. Data was generated from 65 and 63 chicken farming families of Kozhikode and Kannur districts respectively. The system of chicken rearing is extensive, with the provision of shelter only during the night. The birds are being managed mostly by women (89.06%). The decision on the sale of birds and eggs is made by women and the proceeds of sales go directly to them. It was found that as many as 43.75% of the chicken farmers in these areas have no other animal husbandry activities. The average flock size is 5.62 birds. Natural incubation using locally available materials as a nest box and sand as the nesting material is the common practice. The average number of eggs set under the broody hen for hatching is 10.41. Chicken coops are placed at an average distance of 5.45m from the house and elevated 0.39 m from the ground. The average floor area of the coops is 0.757 m2 and the night shelter provided per bird is 830.39 cm2. The walls and floor of the coops are made of wood and the roof with tiles or thatch in most of cases. Rice grain is commonly fed as supplementary feed with mostly no specific timing in feeding. Farmers depend on an array of herbs rather than chemotherapeutic agents and vaccines for the treatment and control of diseases. Most of the surplus males (59.38%) are discarded before one year of age, whereas females are less commonly culled (21.87%). The average culling age of males and females was 11.05 and 36.64 months, respectively. It was discovered that as high as 52.15% of the eggs and 59.38% of the cockerels produced are consumed in the home. When sold they attract at least a two-fold higher price compared to birds of industrial origin.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.