A research project has been investigating the production problems facing backyard poultry-keepers in two locations in rural India, Udaipur District in Rajasthan and Trichy District in Tamil Nadu, and seeking to work with poultry-keepers to address some of them. Backyard poultry-keeping is a significant livelihood activity for many poor rural families in India, and for women in particular. A baseline survey of 90 backyard poultry-keepers provided a general overview of socio-economic factors, practices and constraints. Serious problems were identified in both locations, and particularly in the Udaipur villages, with high mortality rates in chickens and poor hatchability rates. In both locations the project found that for the period under investigation predation was a more important cause of mortality than disease. On-farm trials to improve hatchability rates found technologies based on locally available materials to be effective. A survey of the poultry-keepers’ agricultural knowledge and information systems identified their main sources of information and the most useful media for reaching them.
Czech Conroy, Nick Sparks, D. Chandrasekaran, Anshu Sharma, Dinesh Shindey, L.R. Singh, A. Natarajan, K. Anitha