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University of South Africa (2016)

Determination of phenotypic characteristics, production systems, productivity, and contribution of local chickens to households in North-Central Namibia

Eiki, Ndahambelela

Titre : Determination of phenotypic characteristics, production systems, productivity, and contribution of local chickens to households in North-Central Namibia

Auteur : Eiki, Ndahambelela

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture 2016

Résumé
The phenotypic characteristics, level of production, management system and contribution of the local chickens to household studied in the north central Namibia. The study involved both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather the data. The questionnaire was used for survey while phenotypic characteristics and egg production forms were used to collect the actual data. The findings revealed that farmers in the study area regarded chicken production as their primary source of domestic animal protein, with the domestic fowl being the most widely kept poultry species. Other uses are participation in socio-cultural ceremonies, selling for money and gifts. The average number of eggs per clutch ranged from 10 to 15. The hatchability ranged between 50% and 60%). Phenotypic characteristics measures revealed the absence of pure white plumage colour that can be associated with the introduction of White Leghorn to the flock. Generally, normal feather cover was the main feather morphology of local chicken populations in north central Namibia. However, features like crested heads, naked necked, frizzling, and feathered shanks occurred sporadically among local chickens in the study area. Fifty-seven percentages of chickens in the surveyed region had single comb, while 29.6% and 13.8% had rose and pea combs respectively. The most frequent shank colour was black followed by yellow, whitish, orange, and reddish shank. The wing span had positive correlation with body weight and chest circumference at (r = 0.994). Other researchers discover the strong correlation of chest circumference with length shank at (r = 0.827). The current study attained the mean body weight of 1.7 to 2.1 kg of both sexes combined which falls within the range of 1.6 to 2.18 kg reported by (Alabi et al. 2012). In conclusion, the current study revealed large variation of phenotypical characteristics with poor correlation to their productivity due to lack of record keeping although production forms were made available to the farmers. The part of productivity according to their identified phenotypic characteristics is not accepted nor rejected due to poor records, but recommended for further study with training on record keeping by farmers

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