Production Performance of Indigenous Chicken under Semi Intensive Management Conditions in Central Tanzania
A study to evaluate four indigenous chicken – namely: Horasi, Kuchi, Naked neck and Frizzled in order to obtain grand-parent and parent stocks was carried out at Tanzania Livestock Research Institute, Mpwapwa district of Dodoma, Tanzania. The perfomance of the ecotypes were compared so as to come out with the best indigenous chicken among the four. A total of 548 indigenous chicken including Horasi (162), Kuchi (253), Naked neck (81) and Frizzled (52) were used in the study. All chicken were treated equally in terms of management under semi intensive system. Data were collected on body weight, external egg characteristics, day old chick weight, body weight gain, weight at 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 weeks of age for each ecotype. Age at first egg and egg number were also determined. The collected data was analysed using General Linear Model of SAS (2006). The results showed that there were significant differences in mature body and egg weight between the ecotypes. The mature body weight and egg weight respectively were 2075g, 2070g, 1792g , 1622g and 44.73g, 45.94g, 38.28g, 38.08g for Horasi, Kuchi, Naked neck and Frizzled respectively. Day old chick weight were 34.26g, 36.26g, 31.99g and 29.02g for Horasi, Kuchi, Naked neck and Frizzled respectively. Average growth rate per day in grams for Horasi and Kuchi was 3.67g and 3.96g per day from day old chick to week 4 and 6.83g and 8.25g per day from week 5 to week 8, respectively. Average egg numbers per clutch for Horasi and Naked neck were 16 and 18 eggs respectively. Average body weight at week 24 for naked neck and Horasi (F1) were 1427g and 1572.8g respectively. Average ages at first egg for Horasi and Naked neck (F1) were found to be 15 weeks and 16 weeks, respectively. The study reveals that, Horasi and Naked neck ecotypes under semi intensive system perform better than Frizzed. It was conclude that, Horasi and Naked neck can be used at farm level for egg production and Kuchi could be used to improve meat production on other indigenous chicken hence increase income of smallholder farmers.