Evaluating smallholder brood- and- sale poultry operation using crossbred local chicken genotypes in South East, Nigeria.
A total of 92 crossbred pullet chicks of normal feather (44), naked neck (27) and frizzle (21) were used to evaluate early growth performance and monetary returns of a simulated smallholder brood-and-sale poultry production operation. Average day-old (D.O.) weight of chicks were 34.57±0.98g, 35.28±0.59g and 35.38±1.02g for the normal feather, naked neck and frizzle, respectively and these D.O. weights were not significantly (P>0.05) different. However, at 6 weeks of age, the frizzle pullets weighed significantly (P<0.05) heavier (402.10±17.54g) than the naked neck (385.88±5.91g) but the latter were not different from the normal feather pullets (388.45±14.90g). The frizzle pullets consumed significantly more feed and had better feed conversion ratio than the naked neck and normal feather pullets. Cost of day-old chicks was on the average higher for the frizzle and naked neck chicks (*₦250.00 and ₦175.00 /chick, respectively) than the normal feather (₦120.00/chick). However, the frizzle and naked neck birds attracted higher revenues (₦1250.00 and ₦850.00, respectively) and higher gross margins (₦580.00 and ₦231.00, respectively) than the normal feather pullets (₦121.00). Thus indicating that raising frizzle and naked neck pullets would be more profitable to a smallholder poultry farmer especially in South Eastern igeria where these rare chicken genotypes are considered as premium birds.(*$1 = ₦155.00).
Keywords: Local chicken, crossbreeding, brood-and-sale operation, smallholder poultry
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