Cite this asHassen AS (2019) Demonstration and performance evaluation of dual purpose chicken “Potchefstroom Koekoek” under agro pastoral management condition at Asayta districts of Afar regional state in Ethiopia. Int J Vet Sci Res 5(1): 019-024. DOI: 10.17352/ijvsr.000036
Dual purpose poultry package demonstration was undertaken at Awsi resu zone, Asayta district, Korodora kebele agro pastoral association with the objectives of demonstrating and evaluating the performance of chicken under agro pastoral management condition. Agro pastoral association and participant were selected purposively from the district, on the basis of experience and willingness to construct poultry house and cover all the associated package costs. A total of ten households were selected based on the package requirements. Training was given on poultry house & housing, health care, feeds & feeding systems. Finally one hundred eighty (180) Koekoek of two month old chicks (18 chicks to each agro pastoral) were distributed with two month feeding and medication materials at the agro pastorals gate. The average survival rates of chicken up to 24 weeks of age were 98.3%. But after 24 weeks of age later the total number of chicken declined to 93.3%. The average survivability rates of the chicken per household at 52 weeks of age were 91.7 %. Chicken mortality rate were observed 1.7% in the first 24weeks of age but after 24 weeks of age later the rate had increased to 6.7%, That could be due to the onset of the hot season, difference in management and feeding condition. The average weight at 20 weeks of age under agro pastoral management condition was 2.23kg and 1.91kg for male and females respectively. The average egg weight at initial laying stage (5% production stage) was observed 39.4g while the average weight (49.7g) recorded at pick stage.The average egg production performance of the breed in the study area was 182 eggs per year. The variable costs and income earned the average income generated per individual agro pastorals were 8987.00 birr.
Potchefstroom Koekoek South African breed of chicken developed in the 1960s at the Potchefstroom Agricultural College in the city of Potchefstroom by Chris Marais. Pure Koekoeks have a black-and-white barred appearance, with the chicks sexable soon after hatching due to distinct sex markings. The name Koekoek refers to the barred pattern of the birds. The Potchefstroom Koekoek is a composite of White Leghorn, Black Australorp and Bared Plymouth Rock to obtain specific characteristics of each, making the resulting breed more suitable to Southern African conditions .
The breed is popular among rural farmers in South Africa and neighboring countries for egg and meat production as well as their ability to hatch their own offspring . The breed was intended as a dual purpose, free ranging chicken with laying capabilities as well as a large structure for meat production. Potchefstroom Koekoeks maintain good egg production even with poor quality or insufficient feeding. Most importantly, the chickens are a liquid asset and allow owners to convert them into cash . However, it is crucial to assess the feasibility and economic viability of family poultry interventions in each specific operating environment, and to develop an appropriate and tailored response in order to achieve sustainability .
Family poultry production has been widely perceived as a fast way to ensure food security, generate employment and income, and promote women’s empowerment at a relatively low investment . Poultry production plays a vital role in the improvement of the income and food security of communal poultry producer .
Chicken are the most important avian species for the resource challenged families of the developing world, because they are sources of income and animal protein, and can be raised in varying agro climates with limited resources, feed and housing . In sub Saharan Africa, 85% of all households keep chicken under free range system, with women owning 70% of it; providing cheap/affordable animal protein in the form of meat and eggs as well as being a reliable source of cash income . Besides the sector significantly constitutes to human livelihood and food security of poor households and can be considered an initiative enterprise owing to its low cost .
In Ethiopia, like other African countries, attempts have been made at various times by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MOARD) and several other institutions including research, higher learning institutions and NGOs to improve village poultry production systems through introduction of exotic breeds and fertile eggs . Distribution of a day-old and 2 months old improved chicken breeds, has been some of the livestock extension packages implemented by the ministry of agriculture.
To demonstrate and evaluate the performance of the chicken under agro pastoral condition
To promote and disseminate the approved full-fledged poultry packages to the users
To build the skill of participant community of the study area on chicken production.
To aware the contribution of poultry technologies to household income and food security
The study was conducted at Asayta district (Figure 1) (Awsi resu) of the Afar national regional state. The research was conducted under agro pastoral household management condition at Korodora kebele. The target kebele’s (Korodora) was located 10 km far from the town of Asyata district. The target kebele and participants were selected in consultation with the respected districts administration and Pastoral agriculture development offices.
Asyta districts is climatically characterized as largely arid and some of semi-arid agro-ecological area, where livestock production is the main occupation of the community. The average temperature of the area is about 32oC while during the hot season (May, June, July, August and September) the temperature reaches 42oC and the rainfall is bimodal with erratic distribution, with the long rainy season (Kerma) between Mid-June to Mid-September and short rainy season (Sugum) occurs between March and April, and the average annual rainfall is between 200 and 250 mm .
The altitude range of the area is between 400-420 m  and most of the rangeland of the study area falls under below 450 m above sea level. The dominate soil types in these areas are vertisols, sandy, and deposits of silt and fine sand particles occur in the plain flat areas where cultivation is practiced . In most of the study area, the topography is lowland plains.
The study area of Asayta districts consisted of 13 kebeles of these 2 were in the city, 6 were pastoralist entirely dependent on livestock production and the remaining 5 were agro-pastoralists practicing both crop production and extensive livestock rearing.
The study was conducted to demonstrate and evaluate performance of Potchefstroom koekoek chichen under agro pastoral management system. For this study, ten female house headed were selected on the bases of previous experience in poultry rearing, willingness to construct or modify poultry house. Training was given on all management aspects and data to be collected. Accordingly, 8 weeks age of 15 pullet and 3 cock koekoek chicken along with other inputs (housing materials, feeder, drinker, and medicaments) were given per households. Technical backup, data collection, monitoring and evaluation were under taken by researcher and wereda’s developmental agents (DAs) in a regular base. Data was collected from day of chick’s delivery up to start of the first egg lay and continued until 52 week of age.
The health follow up were undertaken using the respected district livestock health department and animal health researcher from Afar pastoral agro pastoral researcher institute.
A balanced ration provided from Kaliti animal feed factory was fed to the chicken in the first 20 weeks of age. Prior to end of this commercial balanced ration, the agro pastorals were getting started feeds preparation from locally available crops like maize, sorghum, salt and home food refusals. In this study the average amount of supplemental feed used were recorded 80gm/day/chicken. Browsing improved forages (grasses and legumes) in the backyard and scavenging home wasted was the major means of satisfying their nutrient requirements.
Feeder, drinker, formulated feed, medicaments and poultry house construction materials (mesh wire, wood, nails, corrugated iron, etc.) was used as a full-fledged packages for individual hoseholds.
Housing: the size of the house were 2.5 x 2.5 meter (Length x Width) and a 2 meter height poultry house were constructed for each participant.
Mortality (as occurred due to either disease, predator, mechanical, nonproductive/spent hens or others)
Age at first laying
Average weight of eggs
No. of female chicken at first egg laying
Weight of chicken recorded at first egg laying
Income from sale of, eggs, cocks,
Cost of feed/feed ingredients and medicaments
Profit earned by Agro-Pastoralist
Descriptive statistic such as mean and percentage were used to summarize the data (mean egg production, weight gain and profit earned compared) using Microsoft Excel.
Dual purpose Koekoek breed technology package demonstration and evaluation were properly employed in the target kebele. The data revealed that, the average survival rates of chicken up to 24 weeks of age were 98.3% but after 24 weeks of age later the total number of chicken declined to 93.3%. This mortality and predator attacked could be due to difference in management from household to household (especially for predator attacked in some households); poor management and feeding condition were the main reason for dropped of chickens. This result is slightly lower than that of Araka area (20.2%) southern Ethiopia . Status of chickens and cause of mortality on the distributed chicken presented in table 1.
The average survivability rates of the chicken per household at 52 weeks of age were 91.7 %, which presented in Figure 2 and Table 2. The reason might be the developments of managerial skill of the participants and the adaptability of the chickens were increased from time to time. In some households hatching were started with using local breed this indicated that, the breeds were well adapted to the area and the managerial skill of the participants were increased.
Chicken mortality rate were observed 1.7% in the first 24weeks of age but after 24 weeks of age later the rate had increased to 6.7%, That could be due to the onset of the hot season, difference in management and feeding condition were the main reasons for dropped of chickens. Mortality rate at different age of weeks (Table 2)
The average body weight of female and male Koekoek chicken at different weeks of age presented in table 3 and 4. The average weight at 20 weeks of age under agro pastoral management condition was 2.23kg and 1.91kg for male and females respectively.The result obtained in the present study (2.23kg and 1.91kg for male and females) is better than (1.5kg) result was reported in Araka area for male chicken body weight at 20 weeks of age similar breed and (1.1kg) achieved for female chicken . Similarly this result was higher as compare to reports of Aman et al., , (1.04kg and 1.01kg for male and females of body weight) at Areka areas. And similarly, Kasa and Saba 2016 1.3kg at Chicken Package at Jimma Zone western Ethiopia
The average egg weight at initial laying stage (5% production stage) was observed 39.4g. This is almost similar to the weight achieved at Araka area (40.2gm) . As indicated in table 5, the increases in egg weight were observed as the production stage increases from 5% to pick stage (49.7gm). The average weight (49.7g) recorded at pick stage in this study was slightly similar to DZARC (51.9g) under intensive production system.
The average egg production performance of the breed in the study area was 182 eggs per year. This is production yield were similar to , in East Showa zone, Lume distric under farmers management condition who reported 187.04±13.49. While the average age of first lying in the study area was recorded 24.5 weeks. This result also similar to Ada”a district under farmers management condition which was reported 5.3 months age at first egg laying for the same breed. Production performance and average age of first laying presented in table 6 [11,12].
In calculating the partial budget analysis includes all variable costs, change in net income and change in net profit. In this study feed, medication and chicken cost were considered as variable costs whereas the sale of eggs and the existing chicken/egg also used as an income source. In this study the average cost of items for chicken purchase, feed cost and medication cost were 1080.00 birr, 2028.00 birr and 172.00 birr respectively. While the average total variable cost across the participants were 3280.00 birr. Hence, the variable costs and income earned the average income generated per individual agro pastorals were 8987.00 birr. Variable costs and income earned Presented in tables 7,8.
The change in net income (∆NI) was calculated as the difference between the changes in total return (∆TR) and the change in total variable costs (TVC)
∆NI = ∆TR - ∆TVC
∆NI = 12267.00 – 3280.00
∆NI = 8987.00 Ethiopian birr
The result of the current demonstration showed a good performance of “Potchefstroom Koekoek” under agro pastorals management condition; indicating productivity could be increased through improved housing, feeding and health management. More over attitudinal change were observed among the farmers involved in this demonstration on the possibility of earning profit from chicken rearing providing the necessary management practice. Agro pastorals have got better experience and management of improved poultry husbandry practices. They became aware about the importance of the breed that adapted well under the existing agro pastoral condition and perform better than indigenous breeds for egg production. Therefore, the scaling up should need to be done efforts should be made through careful selection of women for proper management and accessibility of the breed in the region
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