Brooding practices of local chicken producers and on station evaluation of novel brood nest on hatchability of chicken egg at Gamo zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia
Keywords:Fertility Checking, Breaking Broodiness Behavior, Bedding, Egg Setting Materials
A survey was conducted at Gamo Zone of SNNPR Ethiopia, to asses indigenous practices of incubation, brooding, egg selection practices, broody hen selection practices and causes of hatchability failure. Multi stage sampling procedures were employed to select weredas, sample kebeles and respondents in which two districts were selected by purposive sampling technique; stratified purposive techniques were employed to select nine sample kebeles and purposive random sampling techniques were used to select a total of 385 respondents. Pretested structured questionnaire and focused group discussion were employed to generate data. All generated survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of SPSS 16. Broody hens were the sole means of egg incubation and chick brooding. Broody hens selected based on plumage color, egg yield, body weight (size) and mothering ability. Eggs Laid at home was the predominant sources of incubation and selected mainly based on egg type, egg age and egg size. Clay pots, plastic, bamboo cages and cartons were used as egg setting materials and grasses, straws, cotton seeds, feather of broody hens and clothes were used as bedding materials. October to December were the most preferred while July to September was the worst months of the year to incubate eggs and to achieve best hatchability eggs. Environmental temperature, lack of proper laying nest and post handling were the critical causes of failure of egg hatchability in the study area. The total number of eggs incubated using a novel nest was 16 eggs. A comparatively high number of chicks were hatched during the second phase (7-12) from the number of eggs set. There is a strong need for training of chicken producers in increasing hatchability performances through preparation of proper brooding nest or laying nest, egg selection, feeding, housing, health care, proper post handling and chick management to increase their economic returns. Community based holistic improvement programs is also very imperative to design in order to improve the genetic potential through selective breeding and conservation of the indigenous chicken genetic resources. Further research on hatchability performance evaluation of the indigenous chickens in both on farm and station as well as effect of the twelve months of the year on incubation and hatchability of eggs.
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