A one year study was conducted to determine the causes of chick losses in free range backyard chicken flocks in three villages in Morogoro, Tanzania. A weekly data sheet was used to collect information from chicken keepers on chick losses from hatching to six weeks of age. A total of 4197 chicks were recruited and were followed for a six weeks period. The parameters under observation were general and cause specific losses of chicks in the flocks. It was found that total chick losses in the first six weeks of age were 53%. The main causative factors for chick losses were predation (55%), illness other than ectoparasites (30%), ectoparasites (5%), management factors (6%) and unidentified causes (5%). Losses due to predation were significantly higher (p<0.05) when compared to the other identified causes. It was concluded that losses in free range chicken is high in early days of life and that predation is the leading cause. Further studies linking ill health and predation are required.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Livestock Research for Rural Development|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2012|