Competitiveness of crossbred chickens in Eastern Uganda
Athien, Rose Amooti
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The poultry population in Uganda is estimared at 23 million, of which 78% are indigenous chickens. However, indigenous chickens have lower productivity, higher feed intake per metabolic body size and lower feed conversion efficiency than the improved chickens. Improvement of the poultry sub-sector in Uganda has focused on upgrading indigenous chickens for meat and eggs. On-station studies have shown an increase in meat and egg production by 1.5 -2.0 times and 2-3 times respectively. The strategy to upgrade indigenous chickens through crossbreeding with exotic cocks was based on the on-station studies and assumption about the profitability and competitiveness of the crossbred chickens. The main focus of this study therefore was to investigate the competitiveness of crossbred chickens in relation to the indigenous chickens in Kumi and Soroti districts. A total sample of 120 respondents was used in the study. Analytical tools used included unit cost ratio (UCR) and econometric methods. Farmers rearing crossbred chickens had higher profit per bird than the farmers with indigenous chickens. The indigenous chicken enterprise was more competitive than the crossbred chicken enterprises. The econometric results showed that the competitiveness of crossbred chicken enterprises was significantly (p<0.05) influenced by proportion of birds weaned to total flock, number of chicken reared and type of feeding. The critical factors among farmers with indigenous chickens included rearing experience in addition to all the above factors. The Chow's value computed was not significant (p>0.05), implying that upgrading of indigenous chicken through crossbreeding can not in isolation increase the competitiveness of a chicken enterprise. Improvement of management systems at low cost combined with upgrading would increase competitiveness of crossbred chicken enterprise.