Feeding and management strategies for rural poultry production in Central Tanzania

E.H. Goromela

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Keywords: Central Tanzania, rural poultry, scavengeable feed resources, nutrient composition, crop
contents, season, farming system, chemical composition, supplementary feeding, weaning, egg production,
growth rate, survival rate, laying management, indigenous chickens

The main objective of the present study was to develop feeding and management strategies that would
help to increase the overall productivity of rural poultry production in Tanzania. The first study which aimed at
analyzing the existing poultry production systems in developing countries with special reference to the village
poultry production showed that the productivity of village chickens is generally low. The second study
showed that scavengeable feed resources (SFR) play a critical role in the village poultry production systems.
SFR such as cereal grains and their by-products, oil seeds and oil seed cakes were the most important
scavengeable feed resources (SFR) during the dry season; whereas forage leaves, flowers, seeds, garden
vegetables, insects and worms were the most important SFR during the wet season. Nevertheless, the
availability of the SFR varied with seasonal conditions, farming activities, land size available for scavenging
and the flock size. The third study showed that the amount and physical composition of the crop/gizzard
contents varied between the seasons and farming systems. The chemical compositions of the crop contents
showed a higher crude protein (10.1%) and ash (24.9%) in the rainy season and higher metabolizable energy
(12.2 MJ/kgDM-1) in the dry season. The study also showed that quantity and nutrient contents did not meet
the birds’ requirements. Studies four and five were carried out on-farm with growing chicks and their mother
hens to evaluate the effect of protein and energy supplementation and management practices (i.e.
weaning and laying) on growth and carcass yield of chicks and the performance of broody hens. Chicks
and hens supplemented with either high protein or low energy diets showed a higher body weight gain and
high egg output respectively, than non-supplemented chicks and hens. Chicks weaned at 4 and 8 weeks of
age had shorter length of reproduction cycles which increased the laying performances of scavenging hens
without compromising chicks’ survival or growth rate. Similarly, hens supplemented with either high protein or
low energy diets showed a higher body weight gain and high egg output than non-supplemented hens.
Hens in Lay-hatch-rear group produced only about 30 eggs on average compared to the 53 eggs from the
Lay-hat group and 73 eggs from the Lay group. It is concluded that the commonly observed low production
performance of indigenous chickens is mainly due to inappropriate management conditions under which
the birds are raised. Thus the productivity of indigenous hens under traditional management systems can be
increased by supplementary feeding and relieving the hens from some aspects of the reproductive burden
such as from brooding and rearing.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Verstegen, Martin, Promotor
  • Kwakkel, Rene, Co-promotor
  • Katule, A.M., Co-promotor, External person
Award date28 Apr 2009
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789085853244
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • poultry
  • poultry farming
  • rural areas
  • villages
  • management
  • poultry feeding
  • animal nutrition
  • nutrients
  • feed supplements
  • laying performance
  • tanzania


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