Assessment of egg production performance of layer poultry in Wakiso Town Council, Wakiso District
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Globally, poultry production is one of the most important branches in the livestock sector and one of the fastest growing in production and demand. Not only has poultry contributed to poverty alleviation and socio-economic inclusion of various vulnerable groups of people, it has provided the unemployed people with a better and decent livelihood. However, the poultry industry still faces significant challenges among which is the low egg production, yet it influences the benefits of the poultry industry thus making it the most economically important trait in layers. Egg production is a function of several factors including feeds consumed, age at point-of-lay, age at peak-of-lay, persistency of lay, peak percent lay, percentage hen-day egg production, laying period, breed of chicken, culling, mortality, environment, health care and overall management of the flock. This study aimed at assessing the egg production performance of layer poultry in Wakiso Town Council. The study was carried out between September and October 2021. It was a cross sectional study employing quantitative methods of data collection. Snow balling sampling method was used to select 49 study participants across the study area. Semi-structured questionnaires were used for data collection. The data was entered in Excel sheets and exported to STATA Version 14 for analysis. It was presented in form of tables, charts and graphs. Average number of birds in the assessed farms was 1, 972; average daily egg production being 1, 451 eggs. Majority 89.8% (44/49) reported a drop in egg production and over half 57.1% (28/49) reported that their birds peaked in egg production after 8 months of age. All the assessed farmers reported to vaccinate and deworm the flock, with 81.6% (40/49) and 83.7% (41/49) practicing it monthly respectively. About 77.5% (38/49) used only natural light in poultry houses with over half 51.0% (25/49) having poor ventilation. Flock size, farming experience, age at first laying and light source were significantly associated with egg production. There was generally low daily egg production among the assessed farms, with more than half (53.1%) having a daily egg production of less than 70%. Farms with a flock size of more than 1,500 birds were 7.58 times more likely to have a high egg production as compared to those with less than 1,500 birds. Farmers with an experience of less than 5 years were less likely to have a good egg production as compared to those with more than 5 years egg production.