The characteristics of commercial chicken production in newly institutioned municipalities. A case study of Lugazi Municipality
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The study was conducted to assess the characteristics of commercial chicken production in Lugazi municipality with a major focus on socio demographic and socio economic characteristics, production and marketing characteristics, contributions of commercial chicken production to the livelihoods of farmers and constraints to commercial chicken production. A total of 54 households from 10 villages were used for the study. The data was collected using a pre tested structured questionnaire and then analyzed using version 20, SPSS computer package. Study findings revealed that commercial chicken production in Lugazi municipality was mainly done on a small scale with broilers being the most reared types of birds. The highest percentage of the commercial chicken farmers were within the age of 35 to 60 years most of which were women, married, had attained secondary level of education and stayed in less than 10 Km away from their places of birth. Majority of commercial chicken farmers obtained information from their fellow farmers, used personal savings as the main source of capital due to limited access to credit, and spent much of the revenue from chicken sales on home expenses which implied low prospects of commercial chicken expansion. Marketing of chicken was mainly through open markets and chicken roasters with months of April, October, November, December constituting the highest demand for chicken due to existence of festivals and holidays for school going people while months of February and March constituted the lowest demand for chicken due to much poverty among people and existence of religious fasting periods in such months. Commercial chicken production contributed greatly as a source of income to farmers which confirms that it is a major source of livelihoods. High and rising cost of inputs was the greatest constraint to commercial chicken production followed by diseases. It was concluded that there are high prospects of commercial chicken production expansion in Lugazi municipality provided proper strategies are developed and effectively implemented such as improving access and affordability of credit, subsidization of costs of production, regulating of prices, provision of extension services, formation of farmers associations, and improvement in research.