Naivasha, Kenya
Naivasha, Kenya

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Magothe T.M.,Egerton University | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Okeno T.O.,Egerton University | Okeno T.O.,Humboldt University of Berlin | And 2 more authors.
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2012

The majority of the Kenyan population resides in the rural areas and is characterised by low income and food insecurity leading to high levels of poverty. Poultry production and in particular indigenous chicken (IC) production play a significant role in the economic and social life of these resource-poor households, contributing to cheap source of animal proteins and cash income. Indigenous chickens are present whenever there are human settlements and their economic strength lies in their low cost of production which is a characteristic of the resource-poor rural households. They are highly adapted to the harsh scavenging conditions, poor nutrition and disease and/or parasite challenges. Their low productivity has hindered their exploitation. This paper highlights the current IC production circumstances with a view to identifying the major challenges which need to be addressed in order to improve the IC productivity and thereby improve the livelihood of the rural households who are the custodian of these genetic resources. It is concluded that the IC in Kenya posses high genetic diversity and are popular among the consumers. There is potential to improve IC productivity in Kenya and therefore individual and national efforts are required that takes into account the whole IC production value chain. © World's Poultry Science Association 2012.


Magothe T.M.,Egerton University | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Okeno T.O.,Egerton University | Okeno T.O.,Humboldt University of Berlin | And 2 more authors.
World's Poultry Science Journal | Year: 2012

Poultry production and in particular indigenous chicken (IC) production has been recognised as an avenue to improve livelihoods of the rural households. Previous attempts to improve their productivity have had little success due to, among others, lack of a holistic approach in solving the constraints and dissemination of inappropriate technologies given the production circumstances and market dynamics. Marketing as a constraint is often blamed for the failure of interventions to improve livelihoods, despite lack of saturation for IC products at local and national levels and the increasing demand for the same. This paper highlights the past improvement attempts and suggests strategies to improve IC productivity and thereby improve the livelihood of the rural households which are the custodians of these genetic resources. It is concluded that there is potential for improvement of IC production in Kenya given the available genetic and physical resources. However, a holistic strategy that increases productivity without increasing production costs or leading to loss of biodiversity must be developed. Such a strategy must take into account the various uses of the IC in a rural household. © World's Poultry Science Association 2012.


Magothe T.M.,Egerton University | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Muhuyi W.B.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Kahi A.K.,Egerton University
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2010

The influence of major genes for crested-head (Cr), frizzle-feather (Fr) and naked-neck (Na) on body weights and growth patterns of indigenous chickens reared intensively was investigated and compared with normal-feather (na) gene. Birds were individually weighed at hatch and every two weeks up to 30 weeks of age. Growth patterns were modelled using the Gompertz-Laird function. The genes influenced body weights and growth patterns at various ages. The Cr gene had significant (P<0.05) negative effects on body weights (between 52.2 g and 112.3 g) from 18 weeks onwards and low absolute growth rate from 10 to 22 weeks than na, but higher initial specific growth and maturation rates than the Na gene. The Fr gene had significant negative effects on body weights (between 28.2 g and 75.1 g) from 8 to 16 weeks than na, but a higher relative growth rate than Cr from 12 to 16 weeks. The Na gene had significant negative effects on body weights (between 24.7 g and 134.6 g) from 8 weeks onwards than na. It was concluded that Frfr and Nana genotypes are not ideal for cool environments in Kenya and indigenous chicken genotypes have varied growth potentials and patterns that can be improved to increase production. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Muasya T.K.,Egerton University | Peters K.J.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Kahi A.K.,Egerton University
Livestock Science | Year: 2014

Selection and production environments may differ in level of management. In production environment, the majority of animals may have, especially in tropical environments, lower milk production due to inadequate feed intake and other constraints associated with flat or decreasing lactation curves. Holstein-Friesian herds in Kenya were separated in selection environment (SENV) and production environment (PENV), respectively herds that contributed breeding males or not to the population. Legendre polynomials with two to five coefficients were fitted to 57,071 daily lactation records of 5931 heifers, to model genetic and permanent environmental lactation curves and to evaluate whether daily variances differed across the environments. Daily additive genetic variances declined from onset to the end of lactation, while permanent environmental variances were larger at both extremes of lactation. Daily additive genetic and permanent environmental variances were on average 66.7% and 9.7%, respectively, higher in the SENV than in the PENV. Average daily heritability estimates were 0.27±0.01 (SENV) and 0.16±0.01 (PENV). Three random regression coefficients (RRCs) for additive genetic and four for permanent environment component with homogeneous residual variance for the SENV and heterogeneous for the PENV best captured the genetic and permanent environment variability. However, a model fitting three RRCs for both additive genetic and permanent environment effect selected the same set of bulls as the more complex models (rank correlations 0.985 (SENV) and 0.980 (PENV)). Re-ranking of sires EBVs occurred between SENV and PENV (rank correlation 0.18 for sire EBVs of 305 day milk yield). © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Wasike C.B.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Kahi A.K.,Egerton University | Peters K.J.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2011

Animal recording in Kenya is characterised by erratic producer participation and high drop-out rates from the national recording scheme. This study evaluates factors influencing efficiency of beef and dairy cattle recording system. Factors influencing efficiency of animal identification and registration, pedigree and performance recording, and genetic evaluation and information utilisation were generated using qualitative and participatory methods. Pairwise comparison of factors was done by strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats-analytical hierarchical process analysis and priority scores to determine their relative importance to the system calculated using Eigenvalue method. For identification and registration, and evaluation and information utilisation, external factors had high priority scores. For pedigree and performance recording, threats and weaknesses had the highest priority scores. Strengths factors could not sustain the required efficiency of the system. Weaknesses of the system predisposed it to threats. Available opportunities could be explored as interventions to restore efficiency in the system. Defensive strategies such as reorienting the system to offer utility benefits to recording, forming symbiotic and binding collaboration between recording organisations and NARS, and development of institutions to support recording were feasible. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Okeno T.O.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Okeno T.O.,Egerton University | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Kahi A.K.,Egerton University | Peters K.J.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2012

The economic values for productive (egg number, average daily gain, live weight, and mature weight) and functional (fertility, hatchability, broodiness, survival rate, feed intake, and egg weight) traits were derived for three production systems utilizing indigenous chicken in Kenya. The production systems considered were free-range, semi-intensive, and intensive system and were evaluated based on fixed flock size and fixed feed resource production circumstances. A bio-economic model that combined potential performances, feeding strategies, optimum culling strategies, farmer's preferences and accounted for imperfect knowledge concerning risk attitude of farmers and economic dynamics was employed to derive risk-rated economic values. The economic values for all the traits were highest in free-range system under the two production circumstances and decreased with level of intensification. The economic values for egg number, average daily gain, live weight, fertility, hatchability, and survival rate were positive while those for mature weight, broodiness, egg weight, and feed intake were negative. Generally, the economic values estimated under fixed feed resource production circumstances were higher than those derived under fixed flock size. The difference between economic values estimated using simple (traditional) and risk-rated profit model functions ranged from -47.26% to +67.11% indicating that inclusion of risks in estimation of economic values is important. The results of this study suggest that improvement targeting egg number, average daily gain, live weight, fertility, hatchability, and survival rate would have a positive impact on profitability of indigenous chicken production in Kenya. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Okeno T.O.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Okeno T.O.,Egerton University | Magothe T.M.,Livestock Recording Center | Kahi A.K.,Egerton University | Peters K.J.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2012

A bio-economic model was developed to evaluate the utilisation of indigenous chickens (IC) under different production systems accounting for the risk attitude of the farmers. The model classified the production systems into three categories based on the level of management: free-range system (FRS), where chickens were left to scavenge for feed resources with no supplementation and healthcare; intensive system (IS), where the chickens were permanently confined and supplied with rationed feed and healthcare; and semi-intensive system (SIS), a hybrid of FRS and IS, where the chickens were partially confined, supplemented with rationed feeds, provided with healthcare and allowed to scavenge within the homestead or in runs. The model allows prediction of the live weights and feed intake at different stages in the life cycle of the IC and can compute the profitability of each production system using both traditional and risk-rated profit models. The input parameters used in the model represent a typical IC production system in developing countries but are flexible and therefore can be modified to suit specific situations and simulate profitability and costs of other poultry species production systems. The model has the capability to derive the economic values as changes in the genetic merit of the biological parameter results in marginal changes in profitability and costs of the production systems. The results suggested that utilisation of IC in their current genetic merit and production environment is more profitable under FRS and SIS but not economically viable under IS. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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