Nakkazi C., Kayitesi A., Mulindwa H., KugonzaD.R. and Okot M.W. 2014. The status of local chicken (Gallus domesticus) production in Northern Uganda. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 26(11): 1–9.Abstract: A baseline study was conducted to determine the status of indigenous chicken production in Gulu and Kiryandongo districts with a major focus on demographic characteristics, general management, production, feeds and feeding. A total of 121 households were used for the study in two sub-counties from each district. The data were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire and then analysed using version 16, SPSS computer package. It was observed that the average household size was ten people in both districts. Land ownership was mainly customary in Gulu (93.3%) and private in Kiryandongo (37.7%). The respondents kept chickens, cattle, goats, pigs, and sheep. However chickens were ranked highest in relation to other livestock kept by farmers. The average chicken flock size was 34 ± 3 birds per household, composed of three cocks, eight hens, eight pullets, six cockerels, and ten chicks. Sexual maturity for both male and female chickens was attained at six months of age. Farmers reported an average clutch size of 14 eggs per hen with three laying cycles per year. The data also revealed that most of the farmers (92.6%) would wish to provide supplementary feed routinely if it was available and 95.9% currently provide water to their chickens. The feedstuffs provided by some farmers included maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), millet (Eleusine coracona), ground nuts (Arachis hypogea), soybeans (Glycine max) as well as milling by-products such as maize and rice bran. Availability of these feedstuffs varies with seasons, being more readily available in the dry seasons and scarce towards the end of the dry season and in the rainy season. Eggs and chicken contribute to protein nutrition and food security and are also occasionally sold for income generation. It was concluded that indigenous chickens form an integral part of rural livelihoods in Northern Uganda. The majority of farmers would provide supplemental feed to free range chickens if it was readily available. Feed supplementation strategies carefully designed to meet the nutritional requirements for the birds all year round would significantly improve the productivity of local chickens.
Keywords: feed seasonality, flocks, scavenging chickens