Small-scale poultry production

| December 6, 2021

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The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, produced a document regarding feed resources for small-scale poultry farms. 

The document discusses the importance of adequate nutrition for chickens to ensure they continue to produce eggs. The resource discusses how it is better to have a few birds producing eggs than to have many birds who do not get enough nutrition to produce eggs.

The productivity of chickens also depends on the human population and its household waste, as these become scavengable feed resources for the flock. In free-range and backyard systems, feed supplies during the dry season are usually inadequate for egg production and supplemental feed is necessary. For most traditional village systems, 35g of grain supplement per hen per day is adequate. 

In a semi-intensive system, all nutrients must be provided to the birds in their feed. This is usually in the form of a balanced feed purchased at a feed mill, which can be expensive. A well-balanced feed can be difficult to achieve. Some solutions to the lacking availability include:

  • phosphorus and calcium from burnt, crushed bones
  • calcium from snail shells, fresh or seawater shellfish, or land-based rock salt deposits

These minerals are rarely used in grains.           

Scavengable feed includes:

  • household cooking waste
  • cereals and cereal by-products
  • roots and tubers     
  • oilseeds
  • trees, shrubs, and others.

To access the resource, go to: