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MUZARDI Partners with Potential Farmers to Disseminate Improved Breed of Local Chicken

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The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) has concluded the research which has led to the improvement of an indigenous chicken breed which has better growth and increased egg production rate.

Dr. Richard Lumu, a technician at the indigenous chicken breeding and production center located at Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research Institute (MUZARDI) says that the process has taken over three years and that they are now looking at ways of multiplying the product and supplying it to the farmers across the country.

Some of the local chicken under research and innovation at MUZARDI in Mukono.

Funded by the government of Uganda and the European Union under the Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU), Dr. Lumu says the research included the remodeling and equipment of the local chicken hatchery research and production unit.

“The operationalised unit intended to support the national local chicken seed systems. The main works involved the remodeling of the units into poultry breeder and seed holding units (biosecurity and reception unit, hatchery unit, research/production units, bio waste incinerator) to produce fertile eggs and day-old chicks to be supplied to selected hatcheries with fertile eggs and farmers with day-old chicks,” he said.

Dr Barbara Zawedde Mugwanya, the director of research at MUZARDI said that they collected a variety of local chicken from different parts of the country which they improved and have come up with a better breed.

Zawedde said that unlike the current local breeds which take more than a year to grow for either; for beef or laying eggs, the new breed they are unveiling is much better.

“This improved breed of indigenous chicken grows very fast, weighing at least two and a half kilograms in a period of four months. It starts laying eggs between five to six months,” she said.

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The director of National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NALIRRI) Prof. Samuel Majalija told New Vision that unlike the improved breeds of chicken imported in the country like the Kroilers, the local breed they have come up with can grow fast, lay many eggs and also hatch them.

Dr. Barbara Zawedde, the director of research at MUZARDI addressing the poultry farmers who turned up for a one-day sensitization workshop at Ntaawo in Mukono on Saturday.

“These birds grow very first, within a period of three to four months when they have been fed well with the recommended ratios of chicken feeds, they can weigh at least three kilo grams. If one doesn’t want eggs, he can sell them at that stage for beef,” he said.

Prof. Majalija said that because the process did not include any science but rather a matter of selecting good local breeds which they isolated and had them cross breed, maintaining the local genes, the end product has the same aroma and taste like that of a pure local chicken.

During the one-day free local chicken production sensitization workshop held at MUZARDI at Ntaawo Cell in Mukono Municipality on Saturday, a number of veterinary doctors with specialty in poultry handled a number of topics that included artificial brooding, synchronized hatching, housing and feeding practices, health management, among others.

Dr. Zawedde asked for able poultry keepers from different parts of the country to go into partnership with MUZARDI to help in distribution of this improved indigenous chicken breed.

She said that those who will be found with potential will be given parent stocks of these improved indigenous breeds of chicken for multiplication and supplying to farmers in their respective areas.

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“We have the improved indigenous breed ready but we lack the capacity to multiply them and distribute to each and every farmer who has shown interest. By working with different private farmers, we shall give them all the required technical knowledge and also help them get to market when they start producing the chicks,” she said.

Some of the farmers who attended the training at MUZARDI in Mukono including some from Norther Uganda.

Dr. Hussein Kato said that the farmers they are looking up to must be having the capacity to run incubation machines on a daily basis without any interruption all year round.

Kato said that farmers will be at liberty to buy day-old chicks, one month or two months compared to their capacity from those who will be multiplying the improved local breed.

“MUZARDI will provide the parent stock and also the technical support to those farmers,” he said.

Dr. Charles Wendo, a resident in Seeta in Mukono Municipality said that because he has got a special interest in local chicken, for some time he used to pick local chicken from upcountry but when he collected them, they would often come with disease and wipe out his entire stock.

Wendo says that as he was figuring out on what to do, he learnt about the local chicken improved by MUZARD which he went for but following the high demand for them with a limited capacity, it took him some time before getting his order.

“I got my first batch of local chicken in November last year and they are doing well. The birds are now 4.5 months old and I expect that at the end of this month or beginning of next month, they will start laying eggs,” he said.

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Prof. Samuel Majalija, the director of National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NALIRRI) addressing the poultry farmers who turned up for a one-day sensitization workshop at Ntaawo in Mukono on Saturday.

He added that he is ready to buy an incubation machine once the birds start laying eggs so that he will be in position to multiply them first of all for himself but also for others who are having interest in them.

Dr. Kato emphasized that apart from feeding, even the farmers of this local chicken breed must take keen interest in following the vaccination chart for them, better housing and feeding.

 

 

 

 

 

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