Notes to broadcasters
The nutritionally-balanced home-formulated feed given to local chickens improves the quality and taste of local chickens, makes them loved by consumers, and created a strong marketing position for those who keep chickens. It helps make local chickens more popular in Tanzanian markets than improved chickens.
The marketing position for local chickens and eggs in Tanzania is better than the marketing position of improved chicken breeds because consumers prefer chickens that eat natural or local feeds than those who are fed with commercial formulations mixed with medications.
This script will help you understand how indigenous poultry farmers from the Dodoma Region make poultry feed for local chickens. Feeding their chickens with locally available feed helps the farmers fight poverty and generate income for their households.
This script is based on real interviews. You could use it to produce a script on a similar topic in your region. You could also use voice actors to present this script on your radio station. If you do, please tell your audience at the beginning of the radio program that these are the voices of actors and not the original interviewees.
If you would like to create programs on raising local chickens, you could interview small-scale farmers and poultry experts in your area. You might want to ask them the following questions:
- What is the best way to feed local chickens? Should feed be different for younger and older chickens?
- How should farmers keep local chickens safe from diseases?
- How can farmers build suitable housing that keeps local chickens safe and healthy?
Duration of the script, with intro and extro: 15-20 minutes.
Whether local chicken meat is used in a sauce, or grilled or baked, it does not need too many preservatives or flavourings to taste good. It is so popular that people sometimes travel some distance to get their favourite meat or eggs. This is true for many people who live in areas that are dominated by improved chickens.
Many people know that local chickens eat locally available feeds they find in the environment around them, and that this results in high quality meat and eggs. Today, we will look at how farmers can prepare feed for local chickens.
In this program, we will interview five people. Anna Msenduki is an expert from the agriculture office in Mpwapwa district, Dodoma region. We also have three farmers from Hogoro village in Kongwa district: Petro, Silvester Gidion, and Juktani Simon. We will also speak with Veronika Masaka, a farmer from the Dodoma Region in central Tanzania.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome.
Veronica Masaka is a local chicken keeper who will talk about how she has been feeding her local chickens.
I always make sure that there is enough water outside the shed. That way, when they need water, they can easily get it instead of going for a long time without drinking, or drinking dirty and/or contaminated water that can cause diseases.
When they come out of the chicken shed at six a.m. on Monday, I give them a small meal of food scraps in their feed bowl.
Then I let them go to find other sources of nutrients on their own outside because there are plenty of sources of feed for them in the surrounding area until they return to the shed in the evening.
The fruits give various nutrients such as vitamin C that protect them from diseases.
They can be guavas, bananas, or various other fruits. The chickens always like fruits and they always finish them completely.
The feed we provide is based on the nutritional shortcomings of the feed that they gather by themselves, and includes sorghum and maize.
In the evening, we provide them with water for drinking and we clean their housing for a second time to ensure that they can sleep in a clean and safe place.
We do this to protect especially the young chicks from getting diseases from a dirty shed, and to protect them from eating dirt because that also can cause diseases.
We always separate big chickens and small chickens so we can provide them with different feeds. Often, we feed small chickens and big chickens differently, especially in built housing.
The apartment sheds or cages are from half a metre to a metre and a half high and five metres wide, and have two rooms. They have special feeding equipment that prevents feed from being spilled, as well as watering equipment.
We clean the sheds every morning.
Also, we separate small chicks from the area where the older chickens are kept.
The diets of local chickens are not very different from that of modern hybrid chickens. Usually, local chickens are raised freely, while hybrids are kept half in housing and half outside and are raised together with local chickens.
In terms of feed, the two types of chickens do not differ much. The goal is to keep them commercially, so we want them to grow fast and get the right nutrients. For example, the chicken feed would include sorghum, millet, lime, premixed minerals, seed cakes, and salt. This helps the chickens get the right nutrients and minerals to build their bodies. Also, the chickens get a variety of insects because they are kept half outside and half inside in a semi-intensive system, and this adds important nutrients to their diet.
Here is how to make 100 kilos of feed for a local chicken that is from 8-10 months old: You mix together the following seven ingredients: First, 40 kg of maize or sorghum; second, 27 kilos of sorghum, maize, or wheat bran; third, 20 kilos of sesame seed cake, cotton seed cake, or groundnuts; fourth, 2.25 kilos of chicken bone meal or lime; fifth, 10 kilos of seafood or leftover fish such as perch fish meal; sixth, half a kilo of kitchen salt; and finally, one-quarter kilo of high-nutrient premix. This mixture is for chickens from 8-10 months old.
First, you add 25 kilos of maize bran or sorghum; second, you add 44 kilos or sorghum or maize; third, you add 17 kilos of sunflower seed cake, sesame seed cake, cotton seed cake, or groundnut cake; fourth, you add 3.25 kilos of bone meal or lime; fifth, you add 10 kilos of seafood or fish meal; sixth, you add one-quarter kilo of kitchen salt; and finally you add one-half kilo of nutrients. This also makes 100 kilos.
First, you add 31 kilos of maize bran or sorghum; second, you add 38 kilos of sunflower seed cake, sesame seed cake, cottonseed cake, or groundnut cake; third, you add 2.25 kilos of bone meal or lime; fourth, you add 13 kilos of seafood or fish meal; fifth, you add half a kilo of kitchen salt; and sixth, you add a quarter kilo of nutrients. This adds up to 100 kilos.
It’s important to note that this last mixture is for commercial local chickens only, and it makes the chicken oily.
But if you want your local chickens to grow fast on this mixture, start giving it to them at the end of the third month. After that you should give them the following mixture of 10 ingredients to prepare them for laying.
First, two kilos of seafood; second, two kilos of blood meal; third, eight kilos of sunflower seed cake; fourth, five kilos of maize bran; fifth, 24 kilos of maize; sixth, five kilos of lime; seven, four kilos of bone meal; eighth, 150 grams of layers’ premix; ninth, 50 grams of methionine; and last, 30 grams of salt.
In this episode, we have seen that farmers can use food scraps to feed local chickens before they let them out of the shed to feed themselves.
Also, we have seen that local chickens can be fed the remains of fruits or fresh fruits.
Also, local chickens can spend most of their time outside the chicken shed and that feeds can be prepared while they are inside the chicken shed, including leaves.
Finally, farmers who raise and keep local chickens should be in close contact with livestock officers to let them know when their chickens have any disease problems or for technical advice.
Contributed by: Method Charles, agricultural journalist, Arusha, Tanzania
Reviewed by: Eliud M. A. Letungaa. Field office in agriculture and livestock, Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima na wafugaji Mkoa wa Arusha (MVIWAARUSHA).
Anna Msenduki, Agriculture Officer, Mpwapwa District, Dodoma Region, interviewed July 6, 2022.
Jesca Petro, farmer, Kongwa District, Dodoma Region, interviewed July 5, 2022.
Silvester Gidion, farmer, Kongwa District, Dodoma Region, interviewed July 5, 2022.
Juktani Miagi, farmer, Kongwa District, Dodoma Region, interviewed, July 5, 2022.
Veronika Masaka, farmer, Mvumi, Dodoma Region, interviewed Aug. 9, 2022.