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Management practices and constraints of small-scale commercial poultry farms in and around Debre Markos, and performance evaluation of Sasso C44 broilers fed diets containing graded levels of dried blood-rumen content mixture. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess management practices and constraints faced by small-scale commercial poultry farms using a structured questionnaire through interview, group discussion and spot observation. The data related to management practices were analysed using SPSS software Version 20. The constraints faced were ranked by the respondents and the factors were analysed following the procedure of Garrett’s ranking technique. The effect of feeding dried blood rumen content mixtures on the performance of broiler chicks was evaluated using 225 unsexed day old broiler chicks which were randomly distributed to five dietary treatment groups in a completely randomized design (CRD). Each treatment was replicated thrice with 15 birds per replicate. The experimental diets were formulated to contain 100% roasted soybean meal (RSBM)+0% dried blood rumen content mixture (DBRCM) (T1), 80% RSBM + 20% DBRCM (T2), 60% RSBM + 40% DBRCM (T3), 40% RSBM + 60% DBRCM(T4) and 20% RSBM + 80% DBRCM (T5) during the starter phase (1-28 days) and finisher phase (29-56 days) of growth. The data were analysed using SAS software Version 9.2. The result showed that there were 49 farms and the sources of the chicks were Andassa (18.3%), Ethiochick (79.6%) and Gerado (2.1%) poultry farms. The mean flock size per farm was 844.3; among which 83.3 % were Bovans brown, 5.3% Bovans white, 7.7% Koekoek and 3.7% Sasso T44. The majority (75.5%) of the producers kept egg type chicks under intensive management system in deep litter housing. About 98% of the producers used commercial feeds and offered the feed three times per day. All poultry producers provided water regularly and tap water represented 93.9% of the water source. All farms were accustomed to vaccinate their chicks more than once. More than half of the producers used biosecurity measures. About 77.6% and 65.3% of the farms had no access for rodents and predators, respectively. Cleaning and sanitizing of the house, the feeders, and waterers were done by the majority of the producers. Nearly 59.2% of the producers did run their farms by their own money. Almost 53.1% and 69.4% of the producers took training and got extension service respectively. About 85.7% of the producers recorded farm activities. However, the production was hindered by different constraints such as a high cost of feed, unavailability of feed and feed ingredients, unavailability of land, lack of market linkage and promotion, and high purchasing cost of day old chicks which ranked between 1 to 5. The results of the feeding trial revealed that the daily DMI ranged from 75.8 to 80.4g/bird during the entire experimental period. Birds in T5 had lower (P<0.05) DMI 75.8g compared with T1 (79.0g), T2 (78.9g) and T3 (80.4g). The mean daily body weight gain of birds ranged from 26.4 g to 31.6 g and no difference (P≥ 0.05) was detected among treatment groups. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) ranged from 2.5 to 2.9 and did not differ (P≥ 0.05) among treatments. The edible carcass weight and its dressing percentage ranged from 977.9 -1159.3 g and 63.1- 66.6%, respectively, with no significant differences (P≥ 0.05) observed among the treatments. The edible and nonedible offal components were similar (P≥ 0.05) among treatments. The highest (P< 0.05) and the lowest (P<0.05) total feed cost was observed for birds in T1 and T5, respectively. Birds in T4 and T5 showed the highest (P<0.05) economic efficiency and relative economic efficiency compared toT1. Based on the results obtained it could be concluded that alleviating the constraints faced and improving the existing management practices are the most imperative measures to improve small scale commercial poultry farms. Using DBRCM as a replacement for roasted soybean meal at 60% during the starter phase and at 80% during the finisher phase in Sasso C44 broiler production can reduce the cost of feed required to raise broilers to market age and maximizes the economic efficiency due to its local availability and cost effectiveness without affecting the total body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, performance index and carcass characteristics of birds.


PhD Dissertation


Broilers, constraints, dried blood rumen content mixture, management practices