May 31, 2010

RURAL INTEGRATED CROP- LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES: WAY FORWARD

Development of alternatives for the reestablishment of the production capacity of cultivated pastures is fundamental to achieve the sustainability and intensification of the pastoral activity in the Kinango District, Coast Province Kenya. Some of the viable options suggested are the integration of the systems of grain and livestock production, together with direct planting. These systems have a potential to increase production and reduce risks of degradation while improving the soil chemical, physical and biological properties and the productive potential of grains as much as forage.
Innumerable benefits of the crop-livestock integration can be synthesized as: agronomic, through the recuperation and maintenance of the soil productive capacity; economic, by means of product diversification and higher yields and quality at less cost; ecological, through the reduction of crop pests and consequentially less pesticide use as well as erosion control; and socially by more uniform income distribution as the livestock and crop activities separately concentrate income generation. Higher generation of direct or indirect tributes as well as reduced urban migration will greatly be controlled. Cost of the creation of a new job in rural areas is much less than in urban, hence an attractive package with lots of potential.
 PREVALENCE OF ECTOPARASITES INFESTATIONS IN INDIGENOUS CHICKENS IN TWO AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES, EASTERN PROVINCE,KENYA
A. Z. Sabuni a b, P. G. Mbuthia a , N. Maingi a, P. N. Nyaga a, L. W. Njagi a, L. C. Beboraa and J. N. Michieka a
aDepartment of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nairobi P.O Box 29053-00625 Nairobi Kenya
Abstract
Ectoparasitism is an important factor associated with the limited expansion of the village indigenous chickens in the rural areas. A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of ectoparasites in free ranging indigenous chicken from two different agro ecological zones: Lower highland 1 (LH1) in Embu district and Lower midland 5 (LM5) in Mbeere district, Eastern province, Kenya. A total of 144 indigenous chickens of matched age (chicks, growers and adults) and sex groups were examined for the presence of ectoparasites. Of these, 138 (95.8%) had one or more types of ectoparasites, namely; lice, mites, fleas and soft ticks. One thirty one birds had lice, 107 mites, 42 sticktight fleas and 8 had soft ticks. Of the 138 infested birds, 25 had single while 113 had mixed infestations. Lice were the most prevalent parasites. The study has documented 
Epidermoptes species, Laminosioptes cysticola and Megninia species for the first time in Africa as well as Lipeurus caponis and Goniodes gigas in Kenya. All adult birds were infected with ectoparasites followed by 97.7% grower and 89.6% chicks. Both male and female birds had the same prevalence (95.8%) of ectoparasites. Lower midland 5 had a higher prevalence of ectoparasites (98.6%) compared to LH1 (93.1%). Parasite intensity in chickens was significantly different among age groups and between agro-ecological zones, but not between sexes of birds.
Because of the high prevalence of ectoparasites revealed by this study, it is imperative that integrated control strategies need to be put in place to improve chicken productivity and enhance smallholder livelihood in this areas.
Key words: Chicken, Indigenous, Free range, Ages, Sexes, Agro ecological zones, Prevalence