Study on Chicken Meat Production for Small-Scale Farmers in Northeast Thailand

Haitook, Theerachai

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-89958-238-3, 2006
(Journal of Agriculture Beiheft 87)

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-2386

Zugl.: Witzenhausen, Univ., Diss. 2006

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Content: Thailand is one of the world’s leading chicken producers. About 86% of chicken products on the Thai market come from hybrid broilers; 13% are from indigenous chickens, which are of slow growth and low productivity.

About 80% of broilers are produced by large multinational companies. Because of the high quality requirements, chicken-meat production for export requires advanced technology. Small farmers do not have the investment capacity for this. Another important issue is that European countries require high animal welfare standards during production and maintenance of good health, which can only be ensured by large commercial-scale producers.

The country has been quite successful in improving crossbreeds of native chickens for meat, which are mainly produced by medium-scale commercial raisers.

The market demand for native chickens is relatively high but the supply is rather limited because the current rearing system is problematic. Native chickens are usually raised in extensive systems with supplementary feeding of low quality.

This study considered improving the livelihoods of small farmers through better integration of livestock into the current farming system. Profitable niche opportunities could be developed for small farmers based on indigenous types of chicken, which are assumed to be better suited to the tropical climate and to the conditions on smallholder farms than high-performance hybrids. Also the growth performance of different breeds of chickens was studied under different feeding regimes as well as their effect on carcass quality.

The four tested breeds were: native chickens, commercial hybrid broilers, a 3-line crossbreed and a 4-line crossbreed. Two feeding systems were used: commercial hybrid broiler feed and formulated feed. The main indicators measured were: weight gain, feed intake, feed utilization efficiency and carcass quality.

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