Poultry production systems in Nepal

Poultry production can be categorized into three categories viz. scavenging, semi-scavenging and intensive system.

Scavenging system

Nepalese farmers, particularly hill farmers, are busy during most of the year, so the keeping of a few birds under a scavenging system gives them extra income in the form of eggs and meat, without any involvement in their day to day management. Farmers do not need much technical knowledge regarding improved management, so it is easy for them to raise a few chickens under this system. The birds are free from the stresses imposed by other management systems, and because of the small flock size, farmers have no problem taking case of the birds, and even the weakest bird in the group is cared for. Additionally because the birds forage freely outdoors, they are usually clean and free from external parasitic infestation.

Semi-scavenging system

This system implies that the birds are let loose to roam freely for part of the day but, when necessary, they are shut in and supplemented with extra feed. A number of factors may be responsible for farmers in village committees adopting this system. The chickens can be protected from inclement weather and can also be protected from predators by shutting them up when family members are engaged in activities away from the home. Farmers can also collect the manure with a view to maintaining soil fertility in areas where the use of chemical fertilizers is not practicable. This is a relatively new system, and only a small number of farmers have adopted it to date.

Intensive System

This system is a method in which chickens are reared entirely on deep litter. In this system a high standard of husbandry is required to realize the chickens’ full potential. In the village, deep litter poultry keeping would require a relatively large investment of money in housing and feed. The birds are reared indoors and hence need to be provided with a fully balanced diet. The rearing of chicks under intensive management in mountain regions requires the provision of cereal grain which is already in deficit.

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