Dr Jestina F. Kusina
The results of your survey are very interesting. You seem to have covered quite a large area and for quite a long period. However, I would like to know whether the breeds of the chickens monitored in the survey, especially the layers, were the same across the areas.
The data on utilization pattern shows that the landless people (I assume they are also the poorest) benefited from keeping poultry. I would like to commend them for saving some of the eggs for home consumption.
Here in Zimbabwe, I am in the process of formulating projects involving village poultry to run for quite a number of years. I would like to start with a baseline survey to generate information needed to identify and formulate projects with the beneficiaries' input and participation. I realize that the objectives of your survey and the one that I would like to carry out may be different, but I will also need to do a monitoring study and evaluation of the projects at some stage. Therefore, I would like to ask you what sort of problems you encountered and how you handled them during the study, bearing in mind the large number of households and vast differences in the area. Did you do any gender analysis together with this study, or was it not important in your study?
Is it also assumed that the flock dynamics (demographics) of the chickens were directly influenced by season of the year through planned cullings of cocks and specific hatchings during parts of the year as you mention in your paper. Could other seasonal effects have played a part in this, e.g. seasonal effects of nutrition, diseases and mortality due to other environmental factors like rain, cold and predators?