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1. KAMPUNG CHICKENS: A KEY PART OF INDONESIA’S LIVESTOCK SECTOR - Kusuma Diwyanto and Sofyan Iskandar (Central Research Institute for Animal Sciences and Research Institute for Animal Production)

Kusuma Diwyanto
Central Research Institute for Animal Sciences, Jl. Raya Pajajaran, Bogor 16151, Indonesia


Sofyan Iskandar
Research Institute for Animal Production, P.O. Box 221, Bogor 16002, Indonesia

Kampung chickens are raised using traditional production techniques by almost every household in the village. They are a side-line activity and are not considered the main source of family earnings. The members of the family are generally working in crop cultivation, as labourers, or as traders. Although some families keep more than 1000 birds, they still work in other activities for their main livelihood. In some cases, farmers have integrated their native chicken operations with fresh water fish farming by constructing the cages above the fish - pond. This enables the fish to use chicken feed and manure for feed. While the utilising of manure for organic fertilisers is a common practice, it is rarely collected in the smallholder farms. Significant amounts of manure are collected on the large farms, and this can become a source of revenue for the farmer.

Kampung chickens have been raised by most of the rural population of Indonesia and they represent an important source of meat and eggs. Although consumed by the family on most family occasions, kampung chickens are not able to provide consumption on a daily basis due to their low production. Kampung chicken do play a very important role in the cash flow of rural people provided that they do not suffer from infectious diseases such as Newcastle disease (ND). Kampung chickens do not have specific characteristics and vary in performance and plumage from one to another.

Apart from the kampung chicken, there are other breeds of native chicken that have been commonly regarded as a local chicken in a specific area. Examples are Pelung chicken, a large singing cockerel that originated in West Java; Kedu, a high egg producer from Central Java; and Nunukan, a breed claimed to be originated from Eastern Kalimantan. These chickens, however, exist only in small numbers and have been kept by only a small number of villagers as exotic birds. Nonetheless, they are a livestock species that should be conserved. In fact the Government of Indonesia through the National Committee on Genetic Resources has considered including native chickens, including kampung chicken, in its conservation programme.


According to the Statistical Book on Livestock released by the Directorate General of Livestock Services (1997), the total number of kampung chickens from the 27 provinces in Indonesia has been increasing (DGLS, 1997). In 1990, the total number of kampung chicken of all ages was 201 million birds; by 1996, their numbers had increased to almost 260 million birds, or by approximately 29 per cent. Kampung chickens numbers are concentrated in Java island, with about 43 per cent of the population being found here. The numbers of kampung chickens seem to be positively correlated with human population. However, they are rarely found in the city areas because of space limitations.

Table 1.1. Numbers of Kampung chickens in Indonesia.


Number of kampung chickens

Change per year



















































- 0.15

Bali & Nusa Tenggara









Maluku, Irian Jaya, East Timor



3. 45















Source: DGLS (1997)
The cities are now becoming an important market for kampung chickens. A survey reported by Hermanto et al. (1995) has investigated consumption in villages and cities. The villages and cities were divided on the basis of income into low, medium and high income groups. It was found that more kampung chicken was consumed by the highest income group, reaching 2.36 kg per person per year, while about 1.54 and 0.84 kg per person per year of meat was consumed by the medium and low income groups, respectively. Further, it was found that the consumption of meat from improved chicken was 2.55 per person per year for the high-income group, compared to the villages who ate only 0.74 kg. per person per year.

The development of kampung chicken as a livestock industry is influenced by the fact that the improved poultry industry requires commercial rations, consisting mostly of imported ingredients. Technology packages have been introduced by the government to increase the population of kampung chicken particularly in the villages that are in close proximity to the cities. This is being done because the cities are seen as a market for kampung chickens.

Most kampung chickens have a long marketing chain. Some village collectors carry bamboo cages holding about 20 to 30 mature kampung chickens. The collectors travel around the village, paying in cash for one or more live chickens from the village households. The village collectors usually collect in the afternoon and sell early in the morning of the next day to larger collectors who arrive from the cities. The transaction is in cash, for between 500 and 1000 birds each time. There are usually two or more big collectors in each collecting area and they are provided with birds by 10 or more local collectors. Although transactions can take place every day, twice a week is perhaps more usual. Information about this trading system is limited. It might not be found in every village in Java since its success depends on the concentration of kampung chickens. The system is mostly found on the north coast of West and Central Java while farmers in other areas sell their chickens in a local public market or livestock market.

To support the development of the kampung chicken industry, the local government has introduced an intensive farming system program for kampung chickens. Since the 1980s, some 3000 to 6000 kampung chickens were given to 20 to 50 households, in a number of projects. The size of the flock on each farm increased from seven birds in 1990 to nine birds per household in 1996. The distribution of chickens depends on the local government’s plan in setting up the program each year. For example, the local government of West Java introduced two projects in 1995 involving 7000 mature kampung chicken for an intensive farming system program involving two groups of farmers in two districts. During the same year, in South Sulawesi, 6000 mature chickens were distributed to 60 households. If this program were to run in all 27 provinces, then after a decade about 270 groups of 20 to 50 farmers could be expected to have participated in the program with 1.62 million birds being allocated to these farmers. In such a case, only 0.6 per cent of the total population of birds would be kept by small number of farmers, while the greatest number of marketed chickens would come from the traditional small-holders with less than 10 birds per household.

The contribution of kampung chicken to national egg production was 96560 tonnes in 1994 or about 17 per cent of total egg production. Although there are no consistent data on the consumption of kampung chicken eggs, consumption appeared to be higher in the city (3.90 kg. per person per year) compared to that in the villages (2.93 kg per person per year). Any increases in the intensive farming of kampung chicken is likely to increase its contribution to the development of national poultry industry.


The government introduced a program called INTAB (intensification of kampung chicken) in the 1980s, targeting groups of farmers who cooperatively participated in the provincial projects. As mentioned earlier, each project consisted of a group of 20 to 50 farmers receiving a package of technology for kampung chickens farming. The package provided 100 mature female birds, medicines, cages and temporary feed consisting of commercial feed and local ingredients (mostly rice bran). Training of the farmers was one part of the project and it was usually undertaken before the farm was set up. The government offered technology to each farmer. Technical supervision was also provided by the local government during the project term, which in most cases was one year. The project’s progress was also monitored. Project supervisors assisted in the establishment of a farming system and in its business management, including securing loans, banking and marketing activities.

Following the fast development of the improved poultry industry, the intensification of kampung chicken should be encouraged. The availability of feed ingredients, medicines and commercial rations for improved poultry industry has led to the intensification of kampung chicken and this should assist the industry to continue to exist and to expand.

Following the INTAB program, another program called INVAK was introduced to vaccinate kampung chicken against ND. This program has led the farmers to understand that ND can be prevented by using an injection, or an eye or nose drop vaccine. However, the program is not able to cover all kampung chicken reared under the traditional system, even though the vaccine has been widely available throughout Indonesia from poultry shops. (It will be recalled the number of poultry shops has been increasing.) In practice, vaccination against ND for scavenging chickens is difficult. Scientists at the Research Institute for Veterinary Science (RIVS) of the Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (AARD) have been developing a new ND vaccine for kampung chickens. The vaccine was developed from a local isolate and given orally through chicken feed and/or laterally as a contact transmission (Darminto, 1995). The results indicated that vaccination in the scavenging kampung chickens did not give sufficient protection against ND, as compared to confined flocks of birds.

The attempt to increase the production of kampung chicken has to some extent been successful, particularly in areas where feed, medicines and other facilities are easily obtained. In remote area with insufficient facilities, the program has been less successful. Keeping the chickens in cages provided with feed, water and medicine reportedly decreases mortality and increases productivity. Furthermore, the Government has recently launched a program called “Pengembangan Peternakan Rakyat Terpadu Berorientasi Agribisnis” or Integrated Kampung Chicken Industry (Diwyanto et al., 1996). The program has an agribusiness orientation and is a continuation of the INTAB program. Cooperators in this program include those who are experienced with kampung chicken farming. Each region is selected according to the availability of support facilities, including physical facilities and infrastructure. The number of chickens raised by each farmer depends on whether production is for meat or eggs and whether a semi-intensive or fully intensive farming system is being used. This program is expected to increase the population of kampung chickens and to eventually increase farmers’ incomes.


As mentioned above, the kampung chicken industry has been limited to small holders and traditional farms. Production of meat and eggs from kampung chicken has been increasing from year to year, although it is still lower than that of improved chicken. In 1996 the population of the kampung chicken was almost one third of the improved chicken population. It is generally accepted that the productivity of kampung chicken is lower and has a longer production cycle than improved chicken. However, the development of livestock industries, including kampung chicken, will be determined by income growth. The population of kampung chickens can be projected using estimates of the income elasticity demand for kampung chicken products. Soedjana (1996) has projected changes in demand for the meat and eggs of kampung chickens until the end of the Sixth Five Year Development Plan, PELITA VI (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2. Projected demand for meat of kampung chicken in Indonesia by the end of the Sixth Five Year Development Plan

Region & income groups

Income elasticity

Low projected growth
(% per year)

High projected growth
(% per year)


· Low income




· Medium income




· High income





· Low income




· Medium income




· High income




Source: Soedjana (1996)

Three kampung chicken farming systems are currently practised. A traditional farming system with a small number of chickens is common for most families in the village. The birds are left to scavenge in the backyard or in the garden, and are provided with limited facilities such as a simple cage and a small amount of food scraps or sometimes rice bran. Five to 12 eggs are brooded by hens in each clutch and chicks are raised for three months. Loss of young chickens can be high, sometimes reaching 100 per cent. Nonetheless under this production system, farmers still get some benefit from selling or consuming the chicken. However, the additional revenue from kampung chickens is unpredictable, and the chicken activity is considered to be a part of family savings.

The second farming system is semi-intensive. Considerable care is given to the chickens, including vaccinating them. As well, young chicks are given two weeks on full feeding after separation from the hen. The number of birds kept might be as high as 50. The chickens are usually allowed to scavenge in the backyard or in the garden after morning feeding and will then be brought back to their cages in the afternoon. Eggs and meat from young and culled chickens are produced in this system. If meat is the main product, additional income of from Rp. 10000 to Rp. 150000 per month could be generated if the system is well maintained. If eggs are the main product, additional income may increase to Rp. 100000 per month. However, the number of farmers using this system is very small compared to the traditional system.

The third system is an intensive farming system, where kampung chickens are kept in cages with a full feeding program throughout the production period. This system is the outcome of the Government program concerned with the intensification of kampung chicken and the development of an improved poultry industry. The number of chickens kept under this system needs to be at least 100 mature hens and they are usually in individual cages for egg production. Farmer will normally look for pullets at the beginning of the production period and at the replacement period for older hens. The cost of this system is high because of the capital investment for cages, the cost of young pullets and commercial feed, and the amount of labour required. With family management of 200 hens, the system will yield as much as Rp. 180000 per month (Diwyanto et al., 1996). Meat can also be produced from culled hens, leading to the conclusion that the system is a suitable family operation.

The intensive system for meat production has not become popular as yet, since it requires skill and more investment for breeding, hatching and keeping young chickens to market weight. A government program called Village Breeding Centre (VBC), introduced in the late 1980s or early 1990s, seemed to have been unsuccessful. A ranch system was introduced in the VBC on six square meters of land with 10 mature hens and 2 mature cockerels being mated. Eggs were collected and incubated. Since this ranch system was found to be not efficient, the Research Institute for Animal Production (RIAP) attempted to introduce an Artificial Insemination (AI) technique for intensive egg production as an alternative to the ranch system. The program seemed to work and was explained to the extension officers of the Livestock District Office. However, the success of the AI program has not been evaluated as yet.

Little labour is required for the traditional system, since the farmers are not using kampung chickens as the main income source. ND control with the assistance of the government could improve the traditional small-holder system. The semi intensive system might also be improved by increasing the skills of farmers, through the provision of credit, and through the creation of a reliable market. With regard to the intensive system, it could be developed by increasing the numbers of birds kept and by providing inputs and outputs facilities close to the area where development of the industry is planned. However, the production of young chicks by the industry has not been sufficient and this is a major constraint facing the kampung chicken farming system.

On the other hand, feed cost have increased, and this is regarded as a constraint for the poultry industry. This situation could be worsened by the difficulties facing the economy through increased prices of imported soybean meal, fishmeal and corn grain. Furthermore, the national production of soybean and fishmeal is currently very poor.

The low productivity of kampung chicken in meat and eggs production is obvious compared to improved chickens. The kampung chicken is a domesticated native bird that has not been improved genetically through a major selection or cross breeding program. Table 1.3 shows the performance of kampung chicken.

Table 1.3. The biological performance of kampung chicken kept under intensive management

Production stages

Body weight

Feed consumption


Egg weight:

41 g/egg

Day old chick

30 g/bird

4 weeks old

145 g/bird

350 g/bird

12 weeks old

798 g/bird

3500 g/bird

16 weeks old

1261 g/bird

5317 g/bird

Age of first egg

21.6 weeks

Age at 40% egg

26.3 weeks

Peak production

55% hen day

52 weeks egg prod

131 eggs

Feed conversion

4.9 kg feed/kg egg

Source: Iskandar (1994)
In comparison to the biological performance of improved chickens, kampung chickens are genetically capable of producing about half as many eggs and even less meat. Mortality rates depend entirely on the management system being applied; the more hygienic the management, the lower the mortality. Under an intensive management system, mortality rates to 20 weeks of age were no higher than 9 per cent.

Dressing percentages at 12 weeks of age are about 63 per cent of live weight, with a very low abdominal fat pad (0.82 per cent of live weight). Culling age depends on market demand with 750 to 1000 g live weight usually preferred. Culled or spent hens are worth as much as a pullet.

The mean biological performance of birds under the traditional system appears to be below the performance of birds under intensive management. Mortality could be up to 100 per cent, with poor growth rate. Age at first lay might be six to seven months with production of about 40 eggs per year. The hens are usually culled after two or three years. It is generally thought the traditional industry would not be completely destroyed by a severe ND outbreak.

An increasing focus on healthy food, low cholesterol and low fat meat and egg products might increase the demand for meat and egg of kampung chicken, particularly by consumers who live in cities. Indications are that improved chickens selected for high growth rates could produce more meat with a considerable amount of body fat (about 3 or 4 per cent abdominal fat, 1.3 per cent breast fat, 6.8 per cent thigh fat and 34.2 per cent skin fat) compared to kampung chicken (about 0.82 per cent abdominal fat, 0.8 per cent breast fat, 4.4 per cent thigh fat and 21.6 per cent skin fat) (Triyantini et al., 1997). Kampung chickens have provided the meat ingredients for certain famous delicatessen such as “Mrs. Suharti Fried Chicken”, and many “Padang-Restaurants” fried and casserole chickens. Meat preference tests, which were based on the standard of table meat quality by the Department of Trade, showed that kampung chicken reached the value of 80 per cent compared to improved chicken which had a value of 53.3 per cent. Meat texture and thickness of kampung chicken were much better than for improved chickens. This might have been a consequence of their being marketed at a younger age.

It is interesting to note that the prices of meat and egg from kampung chicken are much higher than the prices of eggs and meat from improved chickens. The price of improved broiler chickens varies from one province to another. In 1995, the liveweight price of improved broiler chickens was as high as Rp. 5500 per kg in North Sulawesi while the lowest price was Rp. 2000 in West Kalimantan. In Jakarta, the price was about Rp. 2576. At the same time, kampung chickens reached a high price of about Rp. 9000 per kg live weight in Maluku. The lowest price of about Rp. 4600 was recorded in West Nusa Tenggara, while in Jakarta it was Rp. 8000 per kg live weight. Such price differences will certainly encourage the national kampung chicken industry to develop, but it will not be able develop at the same pace as the improved chicken industry.

Eggs of kampung chicken are sold by number and improved chicken eggs are sold by weight. One kilogram of kampung egg will have 24 to 25 eggs and will sell for Rp. 10000. Eggs from improved layers sell for about Rp. 5500 per kg.

Action should be taken to stimulate the future development of the kampung chicken industry. It can make a great contribution in supplying meat and eggs together with other kinds of poultry, such as local ducks, quails, and improved chickens. In terms of income distribution, kampung chickens can affect large numbers of small farmers. As well, they help to make animal protein become available to almost all, including the low income groups in society. Small subsidies on ND vaccination from the government for the traditional industry might sustain the existing population and even increase it. For the semi-intensive system and the fully intensive system, breeding to produce more day old chicks that are genetically improved, but unchanged in flavour, and the establishment of business institutions through village cooperation units, will contribute significantly to the industry.

As well, research on native poultry has to be intensified in order to reduce import requirements. Indonesia has put a lot of effort into research on improved chickens in the last two decades. Native chickens, which are also considered to have genetic potential worth conserving, are becoming a priority in national poultry research. As a short cut to meet immediate high production, RIAP has set up research on crossbreeding kampung chicken with Pelung chicken for meat production, without ruining the genuine meat quality. Another experiment has also been undertaken to cross the native sires to improved layers in order to speed up F1 multiplication and growth rate. However, the end result was a bird with low consumer acceptance. Despite this set back, similar research activities are expected to become a priority, especially to overcome any import related crisis, which might put a lot of pressure on the industry.

It is reasonable also to put effort into increasing the production of corn, soybean and other grains, along with finding some cheap unconventional feeds. The possible use and improvement of agricultural waste products such coconut meal, cassava, the sludge of oil palm, palm kernel meal, and cocoa waste product needs to be further investigated as a possible input into the chicken feed industry. RIAP has also recommended some increase in the use of protein enrichment technologies involving microbes.


Kampung chickens that are mostly raised by every household in the village have the potential to increase income and generate employment, as well as contributing to the national supply of meat and eggs. The constraint is that their low productivity needs to be improved through the implementation of appropriate technology and development programs that are economically profitable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound. The price of meat and eggs of Kampung chicken in the market is much higher than that of hybrid chicken. This provides the industry with an important advantage and is the reason for the promise of the industry.


Darminto, (1997) “Vaksinasi penyakit tetelo secara kontak pada ayam buras: Perbandingan analisis antara kondisi laboratorium dan lapangan” (In-contact vaccination against Newcastle disease in village chickens: A comparative analysis between laboratory and field trials). Jurnal Ilmu Ternak dan Veteriner, 1(2): 105-113.

DGLS, (1997) Statistical Book on livestock. Directorate General of Livestock Services, Jakarta.

Diwyanto, K., D. Zainuddin, T. Sartika, S. Rahayu, Djufri, C. Arifin and Cholil, (1996) “Model pengembangan peternakan rakyat terpadu berorientasi agribisnis: Komoditas ternak ayam buras” (Model of integrated kampung chicken small holders husbandry). Directorate General of Livestock and Research Institute for Animal Production, Jakarta-Bogor.

Hermanto, T. Sudaryanto and A. Purwoto, 1995. “Pola konsumsi dan pendugaan elastisitas produk peternakan” (Pattern on consumption and projected elasticity of livestock products). In Proceedings Seminar Penelitian Peternakan dan Veteriner, 7-8 November 1995, held by Central Research Institute for Animal Science, Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, Bogor.

Iskandar, S., (1994) “Efisiensi pemeliharaan ayam buras di kandang batere dan teknologi alternatif pembibitan di tingkat kelompok tani” (The efficiency of keeping kampung chickens in the individual cages and alternative breeding technique for farmers group). Application of Technology Meeting in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, held by Centre for Library and Research Communication, Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, Bogor.

Soedjana, T.D., (1996) “Perkembangan konsumsi daging dan telur ayam di Indonesia” (Development of consumption on chicken meat and eggs in Indonesia). Pangan, 29 (VIII): 35-44.

Triyantini, A., I.A.K. Bintang and T. Antawidjaja, (1997) “Studi komparatif preferensi, mutu dan gizi beberapa jenis daging unggas” (Comparative study on preferences and quality of poultry meat). Jurnal Ilmu Ternak dan Veteriner, 2 (3): 157-163.

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