Keeping poultry makes a substantial contribution to household food security throughout the developing world. It helps diversify incomes and provides quality food, energy, fertilizer and a renewable asset in over 80 percent of rural households.
Small-scale producers are however constrained by poor access to markets, goods and services; they have weak institutions and lack skills, knowledge and appropriate technologies. The result is that both production and productivity remain well below potential and losses and wastage can be high. However, adapted breeds, local feed resources and appropriate vaccines are available, along with proven technologies that can substantially improve productivity and income generation.
FAO recognizes the important contribution that poultry can make to poverty alleviation and has programmes that focus on small-scale, low-input, family based poultry production. These programmes target the more vulnerable households especially those affected by natural disasters, HIV Aids and conflict. This manual provides a comprehensive and valuable technical guide for those in government service or aid agencies, wishing to embark on projects that exploit the potential of small-scale poultry production to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor. All aspects of small-scale poultry production are discussed in this book including feeding and nutrition, housing, general husbandry and flock health. Regional differences in production practices are described.
FAO acknowledges and commends the effort that the authors have put into making such a comprehensive and valuable reference for those involved in poultry production in the developing world. The views expressed are, however, those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FAO. Members of the International Network for Family Poultry Development (INFPD) have been involved in producing and reviewing this document and their contribution is also gratefully acknowledged. A major aim of the INFPD is to bring together and disseminate technical information that supports small-scale poultry producers throughout the world.