This study was conducted in two regions namely, Mbeya in southern highlands (Cool) and Singida in central (semi-arid) Tanzania. Currently, the African Chicken Genetic Gain (ACGG) project is testing tropically high producing adapted breeds in these areas. The objective of this study was to assess status of chicken management practices following the introduction of improved strains. In addition, five attitudinal statements describing different management elements were used to measure farmer’s perception on the effect of the use of improved management intervention on production performance of their chicken. A total of 156 households representing 44% (352) of the intervened households were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire at 48 weeks following introduction of the improved breeds. Data for management practices (housing, feeding and healthcare practices) were assessed using scoring method. For every management aspect, management index was calculated as the proportion of the total score obtained by individual farmer to that of the possible maximum score. The overall result of the present study indicates that most farmers fall under medium status (0.41-0.6) of chicken production practices. Farmers from southern highland zone had better management indices with respect to housing and feeding than those from the central zone. Despite the medium level of management, majority of the respondents in both ecological zones (74.4%) had positive attitude towards influence of management practices on chicken performance. For the improved strains to perform optimally under rural environment, a holistic approach focusing on management elements should be emphasized.
Key words: Management practices, improved breed, rural chicken production.
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