For sustainable intensification of village production systems, it is important to understand the views of farmers who keep the chickens on the utilization of available protein sources. The objective of the study was to assess farmer perceptions on the use of non-conventional animal protein (NCAP) sources for scavenging chickens. Resource-poor households of Msinga local municipality in uMzinyathi district, KwaZulu-Natal province (n = 239) were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to analyse the data. Females were the prominent heads of households, followed by males, and then youths. Feed shortages were among the major challenges that limited chicken production. Provision of chicken housing and religion highly influenced (P<0.05) a household’s likelihood of experiencing feed shortages. Farmers who did not provide overnight housing to their chickens were likely to not provide any supplementary feeding. Christian farmers were predisposed to chicken feed shortages compared to traditional-religious farmers. More than half of the farmers (56.6%) were aware that NCAP sources have a huge potential to be used as protein sources for chickens. Farmers commonly used termites as a protein supplement. Other common NCAP sources were earthworms and locusts. The potential of using NCAP sources were high on farmers with large village chicken flocks and female-headed households.
Key words: Scavenging chickens, resource-poor farmers, termites, earthworms, flock size, non-conventional animal protein (NCAP), scavengeable feed resource base (SFRB).
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