Full Length Research Paper
A study was done to evaluate the effects of the Newcastle disease vaccine on chicken mortality and egg production in Machakos Town Sub-County. Kola and Kalama wards were chosen, and the data was collected from rural poultry farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire and Women Empowerment Livestock Index (WELI). The sample size was determined using N= Z2 (1-P) P/L2 statistical formula. A total of 261 chicken household farmers were interviewed. Fifty-nine-point four percent of the households reported a Newcastle disease (ND) outbreak among their flock in 2018. In addition, 25.3% of the respondents reported that their chicken stopped laying after being infected with the disease. In comparison, 14.9% reported average egg production, and 10.7% reported a 50% reduction in egg production. Furthermore, 56.3% of farmers diagnosed ND by observing clinical symptoms instead of seeking veterinarian advice. Sixty-five (98.5%) of the respondents failed to vaccinate their poultry flock, while 1.5% reported chicken vaccination against ND. Rural farmers' lack of ND vaccination was due to the long distance between their homestead and the agrovet shops. In addition, the vaccine providers were located in urban areas. Furthermore, the I-2 vaccine and the Lasota strain were the two primary vaccines sold in agrovet shops in Machakos town. Although there is a relationship between chicken vaccination against ND, egg production, and mortality rates among chicken flocks, vaccine suppliers' access to a significant barrier to vaccine uptake in both wards.
Key words: Women's Empowerment in Livestock Index (WELI), vaccination, gender.
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