Full Length Research Paper
Broiler farming creates wealth for farmers, but the system faces myriad constraints. The objectives of this study were to determine farmer’s willingness to adopt welfare practices, farm biosecurity risks and cost of production from selected farms in Kenya. Primary data were collected using questionnaires from 60 medium-scale and 60 large-scale farms, and secondary data collected on product condemnation and downgrades from a large-scale broiler meat processing factory. Descriptive statistics were computed to estimate level of farm inputs and outputs, while framework analytical approach was used for qualitative data. A bio-economic model was used to estimate gross margins per farm. Medium-scale farmers were willing to forgo 30% of their income to implement welfare practices. The cost of mortality was 24,000 KSH per cycle for large-scale farms and 3,500 KSH for medium-scale farms. Feed accounted for over 60% of production costs in both farming systems, and gross margin per cycle was 548,230 KSH in large-scale farms and 37,890 KSH for medium-scale farms. There was uncontrolled use of antibiotics for treatment of sick broiler chickens in farms. Policy interventions are required to minimize production losses along the broiler value chains, and reduction of risks of disease and antibiotic resistance in connected farms.
Key words: Animal welfare, production losses, food safety, antimicrobial use, biosecurity risks.
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