Development and promotion of village chickens subgroups to counteract the adverse effects of climate change in Sub Saharan Africa


  • Never Assan Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Bulawayo Regional Campus, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Mgcini Moyo Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Bulawayo Regional Campus, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • Tinashe Kaguru Zimbabwe Open University, Department of Agriculture Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Bulawayo Regional Campus, Box 3550, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


Village chicken, Climate change, Sub Saharan Africa


Smallholder agriculture sector which harbors different village chickens ecotypes/varieties/strains is one of the most susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change due to its low adaptive potentiality. As of now, the sector is facing scores of challenges due to unpredictable environmental consequences of climate change which have impinged on village/indigenous/local/native chicken production systems. The adverse effects associated with climate change which can impact negatively on village chicken production systems being diminished water resources, changes in the rainfall form and abundance, elevated temperature regime, unpredictable seasonal distortion, dwindling of feed resources and prevalence of uncommon diseases and parasites. Therefore, it is assumed that the development and promotion of certain village chicken outstanding subgroups such as the necked necks become critical in sustaining productivity. Village chickens are excellent for their adaptability and tolerant to local diseases and harsh environmental conditions. Structural, functional and feeding behavior of some village chicken strains will play a critical role in enhancing production, reproduction and survival in these adverse conditions. As a result, it is appropriate to develop and promote village chicken subgroups through within population selection. Adaptive management and anticipatory learning approach in village chicken development and promotion is suggested. The preceding review attempt to explore the likely effect of animal species selection, such as promoting village chickens genetic resources in smallholder rural farming sector in tackling climate change challenges. Strategic development and promotion of village chickens, which target both productivity and adaptability traits will greatly help in improving the welfare of the rural folk through substantiating their resilience.


Alcorn, J.B., 1989. Process as resource. Advances in Economic Botany, 7, 63-77.

Alders, R., Spradbrow, P., 2000. Newcastle disease in village chickens, A field manual. Maputo, Mozambique, 46.

Anderson, S., Negussie, E., Duguma, G., Rege, J.E.O., 2012. Genetic parameter estimates for growth traits in Horro sheep. J. Anim. Breed. Genet., 119, 35-45.

Apuno, A.A., Mbap, S.T., Ibrahim, T., 2011. Characterization of local chickens (Gallus gallusdomesticus) in shelleng and song local government areas of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Agr. Biol. J. N. Am., 2(1), 6-14.

Barker, J.S.F., 2009. Defining fitness in natural and domesticated populations. In: Van der Werf, J., Graser, H.U., and Frankham, R. (Eds.). Adaptation and fitness in animal populations: Evolutionary and breeding perspectives on genetic resource management, Springer, 3-14.

Barua, A., Howlider, M.A.R., 1991. Meat yield of free range naked neck and full featherred Bangladesh chicken. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 61, 772-775.

Berkes, F., 1999. Sacred ecology. Traditional ecological knowledge and resource management. Taylor and Francis, Philadelphia and London, UK.

Besbes, B., 2009. Genotype evaluation and breeding of poultry for performance under sub-optimal village conditions. World Poult. Sci. J., 65, 260-275.

Bett, H.K., Bett, R.C., Peters, K.J., Kahi, A.K., Bokelmann, W., 2012. Linking utilization and conservation of indigenous chicken resources to vale chains. J. Anim. Prod. Adv., 2, 33-52.

Bhuiyan, A.K.F.H., Shahjalal, M., Islam, M.N., Rahman, A.K.M.A., Kewon, J.F., Van Vleck, L.D, 2005. Characterization, conservation and improvement of red Chittagong cattle of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Agr. Univ. Res. Progr., 16, 33.

Bordas, A., Merat, P., 1992. Egg production performances of hens of the Nana (Homozygous naked neck), Nana (Heterozy-gote) and Nana (Normal plumage) genotype from a brown-egg dwarf (dw) line submitted to high constant temperature or to high temperature with periodic fluctuation. Arch. Geflu-gelkd., 56, 22-27.

Cahaner, A., Ajuh, J.A., Siegmund-Schultze, M., Azoulay, Y., Druyan, S., Valle Zárate, 2008. Effects of the genetically reduced feather coverage in naked neck and featherless broilers on their performance under hot conditions. Poult. Sci., 87(12), 2517-2527.

Chen, C. F., Bordas, A., Gourichon, D., Tixier-Boichard, M., 2004. Effect of high ambient temperature and naked neck genotype on performance of dwarf brown-egg layers selected for improved clutch length. Br. Poult. Sci., 45, 346-354.

Chen, C.F., Huang, N.Z., Gourichon, D., Lee, Y.P., Tixier-Boichard, M., Bordas, A., 2008. Effect of introducing the naked neck gene in a line selected for low residual feed consumption on performance in temperate or subtropical environments. Poult. Sci., 87(7), 1320-1327.

Colding, J., 1998. Analysis of hunting options by the use of general food taboos. Ecol. Model., 110, 5-17.

Creevey, L.E., 1991. Supporting small-scale enterprises for women farmers in the Sahel. J. Int. Dev., 3, 355-386.

Darwish, A., Hataba, N.A., Shalash, S.M., 1990. Effects of seasonal variation and dietary protein level on some performance of Fayoumi layers. In Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Feed and Quality Control, Cairo, Egypt, 443–459.

Deeb, N., Cahaner, A., 2002. Genotype-by-environment interaction with broiler genotypes differing in growth rate: 3. Growth rate, water consumption and meat yield of broiler progeny from weight-selected vs. non-selected parents under normal and high ambient temperatures. Poult. Sci., 81, 293-301.

Dessie, T., Taye, T., Dana, N., Ayalew, W., Hanotte, O., 2011. Current state of knowledge on phenotypic characteristics of indigenous chickens in the tropics. World Poult. Sci. J., 67(3), 507-516.

Dolberg, F., 2003. Review of household poultry production as a tool in poverty reduction with focus on Bangladesh and India. FAO Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative Working Paper No. 6. Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations. Rome.

Fanatico, A.C., Pillai, P.B., Cavitt, L.C., Owens, C.M., Emmert, J.L., 2005. Evaluation of slower-growing broiler cell motility rate of Southern African indigenous Cockerel semen following analysis by sperm class analyzer. J. Anim. Sci. Adv., 2, 416–424.

FAO, 1986. Production Year Book, FAO, Rome. 40, 226.

FAO, 1997. Guidelines for the inclusion of improved household poultry production. Diversification component of the special programme for food security, FAO, Rome. 76p.

FAO, 1997. Human nutrition in the developing world. Latham M.C. FAO food and Nutrition. Series No. 29.

FAO, 2004. Small-scale poultry production. A corporate document repository.

FAO, 2010. Breeding strategies for sustainable management of animal genetic resources. FAO Animal Production and Health Guidelines No. 3. Rome.

FAO/IAEA, 2009. Selection and breeding of cattle in Asia: Strategies and criteria for improved breeding. Animal Production and Health Section International Atomic Energy Agency Vienna International Centre, 1400 Vienna, Austria.

Gadgil, M., Hemam, N.S., Reddy, B.M., 1998. People, refugia and resilience. In Berkes, F., Folke, C., editors. Linking social and ecological systems: Management practices and social mechanisms for building resilience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 30-47.

Goromela, E.H., Kwakkel, R.P., Verstegen, M.W.A., Katule, A.M., 2008. Effect of season and farming system on the quality and nutritional quality of scavengeable feed resources and performance of village poultry in central Tanzania. J. Cell Anim. Biol., 2, 63-71.

Guèye, E.F., 2009. The role of networks in information dissemination to family poultry farmers. World Poult. Sci. J., 65, 115-123.

Halima, H., 2007. Phonotypic and genetic characterization of Indigenous chicken populations in Northwest Ethiopia. PhD. Thesis submitted to the faculty of national and agricultural sciences department of animal Wild life and Grassland Sciences University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. 186.

Hall, S.J.G., 2004. Livestock biodiversity. Genetic resources for the farming of the future. Blackwell, 264p.

Hill, W.G., Yhang, X.-S., 2009. Maintaining genetic variation in fitness. In: Van der Werf, J., Graser, H.U., and Frankham, R. (Eds.). Adaptation and fitness in animal populations: Evolutionary and breeding perspectives on genetic resource management, Springer, 59-82.

Holling, C.S., 1978. Adaptive environmental assessment and management. Wiley-Interscience, Chichester, UK.

Hossary, M.A., Galal, S., 1995. Improvement and adaptation of the Fayoumi chicken. Anim. Genet. Resour. Inform., 14, 33-42.

Iyer, S.G., 1950. Improved indigenous hen evolved by selective breeding. Indian Vet. J., 26, 80-86.

Johannes, R.E., 1998. The case for data-less marine resource management: Examples from tropical nearshore fisheries. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 13, 243-246.

Kahi, A.K., 2002. Crossbreeding systems and appropriate levels of exotic blood: Examples from Kilifi Plantations.

Khobondo, J.O., Okeno, T.O., Lihare, G.O., Wasike, C.B., Kahi, A.K., 2014. The past, present and future genetic improvement of indigenous chicken of Kenya. Anim. Genet. Resour., 125.

Kingori, A.M., Tuitoek, J.K., Muiruri, H.K., Wachira, A.M., Birech, E.K., 2007. Protein intake of growing indigenous chicken on free-range and their response to supplementation. Int. J. Poult. Sci., 6, 617-621.

Kingori, A.M., Wachira, A.M., Tuitoek, J.K., 2010. Indigenous chicken production in Kenya: A review. Int. J. Poult. Sci., 9(4), 309-316.

Kosgey, I.S., 2004. Breeding objectives and breeding strategies for small ruminants in the tropics. PhD thesis. Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 272p.

Kyarisiima, C.C., Kugonza, D.R., Twesigye, C.K., 2004. The potential role of the Ugandan indigenous chicken in poverty alleviation. Uganda J., 50, 85-90.

Leroy, G., Baumung, R., Boettcher, P., Scherf, B., Hoffmann, I., 2016. Review: Sustainability of crossbreeding in developing countries; definitely not like crossing a meadow. Anim., 10(2), 262-273.

Mandal, M.K., Khandar, N., Khandekar, P., 2006. Backyard poultry farming in Bareilly district of Utar Pradesh, India: An analysis. LRRD, 18(7).

Martin, H., Frands, D., Robyn, A., 2011. Products and profit from poultry. FAO Diversification Booklet 3. Second Edition. Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome Italy, 1-14.

Matthewman, R.W., 1977. A survey of small livestock production at the village level in the derived Savanna and Lowland forest zones of South West Nigeria. Department of Agriculture and Horticulture, University of Reading, Study, 24, 40-41.

McManus, C., Prescott, E., Paludo, G.R., Bianchini, E., Ouvandini, H., Mariante, A.S., 2008. Heat tolerance in naturalized Brazilian cattle breeds. Livest. Sci., 120(3), 256-264.

Mekria, S., Gezahegn, E., 2010. Prevalence of external parasites of poultry in intensive and backyard chicken farm at Wolayta Saddo town, Southern Ethiopia. Vet. World, 3, 533-538.

Mengesha, M., 2011. Climate change and the preference of rearing poultry for the demands of protein foods. Asian J. Poult. Sci., 5, 135-143.

Mengesha, M., 2012. Indigenous chicken production and the innate characteristics. Asian J. Poult. Sci., 6, 56-64.

Merat, P., 1986. Potential usefulness of Na (Naked neck) gene in poultry production. World Poult. Sci. J., 42, 124-142.

Moreki, J.C.R., Dikeme, R., Poroga, B., 2010. The role of village poultry in food security and HIV/AIDS mitigation in Chobe district of Botswana. Livest. Res. Rural. Dev., 22, Article #5.

Msoffe, P.M.M., 2003. Diversity among local chicken ecotypes in Tanzania. PhD thesis. Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, 223p.

Mtambo, M.M.A., 2000. Improving the health and productivity of the rural chickens in Africa. Report of Phase 1 of an Enreca Sponsored Project, Tech. Rep.

Mugga, R., 2007. Uganda sees a market for indigenous birds. World Poult., 23, 1.

Mulualem, G., Tesfahunegny, W., 2015. Depredation of domestic fowl by birds of prey in low income rural households of Alamata Wereda, Southern Tigray, Ethiopia. J. Zool. Stud., 2(5), 22-29.

Okeno, T.O., Kahi, A.K., Peters, J.K., 2013. Evaluation of breeding objectives for purebred and crossbred selection schemes for adoption in indigenous chicken breeding programmes. Br. Poult. Sci., 54(1), 62-75.

Olesen, I., Groen, A.F., Gjerde, B., 2000. Derivation of sustainable breeding goals for dairy cattle using selection index theory. J. Anim. Sci., 88, 1882-1090.

Padhi, M.K., 2007. Importance of indigenous breeds of chicken for rural economy and their improvement for higher production performance. Scientifica (Online).

Pahl-Wostl, C., 2007. Transition towards adaptive management of water facing climate and global change. Water Resour. Manag., 21, 49-62.

Patra, B.N., Bais, R.K.S., Prasad, R.B., Singh, B.P., 2002. Performance of naked neck versus normally feathered coloured broilers for growth, carcass traits and blood biochemical parameters in tropical climate. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci., 15(12), 1776-1783.

Perry, B.D., Randolf, T.F., McDermott, J.J., Thornton, P.K.P.K., 2002. Investing in animal health research to alleviate poverty. ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya, p. 148.

Quddus, M.A., 2012. Adoption of dairy farming technologies by small farm holders: Practices and constraints. Bangladesh J. Anim. Sci., 41, 124-135.

Quisumbing, A.R., McClafferty, B., 2006. Using gender research in development. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC, USA.

RLDC, 2010. Changing poultry keeping into a commercial rural activity. Rural Livelihood Development Company (RLDC) Annual Report. Prepared with inter-cooperation of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Roschinsky, R., Kluszczynska, M., Sölkner, J., Puskur, R., Wurzinger, M., 2015. Smallholder experiences with dairy cattle crossbreeding in the tropics: from introduction to impact. Anim., 9, 150-157.

Say, R.R., 1987. Manual of poultry production in the tropics. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation. CAB International, p. 118.

Schmink, M., Redford, K.H., Padoch, C., 1992. Traditional peoples and the biosphere: Framing the issues and defining the terms. In K.H., Redford and C., Padoch, editors. Conservation of neotropical forests: Working from traditional resource use. Columbia University Press, New York, USA. 3-13.

Scholtz, M.M., Furstenburg, D., Maiwahse, A., Makgahlela, M.L., Theron, H.E., Van der Westhuizen, J., 2010. Environmental-genotype responses in livestock to global warming: A Southern African perspective. S. Afr. J. Anim. Sci., 40, 408-413.

Scholtz, M.M., McManus, C., Okeyo, A.M., Theunissen, A., 2011. Opportunities for beef production in developing countries of the southern hemisphere. Livest. Sci., 142, 195-202.

Scholtz, M.M., McManus, G., Leeuw, K-C., Louvandini, H., Seixas, L., Demelo, C.B., Theunissen, A., Neser, F.W.C., 2013. The effect of global warming on beef production in developing countries of the southern hemisphere. Nat. Sci., 5, 106-119.

Scholtz, M.M., Steyn, Y., Van Marle-Köster, E., Theron, H.E., 2012. Improved production efficiency in cattle to reduce their carbon footprint for beef production. S. Afr. J. Anim. Sci., 42, 450-453.

Scholtz, M.M., Theunissen, A., 2010a. The use of indigenous cattle in terminal cross-breeding to improve beef cattle production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Anim. Genet. Resour. Info., 46, 33-36.

Siegel, H.S., 1995. Gordon memorial lecture. Stress, strains and resistance. Br. Poult. Sci., 36(1), 3-22.

Solkner, J., Nakimbugwe, H., Valle Zarate, A., 1998. Analysis of determinants for success and failure of village breeding program. Proceedings of the 6th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production. 25, 273-281.

Tadelle, D., 1996. Studies on village poultry production systems in the central highlands of Ethiopia. M.Sc. Thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Tadelle, D., Ogle, B., 1996. Studies on scavenging poultry production systems in central highlands of Ethiopia. M.Sc Thesis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, p. 70.

Tadelle, D., Ogle, B., 2001. Village poultry production systems in the central highlands of Ethiopia. Trop. Anim. Health. Prod., 33, 521-537.

Tadelle, D.S., 2003. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of local chicken ecotypes in Ethiopia [Ph.D. Thesis], Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

Thornton, P.K., Kruska, R.L., Henniger, N., Kristjanson, P.M., Atieno, F., Odero, E.N.E.N., Ndegwa, T., 2002. Mapping poverty and livestock in developing world. ILRI, Nairobi, Kenya, p. 124.

Tschakert, P., Dietrich, K.A., 2010. Anticipatory learning for climate change adaptation and resilience. Ecol. Soc., 15(2), 11.

Veterinary Services Department, 1998. Controlling Newcastle disease in village chicken, Accra, Ghana (1998), 12 p.

Woolliams, J.A., Gwaze, D.P., Meuwissen, T.H.E., Planchenault, D., Renard, J.P., Thibier, M., Wagner, H., 1998. Secondary guidelines for development of national farm animal genetic resources management plan. Management of small population at risk. Initiative for Domestic Animal Diversity (IDAD). FAO.

Yalcin, S., Testik, A., Ozkan, S., Settar, P., Celen, F., Cahaner, A., 1997. Performance of naked-neck and normal broilers in hot, warm, and temperate climates. Poult. Sci., 76, 930-937.

Zerjal, T., Gourichon, D., Rivet, B., Bordas, A., 2013. Performance comparison of laying hens segregating for the frizzle gene under thermo-neutral and high ambient temperatures. Poult. Sci., 92(6), 1474-1485.



How to Cite

Never Assan, Mgcini Moyo, & Tinashe Kaguru. (2017). Development and promotion of village chickens subgroups to counteract the adverse effects of climate change in Sub Saharan Africa. Scientific Journal of Animal Science, 6(3), 393-406. Retrieved from



Review Article