THE Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (Taliri) has come up with a new initiative to determine chicken body weight, which they say, will help farmers sell their chickens depending on the actual weight.
This was researched and developed by a scientist from Taliri- Mpwapwa Centre in Dodoma Region, Ms Mary Magonka.
In an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’, Ms Magonka said chickens ought to be sold on face value and not on actual weight, thus reducing the farmers’ bargaining power for price and market value.
But with new findings, farmers will now sell their chickens by using a scientific measurement to determine weight, a move that will make them rip benefits from their products after spending more time on keeping them, adding that the marketing system would be formalised.
According to Ms Magonka, the main objective of this study was to determine the relationship between bodyweight and the linear body measurements of chickens and develop regression equations for predicting bodyweight.
“About 119 improved chickens (Sasso) aged 20 weeks of both sexes were involved in the study and 62 of them were male, while 57 were female,” she noted.
“Apart from other materials,” she noted, “a simple and multiple regression model was used to measure regression of body parameters on body weight.”
The results, according to her, suggest that there is positive correlation coefficient between bodyweight and other body measurements. In addition, the findings suggest that chest circumference and body length have high and positive correlation coefficient to bodyweight.
“From the results, chest circumference could be used for female and body length for male chickens for bodyweight estimation. Tanzania is home to 83 million chickens, according to the 2019/20 Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Census conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the census, 75.1 million chickens were owned by smallholders and 12.6 million chickens were owned by large-scale farmers.
Zanzibar had 3.1 million chickens in the same period. Some farmers say the new findings suggest that they were likely to improve the performance of their business.