Effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken in Machakos County, Kenya


The aim of this study was to investigate effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken. A sample of 8 hens were randomly selected from the target population. Each treatment had an equal number of mature indigenous chicken hens weighing between 1.25 and 2.4 kg. The first batch of 4 birds were tied together and loaded on to an open vehicle roof top. The second batch of 4 birds was loaded into traditional transport cages and the cage loaded on top of the transport vehicle. Transport conditions (temperature, relative humidity, air speed, vehicle velocity) were measured by use of automatic data loggers. Bird physiological conditions (temperature, pH, weight, hormones, behavior changes) were measured for each treatment separately at the beginning and the end of 2 hours journey on a tarmac road stretch of 1 09.5 km from Kyua to Athi River in Machakos County. t-tests were run to determine the effect of each treatment and difference between treatments. It was established that in general road transportation of indigenous chicken in Machakos County adversely affected welfare of indigenous chicken. The study showed that transportation whether in traditional cages or on open vehicle rooftop led to increased body temperature, increased serum cortisol and reduced body weight. However, comparatively, the change in temperature for birds in the cage was significatly higher than for birds transported on the open vehicle roof top. On the contrary, transportation on the open vehicle rooftop had a significantly higher mean loss of body weight and higher levels of serum cortisol compared to transportation in the cages. Finally, increased panting, fatigue and closing of eyes were observed in both treatments. The results are in line with findings from similar studies done on layers and broilers suggesting that transport condition acts as a stress stimuli leading to physiological, biochemical and behavior changes in chicken with a negative impact on their welfare. The data also contributed to a clearer understanding on the difference between transportation of indigenous chicken in traditional cages and on open vehicle roof tops. The study was cross sectional and hence generalizability of the results is limited to its context and time of study. The study recommends that transportation cages should be properly designed, constructed and fitted to meet the thermoregulation and comfort requirements of the birds at all times during transportation. Further, care should be taken to protect the birds from adverse temperatures and direct sunlight as well as wind. In addition, transportation time should be limited to reduce potential adverse effects with long journeys having rest and recovery periods. For government agencies, the study recommends full enforcement of regulations on standard chicken transportation to safeguard on their welfare. For future research, the study recommends morning and late afternoon studies, at various times of the year and comparative studies using cocks. The findings provide empirical evidence that helps in improving transportation conditions, care of the indigenous chicken on transit as well as help in directing policy in the industry.
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N., M (2024). Effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken in Machakos County, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/effect-of-transportation-on-welfare-of-indigenous-chicken-in-machakos-county-kenya

MLA 8th

N., Mativo "Effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken in Machakos County, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 04 May. 2024, https://afribary.com/works/effect-of-transportation-on-welfare-of-indigenous-chicken-in-machakos-county-kenya. Accessed 28 May. 2024.


N., Mativo . "Effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken in Machakos County, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 04 May. 2024. Web. 28 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/effect-of-transportation-on-welfare-of-indigenous-chicken-in-machakos-county-kenya >.


N., Mativo . "Effect of transportation on welfare of indigenous chicken in Machakos County, Kenya" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 28, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/effect-of-transportation-on-welfare-of-indigenous-chicken-in-machakos-county-kenya