Blogs Livestock Extension

BLOG-50: Extension for Promotion of Improved Backyard Poultry

Promotion of improved strains of backyard poultry can potentially improve nutritional status and income of rural communities, if adequate extension support could be provided. However the focus has been more on the provision of subsidies than on the knowledge and skills.

Dr S V N Rao working as Professor & Head and Dr K Natchimuthu working as Associate Professor in the department of Veterinary and AH Extension Education, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry. Mailid: 

Dr K Natchimuthu working as Associate Professor in the department of Veterinary and AH Extension Education, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Puducherry. Mailid: .

Drs M. Rajalakshmi,   working as Training Assistant at the Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Veterinary Education and Research(RIVER), Puducherry, India. Maidid:



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  • The AESA blogs have earlier addressed livestock extension in general including by the authors of this blog. Appreciably, they have chosen now to target issues concerned with specific species or production systems like BYP. As usual, they have come out with comprehensive information on BYP system. Under organic production systems, the small scale activities at local level are encouraged, wherein, BYP may fit well. I have seen some youth having entrepreneurial traits getting attracted to BYP and able to sell eggs@ Rs10/egg since people prefer eggs from BYP. Can we create a market nitch/ segment or value chain for such eggs as specialty item?? Marketing strategies/procurement systems matter a lot in giving a push to any product. This happened in case of milk when cooperatives came in being on Anand pattern. This blog has rightly focused on Knowledge & skills, but market mechanism also needs to be discussed, may be in the form of a new blog by someone having expertise in the area. Congratulations to Dr SVN Rao & his team who has brought out an excellent blog on a topic which is less talked about compared to large/commercial scale poultry farming. I can only hope to see many more interesting, stimulating blogs from this team under the leadership of Prof Rao. It’s wonderful to know someone before retiring is able to motivate, train and inspire new generation to do things right. I take this opportunity to wish Prof Rao continue to guide younger generations even after his retirement on 30th August.

  • I appreciate and congratulate Dr. M. Rajalakshmi, Dr. S V N Rao and Dr. K. Natchimuthu for this useful blog. The small income and savings provided by the sale of backyard poultry products is especially important for women to meet urgent need of family & children. Experiences in several developing and under developed countries suggest that increased backyard poultry production would result in a positive impact on livelihood security in terms of household food security, increased dietary intake and in income generation. The main reasons for the success of India’s commercial poultry sector are: entry of private sector with huge investments, training of qualified human resources under public sector institutions -ICAR/ SAUs/ SVUs modernization of production practices import of pure lines/grandparent stock least-cost feed formulation vaccines against major diseases provision of EAS and other input services under integration improved quality breeder management, and developments in poultry processing. Similar interventions are lacking in case of backyard poultry, baring few initiatives promoted by DAHD / ICAR. In 2014 as part of the IFAD-funded Smallholder Poultry Development Programme, FAO had developed Decision Tools for Family Poultry Development. The nine areas suggested in this publication for family poultry development are • Breeding and reproduction – type of birds, multiplication • Nutrition or feeds and feeding – purchase and/or production of feeds, how to calculate requirements for quantity, quality • Health and biosecurity – diseases & their control, vaccinations, biosecurity • Housing – seasonal and/or environmental considerations • Marketing and value chain development – seasonal considerations, level of demand for birds and eggs • Microfinance and access to credit • Institutional development • Training and extension • Creating an enabling policy environment. It is important to assess the suitability of single versus multiple interventions. Backyard poultry development is not only a matter of project designs, budgets, production technologies, targets, experts, and organizations to govern them rather, it is an effective use of all these mechanisms as extension educational means in such ways that poultry keepers help themselves to attain entrepreneurship through backyard poultry. This blog precisely advocated this issue

  • As we all aware that the concept of BYP with improved chicken was initiated with Giriraja during late 1980s in and aroud Karnataka and some parts of AP and the concept was popularized widely throughout the Country (including, NEH, Andaman, Lakshdweep, J and K, HP and other states) with Vanaraja and Gramapriya by Project Directorate of Poultry from later 1990s. Few private entrepreneurs also popularized this concept in some parts of Eastern states of our country. None of the above public / private organization gave subsidy for popularization

  • Backyard poultry is an important lively hood for poor especially tribal living in remote areas. It is very difficult to introduce improved colored birds with out assurances like sub-seeds, management tips and health services at door step. Extension plays a major role for sustainability of backyard poultry as the backyard poultry farmers are unwilling to adapt the new verities with out any assurances as stated above. It may be easier in families living at urban and Peri urban areas who are having some other income source

  • Many thanks for sending me the AESA blog. I have gone through the report on backward poultry which is very impressive and encouraging to me. Hope this kind of knowledge sharing will contribute to improve our professional skills

  • I think this is the first blog exclusively on poultry which is very well presented. I congratulate and thank the authors for sharing their valuable experiences through this blog by highlighting the issues & Challenges and solutions through an action research. The blog has depicted the role of EAS, veterinary services which is a major demand by majority of the farmers including the livestock farmers. The poultry schemes and subsidies are in no way different from agriculture and livestock sector since majority of the farmers in all the sectors show similar tendency towards the government programmes. However, the successful action research has made to differentiate felt and unfelt needs among the farmers. This has also indicated the need for demand driven extension services. I thank AESA for publishing an excellent blog…..