Backyard poultry in Kabylie (Algeria): from an indigenous chicken to a local poultry breed?
Moula, Nassim ; Farnir, Frédéric ; et al
in Animal Genetic Resources (2012), 50
Backyard poultry is considered as a powerful tool for poverty alleviation. It is further promoted as a way of empowering women in communities where there is gender bias in poultry raising. The low-input ... [more ▼]
Backyard poultry is considered as a powerful tool for poverty alleviation. It is further promoted as a way of empowering women in communities where there is gender bias in poultry raising. The low-input systems involved are based on local breeds that are perfectly suited to their environment. However, socio-economic processes put local genetic resources under pressure, leading to the erosion of biodiversity. The present survey addresses this issue in the case of Kabylie, a mountainous coastal region of Algeria, through a survey conducted in 90 households raising poultry, a morpho-biometric description of 315 local chickens, and a performance evaluation of both growth and egg production in experimental semi-intensive conditions. The socio-economic profile of poultry smallholders in Kabylie reveals poor education and high diversification of agricultural assets and confirms gender bias in poultry keeping. The erosion of local genetic resources in chicken is found to be severe despite their cultural importance in Kabylie. From complementary surveys among experienced poultry keepers, the major original local type is postulated to consist of three varieties with black plumage (pure black, mottled and barred). The performance evaluation raised promising results, suggesting that some degree of improvement of low-input backyard systems could be pursued by exploiting the local breed. Finally, a strategy for a revival of the local breed through the support of the most involved smallholders is outlined in accordance with the information collected in the survey. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 149 (83 ULg)