Changing risk of environmental Campylobacter exposure with emerging poultry production systems in Ethiopia
Surveys using both purposive and random sampling methods was carried out in four zones of north-west Ethiopia to describe the village-based poultry production systems and constraints in order to design future improvement and conservation strategies. The majority of the respondents were female (74.16%). This indicated that most of the time the women, whether in male-headed or female-headed households, are responsible for chicken rearing while the men are responsible for crop cultivation and other off-farm activities. About 99% of the respondents gave supplementary feeds to their chickens. Almost all farmers provided night shelter for their chickens, in part of the kitchen (1.36%), in the main house (39.07%), in hand-woven baskets (7.29%), in bamboo cages (1.51%) or in a separate shed purpose-made for chickens (50.77%). The major causes of death of chickens during the study were seasonal outbreaks of Newcastle disease (locally known as fengele) and predation. It is important to collect and conserve local poultry breeds before they are fully replaced by the so-called improved breeds. As most of the poultry production is managed by women, focusing on training and education of women will enable not only the improvement of poultry production but also family planning and the overall living standards of the family and the community.