University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture
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Keywords

Backyard poultry, husbandry, Dangriga, Belize, biosecurity, water quality, temperature regulation

Abstract

This study explores the husbandry methodologies on a backyard poultry farm in Dangriga, Belize, with the purpose of producing a set of guidelines for backyard poultry growers that have limited resources in similar regions. The majority of data collection occurred through survey questions approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is responsible for protecting the rights and welfare of human research subjects, necropsies approved by IACUC, and general observations. There has been a steady increase in poultry production in developing regions due to its positive effects on income and relative nutrition. However, due to a lack of accessible communication and education regarding effective and safe poultry production, these operators typically see poor productivity and/or profitability in their operations. Data were collected over biosecurity, vaccination protocol, water quality, feed quality, temperature regulation, housing set-up and preparation, and behavior for broilers and layers. Overall, the major factors that appeared to have the greatest impact on the birds were low biosecurity measures, low levels of clean available water, and consistently high temperatures experienced in the broiler pens. The results for each factor are discussed and it was suggested that if small adjustments were made, the birds would experience better health and therefore increased productivity. Additional studies regarding E. coli presence in water sources, trends in broiler weights, nutritional make-up of feed, and observations of trends in post-mortem findings should be conducted.

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