The present study was conducted to analyze the rearing knowledge and socio economic status of rural women in three selected villages in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh on the productivity of the backyard poultry, knowledge improvement of women respondents on poultry rearing and their perception of improved empowerment and income generation. Thirty women beneficiaries were personally interviewed using a questionnaire and supplied 45 Vanaraja chicks (ICAR-PDP) for each individual. In spite of their age, education, social status and income levels, they actively participated in poultry rearing activities under natural conditions in villages with normal facilities at home. It was found that there is considerable increase in egg yield, and body weight gain in kg/year (female and male). The findings of the study revealed most of the poultry rearers (53.00%) were middle aged with primary to secondary level education and small size family and agriculture as primary occupation. Majority (84.17%) of the respondents were marginal to small land holding and getting low level of income. Majority of the respondents had low level of material possession. The productivity performance of backyard poultry knowledge level of beneficiaries on backyard poultry production technology and perception on empowerment have clearly showed that the backyard poultry rearing had a significant impact towards socio-economic development of the rural women folk in generating more income for leading their families happy.
Livestock is often considered a secondary occupation of many farmers in developing countries. Households live on subsistent farming, often integrating crop production with livestock rearing, yielding multipurpose products and uses (Branckaert and Guèye, 1999). However, not all farmers can afford to keep cattle or small ruminants. Poultry is found to have greater outreach to poor than other livestock (Nandi et al., 2007) as keeping a few poultry that scavenge around the homestead for food is more affordable than keeping cattle or small ruminants. Village poultry are often considered as the starter capital to move out of poverty as these provide high value food and a small cash income ( Ahuja et al., 2008; Aklilu et al., 2008). Apart from food and cash income, poultry products in rural India contribute to social bonding as poultry meat and eggs are used to entertain guests and are also given as gifts. Poultry rearing was for dual-purpose of meat and egg production. Rural poultry production is being recognized as important component of socio economic improvement among the weaker section of society; especially landless labour, small and marginal farm women’s. Rural poultry generates self-employment, provides supplementary income with protein rich food at relatively low cost.
Socially we are having male dominating family system; obviously all income from agri produce is in hands of male farmer. It is observed that there is always shortage of money in the hands of rural farm women. Women are primarily responsible for the care and management of the bird under backyard poultry systems (Deka et al., 2014). May be it is the only resource which is completely owned and controlled by women from the moment of selection of the bird to sales/purchase and control over the income earned from the birds (Ramdas, 2009 and Anthra, 2000). In this context, the socio economic status of the backyard poultry women rearers is very much essential for the policy makers to develop an effective programme. Hence an effort has been made in the present study to collect information regarding socioeconomic status of backyard poultry rearers and their farming systems and income generation through supplying backyard poultry under Government subsidy schemes.
Materials and Methods
The present study was conducted in Guntakal mandal, Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh for a period about one year through respondents. This was a research project of my Post Graduation Diploma in National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj (NIRD & PR), Hyderabad. About three villages were selected randomly and from each village 10 women were selected randomly for the study and they were supplied 45 chicks for backyard rearing under Government subsidy scheme (Manakodi).The data was collected for beneficiary selection using well-structured and pre tested interview schedule. Relevant data pertaining to the study was collected, analysed using frequency, percentage analysis and interpreted. A unit of 45 desi chicken (8 weeks old) was supplied to the beneficiaries after deworming and vaccination against Ranikhet disease. The beneficiaries were trained on brooding activities, selection of eggs, pre-incubation storage method of eggs, candling of eggs, vaccination and deworming of birds. Iron pot, electrical set, bulb, bamboo cages and Jowar grains were distributed to women beneficiaries for supporting them to adopt the technologies advocated through the scheme. Follow-up visits were regularly conducted to all the selected villages for offering technical advice. In this context, the present study was conducted to assess the impact of backyard poultry rearing of women SHG members.
Results and Discussion
Personal Socio-economic Characteristics of Livestock Farmers
The respondents were distributed in all the three categories of young, middle and old age with slightly higher percentage (53.3%) in middle age category and lower percentage (13.3%) in old category. The mean age of the sample was 38 years.
Table 1: Distribution of respondents according to their social background (N=30)
|Young (Below 35)
|Middle (Below 35-55)
|Old (55 and above)
|Low ( 2-4)
|Medium ( 4-7)
|Family Land Holding
|Small ( <2.5)
The above results indicated that all age people are more or less equally participated in backyard poultry rearing. The findings indicated a healthy trend that the respondents of all age groups have taken keen interest to involve themselves in poultry rearing.
The Table 1 above indicated that most (60.0%) of the respondents belonged to low education status category followed by (30.0%) medium and (10.0%) of high educational status category. The above results implied that majority of the sample who have participated in poultry rearing were from the low education status group with advantage of providing proper managemental training to them.
Fig. 1: Personal socio-economic characteristics of livestock farmers
The Table 1 depicted that majority (50.0%) of the sample where in medium family size followed by (30.0%) large and (20.0%) small family size category respectively. It was observed that the respondent in the study area has a family size of 4-6 members and took part in backyard poultry production.
The Table 1 revealed that the land holding of the respondents in the study area ranged from 16.17% (large farmers) to 46.89% (small farmers). It was clear from the above observations that a large proportion of sample possessed less than2.5acres of land.
The findings of the distribution of the respondents based on their social status indicated that a majority of 36.6% belonged to scheduled tribal’s , followed by 30.0%, 20.0% and 13.3% who were from scheduled caste, backward caste and forward caste respectively. It can be concluded that the majority of participants of poultry rearing were from scheduled communities who were involved in livestock farming which is their traditional caste occupation in the study area.
Knowledge Level of Women Beneficiaries on Backyard Poultry Production Activities Preparation for the Brooding Activities
Majority (93.3%) of the respondents in Table 2 participated in preparation for the brooding activities which included cleaning, washing and disinfecting of the brooding room, arrangement of feeders and setting of lighting, spreading of litters and acquisition of feeds and drugs. Most of the respondents indicated that this operation required thorough handling, skilful and careful planning. Therefore, most women preferred to handle this operation by themselves.
Table 2: Distribution of poultry operations participated by women (N = 30)
|No. of Participated Respondents
|Pre exposure (%)
|Post exposure (%) of Participation
|Preparation for the brooding activities
|Sourcing and collecting of Day-Old-Chick
|Brooding of Day-Old-Chick (DOC)
|Routine medication and vaccination programme
|Feed mixing preparation
|Feeding of birds
|Disposal and replacement of poultry litters
|Culling of birds
Sourcing and Collecting of Day Old Chick
The results in Table 2 showed that majority (96.6%) preferred to source and collect their DOC by themselves. The respondents indicated that most of the existing hatcheries have no standard control hence they sell out sub-standard and unhealthy DOC to ignorant farmers causing enormous losses. To prevent this problem, most women source and collect their DOC by themselves using reliable technical information from farmers’ association, friends and extension agents.
Brooding of Day Old Chick (DOC)
About 100 percent of the women participated in the brooding of DOC. The respondents considered brooding of DOC as the beginning of eventual success or failure because it requires in-depth understanding of the chick’s behaviour, high hygienic practice and full concentration.
Routine Medication and Vaccination Programme
The data presented in Table 2 showed that 83.3 percent of the respondents were involved in medication and vaccination of their birds. Most of the women reported that they learned this operation one time or the other from friends and veterinarian. This operation also requires calculation of drugs, skillful handing of tools and understanding of the disease symptoms.
Feed Mixing Operation
Table 2 revealed that 83.3 percent of the respondents participated in the feed mixing operations. As a result of this, most women desire to increase their profit margin by reducing their cost of production in term of feeds.
Feeding of Birds
Majority (96.6%) of the respondents participated regularly in feeding the birds. The respondents opined that they participated in this operation to ensure proper quantity is consumed daily and at the same time observe the performance of each of the birds in the flock. The present findings support the findings of (Ahuja 2007) that the feeding and management of poultry was fully in the domain of women.
Disposal and Replacement of Poultry Litters
The results showed that 90.0 percent of the populations were regularly involved in disposal and replacement of poultry litters. Most women indicated that they engaged their family members to perform this tedious task for them.
Culling of Birds
This operation requires major decision of the farmer. The results revealed that all (100%) the women preferred to take this decision and carry it out whenever they deemed fit. It was noticed that most of management practices viz., housing, feeding, breeding, heath care, marketing and consumption practices were carried out by the women. Veeranna et al. (1998) reported that women took active part in farm oriented activities in poultry production and Motin et al. (2014) found that rural women’s role in backyard poultry production has significant importance. They are performing most of the activities in backyard poultry rearing system with utmost care and interest.
Production Performance of Backyard Poultry
The results on table no. revealed that hatchability percentage was increased to 80.34± 1.26 which was highly significant compared to pre intervention hatchability. Similarly the average weight gain increased from 1.5 kg to 2 kg. The average egg yield increased compared to the pre project was also substantial from 44 to 62. Similar findings were reported by Kumari (2009).
Table 3: Productivity indicators of backyard poultry
|After the Project
|Body weight gain in kg/year
Income Generation after Supplying of Backyard Poultry
The earlier income levels of selected rural women beneficiaries will be ranged from 15,000-22,000 depending on their agricultural and other livestock activities per year. But the income generated from backyard poultry of 45 birds shown as-
Government subsidy, medicines) Rs.35
From the above results revealed that each beneficiary was supplied with 45 Vanaraja chicks with cost of Rs.30 each with miscellaneous expenditure about Rs.35, total cost of production per each bird is about Rs.45. From the results showed that the total production of eggs up to last laying cycle is about 120 eggs. The income generated from the eggs is Rs.360 and from meat Rs.180, total of Rs.540.The net income generated from individual bird is Rs.475. Each women beneficiary generated about Rs.21, 375 from 45 birds. The income from these backyard poultry revealed that women can generate income through poultry rearing in villages to sustain their family.
In backyard system, the poultry growers spent their money mostly on household, poultry production and recreation which showed the active participation of women’s in income generation from the backyard poultry rearing and ultimately helped in empowering women. Similar finding were also reported by Saha (2003) on backyard poultry rearing in West Bengal.
In the present study, in terms of overall socioeconomic improvement cent percent backyard poultry rearers opined that backyard poultry farming helped to improve their socioeconomic conditions. The backyard poultry production helped the women in these villages to get more income to lead their families happy. As a result, tendency to initiate backyard poultry rearing is widely observed. It was therefore recommended that if desi birds are made available to rural women and along with training, women will attain empowerment either today or tomorrow.