ANAS ABDELQADER, CLEMENS WOLLNY
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Animal Breeding and Husbandry in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany
In Jordan, chicken production depends mostly on large-scale commercial systems. The total chicken population was estimated to be 24 millions of imported commercial breeds and one million of local chicken. The local chicken are prevailing in rural areas. In Jordan no studies were carried out to characterise, to evaluate, to understand and to develop the free-range chicken production system. Instead, the prevailing locally adapted poultry populations were substituted by imported high-input and high-output strains, which became very popular for commercial production ranging from medium to large scale operations. Disease and heat tolerance are remaining major constraints affecting the efficiency of production. The free"=range scavenging system based on local breeds could provide an alternative source of income and nutrients for poor people. Further, the local chicken population represents presumably an important genetic reservoir for adaptive traits. Therefore, it is important to maintain access to the adaptive genetic potential of local breeds and to prevent further loss of genetic resources. To achieve this target, the system and the chicken population must be characterised. The study aims to estimate the potentials of the local chicken production system, and to investigate the local chicken adaptive traits. The study will be based on: (1) Analysis of the production system; (2) On"=farm and on"=station phenotypic characterisation of the local chicken and their productive and reproductive potentials; (3) Comparative studies of disease tolerance between commercial and local breeds. Field data will be obtained by using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approach, structured questionnaires, and involvement of the farmers in the study. Disease challenge experiments and laboratory techniques will be carried out to investigate the adaptive traits. The development of appropriate breeding and conservation programmes will be one possible outcome of this study.
Keywords: Adaptive traits, disease resistance, Jordan , local chicken