Abstract, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, 2015

Rural livelihood in the arid and semi-arid land of Kenya is mainly based on livestock production. This sector is often threathened by severe and prolonged droughts. Due to these unfavourable climate changes, men migrate with their livestock to far places in search of pasture while women and children are restricted to sendentary life around watering points. Rearing indigenous chicken (IC) has emerged as one of the strategies to diversify livelihood among settled pastoralist. However, the pastoralist lacked adequate knowldge on poultry rearing and as a result of this, Kenya Agricuture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) scientists saw the need for enhancing pastoralist knowledge on feeding management using locally available feed stuff. To achieve this, an evaluation of the nutritive value of locally available food stuffs was needed to determine the potential of incorporating these products as poultry feeds in the arid lands. An on-station feeding trial was conducted using Kenyan improved indigenous chicken (KIIC), at Sheep and Goats Research institute(SGRI), KALRO Marsabit in Northern Kenya. The study findings revealed that feed made from Balanites orbicularis seed cake + ground maize mix and ground maize alone are more palatable and high in energy. Egg weight gain was better in ground maize feed than Balanite orbicularis seed cake + ground maize mix. The study revealed that energy content of the feed was higher in mix (Balanite orbicularis seed cake + ground maize) than in commercial feed but low in calcium and phosphorus. Balanite orbicularis seed cake + ground maize mix has greater potential as alternative source of energy in poultry feed. However future intervention need to focus on improving nutritional quality of the feed by incoporating calcium and phosphorous sources.