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Poultry are the smallest livestock investment a village household can make.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 85 percent of all households keep poultry, with women owning 70 percent of the poultry.

Income generation is the primary goal of family poultry keeping. Eggs can provide a regular, albeit small, income while the sale of live birds provides a more flexible source of cash as required. For example, in the Dominican Republic, family poultry contributes 13 percent of the income from animal production.

Assuming an indigenous hen lays 30 eggs per year, of which 50 percent are consumed and the remainder have a hatchability of 80 percent, then each hen will produce 12 chicks per year.

Assuming six survive to maturity (with 50 percent mortality), and assuming that three pullets and three are cockerels, the output from one hen projected over five years would total 120 kg of meat and 195 (6.8 kg) eggs.

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