The Directorate is currently conducting field trials on the performance and profitability of free range broilers. Commercial free range broiler production is new in Ghana.
The Concept of Free Range Broiler Production
Free range poultry production requires that the poultry have access to forage or pasture and sunlight (semi intensive/ extensive system). Poultry are therefore raised on pasture, enabling the poultry to move around, forage for their natural diet and live in cleaner conditions than those in batteries or deep litter system. In some farms, supplementary feed is provided once or twice depending on the density of the pasture.
The benefits are increased growth rate, reduced feed cost and opportunities for birds to exhibit natural behaviors such as pecking, scratching and foraging because they grow slower and have opportunities for exercise. Free-range chickens develop stronger legs, good heart health and a much better quality of life. These conditions make the range broiler meat unique both in taste and nutritional quality.
Advantages of Free Range Broilers
- Low cost of production (feeding, housing and labour)
- Good meat quality ( taste and aroma )
- Low use of medication
- Control the growth of weeds
There is currently no information on the performance of the free range broilers under Ghana’s climate and environmental conditions. A trial to procure, distribute and monitor the performance of 6,000 day old range broiler chicks is currently on-going to help make recommendations to farmers.