Family poultry: Multiple roles, systems, challenges, and options for sustainable contributions to household nutrition security through a planetary health lens
This article (PDF) in the Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal addresses key issues associated with the production of family poultry eggs in support of improved nutrition and sustainable, nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices. Achieving sustainable production of eggs by family poultry production systems that meet both environmental health and welfare standards is a complex endeavour. There are four different family poultry production systems: small extensive, extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive; each varying in terms or inputs, outputs, gender dimensions, poultry health and welfare, and environmental impact. In rural areas where the inputs required to support efficient and humane intensive production of chicken eggs are not readily available, consideration can be given to supporting semi‐intensive and extensive chicken production. Family poultry production requires attention to husbandry practices, disease prevention and control in line with national and international animal health regulations, and food safety. Family poultry can give some challenges. The conservation of eggs and the hatching of chickens are important in situations of high chicken mortality, where replacement birds are essential. Following the introduction of effective improved family poultry production programs, it can take up to 2 years for households to feel confident that their poultry will no longer die in large numbers enabling them to consume poultry and poultry products in increased quantities. Additionally, in some communities despite efforts to improve maternal dietquality during pregnancy, the ability to influence maternal diets goes well beyond food availability. To ensure that bird, human, and environmental health can flourish, it is essential for interdisciplinary research and development teams to work in collaboration with communities to ensure the long‐term environmental and economic sustainability of family poultry production enterprises that are a good fit with local circumstances.