Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil Carter Jr., Charles Goan


The purpose of this survey-type study was to (1) investigate the characteristics of three sizes of broiler operations under contract in : Jamaica in 1978, (2) to determine which of 16 recommended broiler management practices were being used and which were not being used by growers, and (3) to consider influences at work as broiler growers decided whether or not to use the recommended practices.

A 10% random sample of 43 Jamaican broiler growers under contract in 1978 was randomly selected and interviewed. House capacity for growers in the study ranged from 6,000 to 42,000 birds. Large growers had "grow-out" capacities ranging from 15,000 to 42,000 birds, medium growers from 10,000 to 12,000, and small growers, 6,000 birds.

All 43 growers in the study were full-time broiler growers, and nearly all, 95%, listed broiler growing as their main source of agricultural income. The average broiler grower had been in operation for 6.4 years and had two broiler houses on their farms, averaging 6.6 years old.

All but one grower used gas brooders, and their broiler houses were ventilated by the sea breeze. Most growers, 86%, used pan feeders and changed litter after every grow-out.

Most growers studied, 91%, used public water supply for their birds and reported little difference in the number of grow-outs per year, the average being 3.6. There was little difference noted also in number of days between graw-outs for all growers, the average being 22.8 days.

All growers studied were found to be using all 16 management practices studied and seemed to have been most influenced by the broiler growing contract with their company. Most growers, 70%, planned to expand by building new broiler houses, and most, 56%, said they planned to use the Jamaica Development Bank (J.D.B.) as their main credit source. All were interested in learning more about management, housing, and their contract.

Management, housing, and understanding of the contract agreement were work areas identified in this study where growers would like appropriate help from the Jamaica Extension Service.

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