caged chickens on the back of a motorbike
Chickens destined for a wet market in Vietnam. Image: ILRI/Flickr

Very many individuals, businesses, institutions, regulators and others are needed for successful poultry breeding, husbandry, trading and marketing, and production and distribution networks reflect the various interactions among them.

The configuration of the production and distribution networks depends in part on the level of intensification of the poultry production, as well as the type of products being moved along those networks, e.g. meat, eggs, manure and offal. Regulatory, social, economic and cultural settings are also key.

Our work characterising the different production and distribution networks is informed by the following research:

Network mapping

Mapping production and distribution networks is informing our biological sampling.

Mapping includes identifying formal and informal poultry players and sites, and characterising flows of ‘inputs’ and ‘outputs’, where ‘inputs’ include factors such as day-old-chicks, feed and antimicrobials, and ‘outputs’ include factors such as chicken meat and eggs. The waste along the networks, and networks’ levels of intensification are also being characterised.

Researchers are also assessing plausible future socioeconomic scenarios and how these could impact the production and distribution of chickens

Ethnographies and economic surveys

Detailed ethnographies and economic surveys are being undertaken. These help us to: characterise roles and interactions, such as power relations, among players operating within networks; assess how ‘value’ is created and appropriated, and how money circulates along networks; explore how consumers’ demands and preferences are shaped; and identify leverage points for effective interventions that can mitigate disease risk.

They also help to explore the efficiency of regulatory frameworks and governance.

Studying behaviours

At each stage of each network, we are identifying people’s behaviours that could potentially protect or expose chickens and people to zoonotic pathogens, and we are assessing the social, economic and cultural factors that determine these behaviours and the perceived health risks of them.

Our understanding of people’s behaviours is being deepened using methods derived from behavioural economics

Disease Dynamics

Our People & Poultry findings will combine with measures of pathogen frequency and genetic diversity to assess how poultry production systems can shape disease dynamics.