What is Subsistence and commercial poultry farming in the agricultural system, and why free-range chicken is a resistor to diseases than a caged chicken

What is Subsistence and commercial poultry farming in the agricultural system, and why free-range chicken is a resistor to diseases than a caged chicken

Difference between subsistence and commercial poultry farming.

When it comes to poultry farming we have two types of Poultry farming, they are Subsistence and commercial poultry farming. The difference between subsistence Poultry farming and commercial poultry farming is what I will explain below but before I move further I would like you to understand the difference between subsistence and commercial poultry farming.

 Farmers who practice free-range chicken (subsistence) rear only for their family because they don’t rear excess birds while farmers who practice caged chicken rear birds above what a free-range chicken farmer can do.

In order words, subsistence poultry farming is a process whereby a farmer produces livestock for his / her family without surplus for marketing (free-range chicken).


Commercial Poultry farming is a process whereby a farmer produces livestock for his / her family and have excess for marketing in the nations (caged chickens).

READ ALSO: 8 factors that deprive growth in poultry birds

Elaboration of free-range chicken and caged chickens

Free-range chickens

Free-range chicken is mostly practiced by Africans and Free range chicken farmers rear less than what a commercial farmer rear, free-range chicken is usually kept to walk around the houses and bushes, they feed themselves and drink any water they see available to them when they are thirsty.

I have practiced both platform of agriculture in poultry chicken production.

Caged chickens 

Caged chickens are practiced by commercial poultry farmers they rear more than what a subsistence poultry farmer rears, caged chickens are kept in the cage, battery cage, and poultry houses. Caged chickens are usually examined by a veterinary whenever they have a disease outbreak and caged birds are usually reared along with a drug administration schedule, unlike the free-range chickens that usually eat herbs themselves which helps their immune become resistant to any disease.

READ ALSO: How drug dosage error will kill your flock in a short time if you don’t practice precaution in poultry farming

The difference between free-range chicken and caged chicken

Free-Range Chicken

  1. They eat assorted types of leaves available to them e.g pawpaw, waterleaf, green, tomato, pepper, and many other leaves, all those leaves are medicinal and would contribute to strengthening their immune when a pathogen develops.
  2. They feed themselves by eating waste products from human food e.g. people who eat along the road might drop most of their food particles along the streets, the free-range chicken hunts for the fallen foods and eat them.
  3. Free-range chicken is strong and cannot die when disease outbreak manifest because their immune has been built against a pathogen.
  4. They are stress-free when you rear free-range chicken, you don’t need to take care of them by serving them food and water all times, they serve their food to themselves.
  5. Free-range chicken grows slowly because of a lack of vital nutrients and their meat is considered as gotten from organic.

 READ ALSO:If your farm has been attacked by Newcastle outbreak these are Methods on how you can control Newcastle virus in poultry

Caged Chicken

  1. Caged chicken eats only foods served to them by the farmer who rears them.
  2. Caged Chicken source of immune strength is by establishing a proper drug schedule from their drug administration, and their immune doesn’t fight pathogen you will be the one to ensure no pathogen is created, an example, enforcing your biosecurity is an appropriate way of deactivating pathogens in the farming system. 
  3. Caged chicken doesn’t hunt for food or thirst for water because they are always in a cage and their food is properly served by the farmer. They rarely eat human food even when served.
  4. Caged chicken dies of diseases and viruses easily.
  5. Practicing cage chicken is not stress-free, you will have to wash their drinkers and feeders every morning, you will need to tidy their poop whenever it’s untidy.
  6. Caged chicken grows quickly when its food and drug administration is served properly.


Both free-range chicken and caged chicken are practiced by the wide range of farmers, but free-range chicken production does not deal with the majority of farmers compared to caged chicken farmers, however, before venturing into poultry management its good for you to make a nice budget and plan in other to know the one that best fits you.

Other poultry information that might help your farm

  1. Insecurities and how you can extremely treat cough in poultry farming system
  2. Strategies i used to make excess sales on broilers and layer eggs on poultry farming system
  3. These are several skills you need to learn as a poultry farmer in poultry farming system
  4. These are Herbal Leaves to cure coccidiosis in poultry
  5. 12 Question and Answers on poultry management recommanded before you venture into animal husbandry

In my next lesson i will teach on These are pests and rodents you need to keep off your farm

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