Poultry plays an important role in the livelihood of rural communities in developing countries. Rural poultry (RP) accounts for about 80% of the world's poultry stocks in many developing countries. Thus, RP production is a valuable asset to the local human population despite its relatively low productive performance of 40 to 60 eggs per year and 1.5 to 1.7 kg body weight at maturity. RP contributes significantly to rural livelihood and overall population well-being by providing cash income, satisfying religious and socio-cultural needs, utilizing spare family time and satisfying the family's nutritional needs. Efforts are therefore needed from all stake-holders for active participation in RP, geared towards strengthening and improving the development of RP production which had continuously proved to be an effective tool in fighting poverty, providing food security and improving rural livelihood.
Keeping in view the importance of rural poultry Livestock Department has started a community-based project on improving and sustaining food self-sufficiency through promoting integration, multiplication and intensified utilization of rural poultry in villages in Punjab.
The poultry units are being distributed among the rural and peri urban population at 40-60 % subsidized rates and to avoid constraints such as mismanagement, malnutrition, and diseases ,steps are being taken. Their major problem is high mortality due to diseases like Newcastle, Pox, new respiratory disease and parasitic infestation. These can be easily prevented through vaccinations and treatment. Training rural women in these skills have been very effective which is being provided to them through this project. This has drastically reduced mortality and empowered women. Livestock department is stressing hard on holistic approach focusing on both husbandry practices as well as health and disease control especially a strategic control programme of Newcastle disease.