Poultry Development Services

Helping families earn a decent income from raising chickens

About the programme

PDS is our ‘flagship’ programme launched in 2011. It provides the tools and training (the ‘toolkit‘) for families living in poverty to start a small enterprise from home by raising chickens and selling the produce.

Click on the image below to watch our short animated video about Poultry Development Services.

Who we target

In rural India, the burden of poverty often falls hardest on women and their children. Women may be excluded from opportunities to earn money due to cultural prejudices, poor education and lack of job prospects and so have little say in household spending decisions. PDS is aimed at women as it allows them to work from home and earn their own small income.

Why chickens?

We chose poultry farming for a number of reasons:

  • very little land is needed to raise chickens
  • there is a large market demand for the produce (meat and eggs)
  • low risk and low start-up costs
  • unsold produce can be consumed by the family
  • the enterprise can provide a regular income over an extended period

What impact is it making?

Our impact assessments and feedback from our beneficiaries have revealed the many benefits of the programme:

  • up to 30% increase in household income from the sale of eggs and mature chickens
  • women become empowered by the ability to earn money for themselves
  • women invariably use their earnings for the benefit of the whole family
  • children benefit from better access to education as there is money to pay for school uniform and books
  • families have a healthier diet – chicken and eggs are a great source of protein
  • more money is available to pay for basic household expenses, reducing the need to rely on unscrupulous money lenders.
  • the skills learned and profits earned can be used to start a new enterprise
  • PDS aims to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship so we ask all our farmers to make a small financial contribution (currently 450 rupees = c. £5) to the cost of each toolkit (c. £15)

When I visit poor communities and speak with women about their lives, they tell me about the daily struggle to give their children a chance at a better life than they had. And a lot of times, one of the most powerful weapons in that struggle is a small flock of chickens

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Poultry Farmer


Shanti lives in the Nayagarh District in Odisha with her husband and…

Poultry Farmer


Rachana was one of the first women to enrol on Poultry Development…

Poultry Farmer


Akina is 50 and is married with seven daughters. She and her…

Paddy Farmer


Nishikanta is 45 and he registered for AMS in June 2014. He…

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