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Animal Mortality

Indicator Phrasing

average % of target households’ [specify the animal] which died during the past [specify number] months
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: average % of target households’ [specify the animal] which died during the past [specify number] months

French: % moyen de [précisez l'animal] des ménages cibles qui sont décédés au cours des [précisez le nombre] mois passés

Portuguese: % média de [especifique o animal] dos agregados familiares-alvo que morreram durante os últimos [especifique o número] meses

Czech: průměrné % [určete druh zvířete] chovaných cílovými domácnostmi uhynulých během posledních [určete počet] měsíců

What is its purpose?

Animal mortality rate is an important indicator of the quality of care provided to raised animals and the severity of external factors, such as disease outbreaks or droughts.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of the target households’ members primarily responsible for raising the given animals:



Q1: How many [specify the animal – e.g. chickens] do you raise now?

A1: …...


Q2: How many [specify the animal – e.g. chickens] did you sell, eat or give away from [specify the time period – e.g. from January until now]?

A2: …...


Q3: How many [specify the animal – e.g. chickens] were killed by wild animals or were stolen from [specify the time period – e.g. from January until now]?

A3: …...


Q4: How many [specify the animal – e.g. chickens] died from a health problem from [specify the time period – e.g. from January until now]?

A4: …...


To determine the indicator’s value, add up the number of all the animals which died (reported by all the survey’s respondents) and divide it by the total number of animals raised by all the respondents (including those which were sold, eaten, given away, killed, stolen or died from a health problem). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. For example: in total 200 dead chickens divided by 2,000 raised chickens multiplied by 100 = 10% mortality rate.

Important Comments

1) Since mortality levels often differ depending on the animal's age, consider asking separately about young animals (e.g. chicks) and adult animals (e.g. chicken). 


2) Animal mortality is prone to significant seasonal differences. Do your best to collect baseline and endline data for the same recall period, in the same period of a year; otherwise, it is very likely that they will not be comparable.


3) If you know that the respondents are likely to differentiate the causes of animal death, consider including additional questions assessing why the animals died.


4) In the development context (with no major shocks or stresses), IndiKit suggests using a 6-month recall period – a longer period decreases the accuracy of respondents’ recall while a shorter period might capture insufficient (and therefore less representative) data. If you ask about economically more valuable animals which people raise in smaller quantities (cows, pigs), you might consider extending the recall period to 12 months (since such animals die less often and the respondents are more likely to remember these losses).


5) European Commission's DEVCO recommends using a similar version of this indicator: "Livestock mortality rate".

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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