Management of losses and Newcastle disease in rural poultry in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Keywords:Indigenous poultry, management losses, Newcastle disease
Causes of losses in rural poultry and measures adopted by farmers for the management of Newcastle disease (ND) were identified. The study was conducted in 13 local governments, in 33 villages and 223 households. Data on the population, health, causes of losses, management system, productivity, extension services and ethnoveterinary practices were collected using interview and a structured questionnaire. Of the three species of local poultry investigated, the chicken was raised by all respondents. A mean flock size of 18 local chickens, 16 guinea fowls and 7 ducks were recorded per household. Over 50% of the households kept 2 0r more species of poultry with chickens and guinea fowls being the most frequent (79%). All farmers provided supplementary food and water for birds but none offered commercial feed. The duck was a better hatcher than the chicken. ND was the major cause of losses of rural poultry. Poultry extension service was lacking. Majority (79.4%) of the respondents provided houses for their stock at night and 78% used traditional medicines for the management of diseases. Very few (1.38%) consulted veterinary clinics. As ND was reported to be a major threat to the development and survival of local poultry, adequate management measures in the form of improved feeding, housing, extension services and vaccination must be put in place to improve their productivity.