Rearing Methods, Seasons of the Year and Survivability of Rural Poultry Enterprise in Nigeria

Abalaka G. O., Mkpado, M., Ugwu, S.O.C.


The study was carried out to investigate the performance of rural poultry enterprise in Nigeria with respect to survivability and mortality rates during the various seasons of the year under three rearing systems. The two major seasons of the year (Rainy and Dry seasons) were considered in phases namely early rainy, late rainy, early dry, and late dry seasons, while the rearing conditions were intensive, semi-intensive and extensive (free-range) systems. In each of the phases of the seasons, farmers were visited and questionnaires used to extract responses from the various categories of farmers in the area regarding the management conditions adopted and the performance of their poultry under the different rearing conditions, notably the prevalent causes of mortality, the time they occur most, and number that died/survived in each season. A total of two hundred and twenty (220) rural poultry farmers in the State were selected for the study. The results showed that 120 (54.5%), 80 (36.4%) and 20 (9.1%) rural poultry farmers practiced extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive systems respectively. It was observed that rearing system play a highly significant (P < 0.01) role on the mortality and survivability of birds in the rural poultry enterprise. Mortality of birds is very high (53.6%) under the free-range system of poultry management, followed by the semi-intensive system (39.05%) and lowest in the intensive system (7.36%). A higher rate of mortality of birds in the free-range rural poultry system was witnessed during the late rainy (58% of birds reared) and late dry seasons (59% of bird reared). Survivability was very high under the intensive system of poultry management in all seasons while survival rate in the early rainy and early dry seasons of the year was higher in the semi-intensive than free-range system. It was deduced that season of the year and management systems adopted in rural poultry production influenced the mortality rate and number of birds surviving.

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