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Aims: In Africa, local poultry production is main source of meat and eggs though disease is a major constraint. This study appraised the influence of management on local poultry exposure to infection and their response to vaccination and medication through feed.
Study Design: Local poultry were sampled, before intervention with vaccines and medication. After intervention the local poultry were monitored every fortnight.
Place and Duration of Study: The local poultry were sampled in Zaria, Nigeria and the samples were analyzed at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Laboratories at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Methodology: Flock information was obtained through a structured questionnaire and poultry blood, feacal samples and ectoparasites were collected after physical examination. Pack cell volume, Salmonella, Newcastle and Gumboro disease antibodies were analyzed by microhaematocrit method, rapid plate agglutination, haemagglutination inhibition and quantitative agar gel precipitin tests respectively. Haemoparasites, ectoparasites and endoparasites infecting the local poultry were assessed.
Results: The total number of all farmers kept chickens but some also kept ducks, turkeys, guinea fowls and pigeons. The mean flock size for local poultry, chickens and ducks managed extensively, semi-intensively or intensively were 37.6 ± 6.3, 26 ± 7 and 2.4 ± 1.7 respectively. Menacanthus stramineus infested chickens were controlled with Coumaphors. Emeria species, Raillietina species, Plasmodium gallinaceum and Aegyptianella pullorum parasites were identified and treated. Local poultry had antibodies to Salmonella, Newcastle and Gumboro disease and their antibody response to vaccination varies with age, species, management and time of vaccination. Prior to vaccination, the mean Newcastle disease antibody titre of adult chickens was ≥ 4 log2 though that for growers was < 4 log2.
Conclusion: Disease control in local poultry is feasible when vaccination is concurrently conducted with medication but further studies are needed to establish the most appropriate intervention time to ensure minimal number of intervention for optimal result.
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