CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Poultry generally is referred to all domestic birds raised by man for the production of eggs, meat and other benefits for human consumption. The domestic birds include fowl ducks, turkey, guinea fowl and geese., poultry products have been found to have the highest protein concentrate of about 20.5% relative to others success of protein (animals) and has the shortest production cycle of all animals.
Production cycle involves all the activities in the rearing of livestock from day old to maturity. For example, to achieve a ten-fold increase in the body weight in relation to weight at bird, Williamson and Payne (1978) outlined that it takes 25 days in broiler, 48 days in piglets, 250 days in caves and 170 days in sheep.
The rearing of pigs, cattle’s and goats however requires extensive kind more than poultry where more units of production can be achieved from a given space compared to the farmer. These advantages are perhaps the cause of a higher turnover in poultry production at reasonably short period of time in this work more emphasis shall be made specifically to the domestic fowl, which are the major birds for commercial and nutritional importance in Ikpoba Okha Local Government of Edo State. Poultry rearing have been in practice in Ikpoba Okha for a long time. The traditional motive varies from hobby to the use of fowl and eggs as food. Apart from the important roles that the fowl play in the traditional workshop of duties in many parts of the states, some communities use it as gift to their neighbours in appreciation of a good deed and as a mark of solidarity.
The traditional poultry keeping is generally subsistence in outlook without the use of modern scientific methods. Hence the birds under this system are poorly cared for and they are characterized by slow growth rate, poor feed utilization and low productivity. The birds are also exposed to high mortality rate as a result of diseases, pest and bad weather conditions.
However, inspite of the popularity of commercial poultry keeping, the subsistence and the small-scale units are still prevalent all over the place especially in the villages. Although the commercially oriented poultry units are abundant all over the state with varying modern scientific approach to production poultry output continues to be inadequate with prices above the reach of the common man.
This paper will therefore focus attention on the problems and prospect of poultry production in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo state.