Seasonal distribution of major diseases among sheep and goats in selected sub humid areas in Nigeria
This study into the diseases responsible for the uneven distribution of goat and sheep in the sub humid areas in Nigeria as one of the major hinderances in sheep and goat production despite the potentiality of this region to sustain small ruminants. A survey of the types and causes of major diseases of small ruminants was carried out in Edo State of Nigeria which presents variants of climatic conditions that cut across the humid areas of Nigeria and Africa. The study covered a period of five years (1997‐2002) in three local government areas of the state. A total of 316 small ruminants’ cases of major diseases made up of 25 cases in sheep and 291 cases in goats were recorded. Pneumonia contacted by the ruminants was 17%, helminthosis was 10% and was 6% as the most predominated diseases that occurred during the wet seasons than the period of dry season. Mange was high during the dry seasons and seemed to be confined almost exclusively to goats. Statistical analysis using a three‐factor analysis of variance revealed that seasonal distribution of diseases was a significant factor (p<0.05), diseases and the type of the small ruminant that contacted the diseases were significant factor (p<0.05). Most of the major diseases were frequently contracted during the wet seasons. In the Humid areas, there is need to sensitize farmers about ruminants’ health care management programmes especially intensive feeding method during wet season and deworming during onset or immediately after the wet season against gastro intestinal parasites as well as the improvement of indigenous breed through semi intensive management system by the farmers.
Key words: Diarrhoea related diseases, symptoms, seasons, sheep and goats, sub humid, veterinary records, Nigeria