A survey of donkey breeds and management in five local government areas in semi arid areas of Northeast Nigeria
The study was conducted in five (5) Local Government Areas (LGAs) of north-west Yobe state in March, 2009 to investigate the different donkey breeds, type of housing system and various diseases that affect donkeys as a result of the role of donkeys in the farming system of the area. The L.G.As were Nguru, Jakusko, Machina, Gashua and Yusufari Local Governments respectively. Structured questionnaires (76) were administered to fifteen (15) randomly selected farmers from each L.G.A. Results obtained showed that the mean number of donkeys owned by the farmers was 1.47±2.08 donkeys. The mean year of experience with donkeys was 15.72 ± 8.195years and the mean hour of work with donkey per week was 16±19.31 hours. Goho (71%), Jaba (50%) and Fari (50%) breeds were the most abundant donkey breeds respectively. In Nguru Local Government Area, 50% of the donkeys had no housing, 42% were housed in thatched roofs while 38% were housed under the shade compared to other Local Government Areas. The most frequent diseases observed were jini (57%) (Blood loss from wounds), rinkyau (52%) (Ear disease) and annumur (48%) (Cuts on the tongue) respectively. Donkey breeds, diseases and housing system differed significantly (p < 0.05) between the locations. However, donkey training methods was the same (p
> 0.05) in all locations. The number of donkeys owned by the farmers positively correlated with years of experience (r = 0.403; p < 0.001). It was therefore concluded that the donkey breeds in the study area should be fully protected from harsh weather conditions and disease parasites through good housing and proper disease management since they will continue to play a role in the farming system of these areas. There is a need to conduct further research on various aspects of donkey management in this area.
Key Words: Donkey, breeds, farmers, disease, housing, Yobe.