Ethno veterinary practices of small ruminant livestock farmers in Southwestern Nigeria
The paper investigated and documented some ethno veterinary practices of farmers in South western Nigeria. Data were collected from a total of 400 ruminant livestock farmers selected from Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo and Edo States of Nigeria using Multi-stage sampling technique. The data collected include the specific attributes of small ruminant livestock farmers in the area, ethno-veterinary practices of farmers in the treatment of major diseases/ailments of small ruminants and reasons for the use of ethno-veterinary methods. The results showed that farmers were able to diagnose the major diseases of sheep and goats and use a number of indigenous methods to treat diseases of small ruminants. The preparations were either given orally or topically. Farmers perceived the treatments as being effective for most of the preparations. Reasons for the use of ethno-veterinary methods by farmers include availability, low cost, effectiveness, cultural appropriateness, and the fact that they are easy to prepare and easily recognized by farmers. The need to harness indigenous knowledge as viable alternative treatment of small ruminant diseases is suggested. Scientists should however experiment on these practices in other to ascertain the efficacy, dosage, safety and active ingredients of the local preparations used by farmers.
Keywords: Small ruminants, Ethno veterinary practices, Indigenous knowledge, Southwestern Nigeria.