Knowledge, attitude and practices of coccidiosis in chickens by poultry farmers in southwest, Nigeria
Coccidiosis is a major disease of economic importance in Nigeria requiring adequate knowledge and understanding of the disease pattern as well as correct attitude and acceptable practices in order to effectively control or at least minimize the negative effective on poultry production. In this study semi-structured questionnaire was administered randomly to 166 poultry farmers in Oyo and Ogun States to determine their knowledge and attitude towards chicken coccidiosis and their adopted prophylactic practices. The data obtained were subjected to descriptive statistics, Chi-square and logistic regression at p≤=0.05 significance level. About 56.4% of the respondents were >50 years with 84.4% having tertiary education and 93.4% were married. About 50.6% of the poultry farms had 1000-5000 flock size with 59.0% using open drinkers resulting in regular water spills on litter which predisposes to coccidiosis. About 95.9% of the respondents were aware of coccidiosis and 82% of them got their information on coccidiosis from Veterinary professionals and this is significantly associated (p<0.05) with good knowledge of coccidiosis. Almost 85% of the respondents have suffered coccidiosis outbreaks with 72.9% occurring in chickens under 8 weeks. Only 73% have foot dips at their farm entrance and this has biosecurity implications on coccidiosis control. Only 15.1% of the respondents could recognize two or more clinical signs of coccidiosis and are said to have good knowledge of the disease while the majority (84.9%) associate coccidiosis with only bloody faeces. Usage of both deep litter and battery cage system was significantly (p<0.05) associated with good knowledge of coccidiosis. Muslim respondents and those using Veterinary Consultants had significantly higher practice of vaccine prophylaxis adoption. Veterinary extension education and faith-based advocacy will enhance better attitudes to and practices of coccidiosis management by farmers; like the adoption of coccidiosis vaccination which will not only reduce anticoccidial usage but also minimize anticoccidial residues in poultry products.
Keywords: Coccidiosis, Extension, Poultry