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Helminthiasis of the domestic-fowl (Gallus gallus domestics) and its adverse effects on sustainable poultry-meat production in Nigeria
The prevalence of Helminthiasis and its adverse effects on sustainable profitable poultrymeat production in Port Harcourt and its environs was studied. While the domestic- fowl broilers and layers. The study was conducted between July 2012 and December 2012 when poultry-meat production and demands are on the increase due to various festive activities taking place and conditions that favour helminthiasis are high in Nigeria. Seven hundred and fifty of domestic fowls brought to Raph-veterinary services in Port Harcourt (where one of the authors does locum-practice), from various domestic-fowl production ventures in Port Harcourt and its environs (covering five local government areas in Rivers State, viz; Port Harcourt, Obio-Akpor, Oyigbo, Eleme and Tai). The fowls were examined to determine the cause(s) of death. They were examined post mortem. Out of the number, 500 (66.66%) were pullets and layers while 250 (33.33%) were broilers. Helminthiasis was identified as cause of death in 600 (86%) of examined birds. Of the 600 infected birds, 400 (66.67%) were layers while 200 (33.33%) were broilers. Helminthiasis was identified and reported as the cause of most of the losses. This conclusion was based on the case history taken, external observation of the birds, observations made from the pens on visitating the sources and gastrointestinal tracts of the examined birds. Helminthes were found in 600 (80% of 750 posted/examined) birds, which 200 (26.67% of examined birds and 33.33% of infected) were broilers while 400 (53.33% examined, and 66.67% of infected birds) were layers. These levels of losses which occurred during the six months of study were analyzed for financial implications and effects on the overall profitability of poultry-meat production in the area of study.These deaths due to helminthiasis summed up to loss of N1,200,000 (for layers) and N500,000 (for broilers) of expected monetary income from the sale of these birds had they not died. This study is a reflection of the case across Nigeria and perhaps the tropical world, where the losses maybe higher because helminthiasis has been reported to be ubitiquous by earlier researchers.