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Improved breeds to boost poultry production in Nigeria

A team of experts from the African Chicken Genetic Gains (ACCG) in Nigeria has developed a new disease-resistant breed of chicken with higher egg output

This was stated by Funso Sonaiya, the principal consultant, ACGG-NG and lecturer in the Department of Animal Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, according to Premium Times.

ACCG is an Africa-wide collaboration led by the International Livestock Research Institute and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that works to test and make available high-producing, farmer-preferred chicken strains that increase smallholder chicken productivity in Africa.

Tests were carried out in the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Fol-Hope Farms, Ibadan as well as in five zones – Kwara, Rivers, Imo, Nasarawa and Kebbi states – involving 2,100 farmers and ‘six genetics’ chromosome. In the last two years, the organisation had conducted extensive baseline survey of smallholder poultry farmers in Nigeria and distributed over 65,000 chicks to 2,100 smallholder chicken farmers in 60 villages across five main agro-ecological zones.

“The six genetics produces up to about 200 eggs annually while the local breed produces less than 65 annually. The adult size for a local breed which is what is commonly available in many homes/poultry farms is 1kg at 20 weeks while the new breed of chicken weighs six genetics weighs 3kg at 20 weeks, ” Sonaiya said.

The team lists the identified genetic breeds to include ShikaBrown from Ahmadu Bello University, ABU; Fulani, from Obafemi University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Alpha, from the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun State; Sasso breed from Paris, France and Kuroiler breed from Keg farm in India.

The ACCG-NG team noted that the poultry birds are currently 52 weeks old, adding that the institute has established two systems – On-station and On-farm – to check their day-to-day growth, life span and survival trend.