Production characteristics, disease prevalence, and herd-health management of pigs in Southeast Nigeria

John A. Nwanta, DVM, MSc, PhD; Shodeinde V. O. Shoyinka, DVM, MSc, PhD; Kennedy F. Chah, DVM, MSc, PhD; Joseph I. Onunkwo, DVM, MSc; Ifediora W. Onyenwe, BSc, MSc; James I. Eze, DVM, MSc; Chijioke N. Iheagwam, DVM, MSc; Emmanuel O. Njoga, DVM, MSc; I. Onyema, DVM; Kenneth I. Ogbu, DVM; Edmund C. Mbegbu, DVM; Patience N. Nnadozie, DVM; Eugene C. Ibe, DVM; Kelvin T. Oladimeji, DVM

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Objectives: To assess the management practices of swine production and herd health and disease prevalence in Southeast Nigeria.

Materials and methods: Fifty-four farms were conveniently selected from three states of Southeast Nigeria. Information on socio-economic characteristics of farmers (sex, occupation, educational status, and farming experience), management practices, and disease prevalence were collected. Samples were screened for ectoparasites (skin scrapings), trypanosomes and Brucella antibodies (blood samples), and helminth and cestode ova and coccidia oocysts (fecal samples).

Results: Of 54 farm owners surveyed, 43% were exclusively farmers, 32% were in the buying and selling business, 17% were civil servants, and 6% were students. More men (89%) than women (11%) kept pigs, with the majority having a herd size of < 100 pigs. Most pigs were crosses between native and European breeds. Management was predominantly intensive (96%), with most of the barns built of cement blocks, with concrete floors and galvanized roofing sheets. Prevalences of 47%, 25%, 20%, and 0.95% were recorded for infection with coccidia, helminths, ectoparasites, and trypanosomes, respectively; 0.6% of pigs tested were positive for Brucella antibodies. Significant associations were noted between disease prevalence and litter size and management system, and between productivity and farmer’s educational level.

Implications: In spite of the good productivity recorded in this study (farms having 6 pigs marketed per litter), efforts should be made to encourage better management practices to significantly reduce disease prevalence for better performance. Public-health risks associated with Brucella and trypanosome infections recorded in this study should not be neglected.

Keywords: production characteristics, disease prevalence, herd-health management, Nigeria

RIS citationCite as: Nwanta JA, Shoyinka SVO, Chah KF, et al. Production characteristics, disease prevalence, and herd-health management of pigs in Southeast Nigeria. J Swine Health Prod 2011;19(6):331-339.

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