1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Information

Poultry farming is the practice of raising domesticated birds such as chicken, turkey, duck, geese, pheasant, guinea fowl etc. as a subcategory of animal husbandry for the purpose of producing meat and egg for food and other by-products such as droppings, feathers as raw materials for industries. Poultry refers to domesticated birds that are reared majorly for meat and egg and sometimes, other by-products. In Agricultural resource management study (ARMS) formally known as farm cost and returns survey (FCRS) poultry include oestriches and other game birds but most operation raise only one specie of poultry for single purpose e.g. farmers keep laying hen  to produce egg for human consumption or for breeding purpose. Some raise starter, pullets and others concentrate on raising chickens or turkey for meet production. (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1954).  

The three most common species of poultry are domesticated fowl, duck and turkey; few breeds of chicken are Andalusian, Orpintons which are made up of white, black and buff orpingtons, leghorns, Plymouth Rock etc. breeds of turkey include Norfolk turkey which is black with spotted white wing, Cambridge turkey, a bronze grey bird larger and leggier than the Norfolk. Breeds of duck; buff orpington duck, pelkin duck also known as the island duck, Australian spotted, American black etc. (Noris 2005). Since domestic fowl accounts for over 90% of the total number of poultry across the globe, more emphasis will be placed on domesticated fowl in the course of this study.

More than 50 billion chickens are reared annually all over the world as a source of food (poultry farming – wikiedia, 2011). This is attributed to the importance of poultry products in terms of its nutritional values such as quality protein, liquids, carbohydrate, multitude of vitamins, minerals, cholesterols and pigments (Izunobi, 2002). Research has shown that in Nigeria poultry as a source of meat supplies about 20% of the total meat needs of the nation. This is grossly inadequate when compared with that in developed countries like America where as at 1915,poultry enterprise was already existing in the yard of many homes of the rural and small town families (U. S. Department of Commerce).

Research has pointed out that in most part of Nigeria, poultry farms operate in a less equipped poultry houses under the care of less competent poultry farmers that are less concerned about the recent technologies that are relevant for the improvement of their poultry management and increasing the yield of their input. This is one of the major reasons why most developed countries in the world produce and consume higher poultry products than Nigeria. In the United States for instance, statistics has it that the estimate of egg consumption is 250 – 300 egg per head per annum, this is in contrast to Nigeria where the estimated egg consumption is 20-25 eggs per head per annum (Oluyemi and Robert, 2000). Therefore, there is urgent need for training poultry farmers in Nigeria as a whole and in Oshimili South Local government Area of delta State in particular in order to make up for this discrepancy. 

Training in simple terms refers to the imparting of specific skills, ability and knowledge through appropriate educational methodology to improve performance and efficiency of the trainee. Training is any attempt to improve current or future employee performance by increasing an employee’s ability to perform through learning, usually by changing the employee’s attitude or increasing his or her skills and knowledge. Training needs depends on lack or deficiency in skills. The need for training and development is determined by employee’s performance deficiency computed as follows

Training need = standard performance ­- actual performance. (Human Resources Management,2010). 

Training is basically classified into lectures and on-the-job training. Lecture is the kind of training that takes place off-site i.e. in classrooms or lecture halls. It is used because of its low cost and its capacity to reach many people at a time. It is referred to as a one- way training device and it is sometimes criticized as a training device. On-the-job training takes place at the place of primary assignment. It is most time used as a supplement for the off-site training since it is usually impossible to teach someone everything she needs to know at a location off-site.

Since training is so crucial in developing individual’s managerial ability, it may be referred to as the basis of economic development. Going by the quote by Thomas and portal, (1992) which says development is achieved through investing in human capital and raising the productivity capacity of the society, also the economist school of taught who viewed development primarily in terms of a nation’s relative prosperity, it is therefore of great need that the poultry farmers in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State and those in Nigeria as a whole be assessed to determine whether they need training in order to increase their competence for better management of their farms.

1.2 Statement of Problem

A number of challenges are associated with poultry production in Delta State and in Nigeria as a whole among which is disease incidence; for example Newcastle disease is a major constrain in the production of village chicken (Alexander, 1991 and spradbrow, 1988). Many developing countries suffer high mortality in unprotected flocks based on the fact that circulating strands of Newcastle disease virus is capable of causing 100% mortality. According to (Eekeren et al, 1990), insufficiency of clean fresh water can seriously retard the growth of chicks, impair egg production and sometimes lead to the mortality of young chicks. Other challenges include poorly equipped poultry houses, wrong way of administering drugs, and poor management techniques which is most times as a result of incompetence of the poultry farmers.

Giving training in various aspect of poultry management on the recent discoveries, observations, developments and techniques will go a long way in solving some of these problems. This study is therefore designed to answer the following research questions

⦁ What is the level of competence of poultry farmers in Oshimili South Local Government Area of delta State?

⦁ What is the expected level of competence of poultry farmers?

⦁ How do poultry farmers perceived their task?

⦁ What are the task areas in which poultry farmers require further training in order to check persisting problems and boost productivity

1.3 Objectives of the study

The broad objective of this study is to examine the needs of training poultry farmers in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. The specific objectives of the study are to

a. describe  the social-economic characteristic of poultry farmers

b. identify the perceived level of competence of poultry farmers in accomplishing their tasks

c. ascertain poultry farmers perceived importance of their task 

d.   ascertain the task in which poultry famers require further training.

1.4 Hypothesis of the Study

This hypothesis will be tested in this study

Ho1 there is significant differences in gender perceived importance of various task perform by poultry  farmers 

1.5 Significance of the Study

The need for this study is to identify certain challenges of the poultry industries in Delta state, and to cause noticeable change in the poultry farming of this age by training poultry farmers on improved system of poultry management and exposing them to the importance attached to their various tasks and the tasks in which they need further training as a way of increasing productivity.


2.1    Meaning of Poultry

Poultry comes from the French /Norman word, (pullus), which means a small animal, but in a more comprehensive form, it is seen as a category of domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of collecting their eggs or droppings, slaughtering them for their meat, and/or feathers. These are most typically members of the superorder  Galloanserac (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails, and turkeys ) and the family Anatidae (in the order Anseric forms), commonly known as waterfowl” (e.g. domestic (ducks and domestic geese) poultry also includes other birds such as pigeons or doves which can also be slaughtered for their meat.                                                                                                                     Poultry in this part of the world can be regarded as an umbrella that covers a variety of birds such as chicken, turkey quail, etc whose basic purpose of been kept is to convert feeds to meat and egg, which are of economic value to man. Historically, the growth of poultry began as a result of the advantage it had over other livestock. These advantages include high protein level in the human diet (flock, 1994), source of income to the owners, Nelson (1998), source of nutrients for land improvement Agboola, et al (1997), and employment generation for the unemployed, Ravi (1998). The poultry industry is one of the most popular livestock enterprises in the world today. Law and Payne (1996) stated that the world production of poultry meat represented 23.6% of all meat in 1992. North America had the highest production at 45.2kg per head. In the USA chicken consumption alone overtook that of pork in 1986 and beef in 1988. Okunaiya (1986) found that Nigeria had the largest poultry population in black Africa. According to him, poultry contributed highly to animal protein consumption and gross domestic product. Omonona and Oni (2004) maintained that poultry was one of the quickest ways for the rapid increase in protein supply in the short run, and it also provides food, income, employment, and industrial raw materials and manure for crop production.

2.2    Poultry Management

According to Ovwigho et al (2009), in virtually all rural areas, poultry production is carried out on small scale under the extensive or traditional and semi-intensive system. But the three major types of poultry management systems are namely extensive semi-intensive and intensive systems. Adegbola et al (1986) further classified the systems of poultry management in the tropics into traditional, free-range, restricted range, and intensive range systems. The extensive system is also known as the free-range system. According to Williamson (1978), this system of poultry management exposes birds to predators and unfavorable weather conditions. B. O Ovwigho et al (2009) also commented that this system of poultry keeping had continued to thrive in the tropics in spite of the new technologies. The intensive system of poultry keeping is the one that requires adequate and proper management of the birds by the poultry farmer. The poultry farmer houses the birds in a poultry house at a stocking density that is convenient for the birds. He provides them with an adequate supply of foods and water in the right quantity and at the right time. He takes proper care of the poultry house and its environment to ensure a disease-free environment and also provides the birds with the necessary vaccines at the necessary time. The above-listed things being the routine activities in the intensive system of poultry management makes it a little bit more demanding in terms of the needed attention and capital compared to others. In an extensive system, birds are given the freedom to run about and fend for themselves with little or no care given to them while in semi-intensive, the birds are sometimes allowed to roam in search of food, they have less attention of the poultry farmer compared to that of the intensive system and they are exposed to risk and harm. According to Andrew (1986), Portmouth (1972) and Obinne (1986), Any poultry management system that is to be adopted depends on certain conditions in order to ensure a high level of productivity and profitability. It also depends on the kind of birds you are rearing. For Example, a farmer producing layers think of making use of either the caped layer production or floor production, both of which are under the intensive system of poultry management.




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