Poultry pests, diseases, predators and associated ethnoveterinary practices by farmers rearing indigenous poultry in Namayingo District, Uganda
Wanyama, Judas Thadeo
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Diseases, pests and predators are a major constraint of indigenous poultry industry. Farmers have tried to combat these constraints by using conventional approaches but these have limitations like being expensive, not locally available, development of antimicrobial resistance, drug residues which pose a great risk to human lives. As a result, people have adopted ethnoveterinary medicine (EVM) practices as a possible alternative but this also has limitations such as limited documentation which limits adoption, conservation and standardization. This study therefore sought to document the pests, diseases, predators and the ethnoveterinary practices used by poultry farmers in Namayingo district, Uganda. A cross sectional study design which employed a qualitative approach was carried out in Namayingo district amongst 83 indigenous poultry farmers. The study employed purposive sampling and snowball sampling strategies to get respondents. Interview and observation methods were employed using tools which included semi-structured and key informant interview guides as well as a qualitative observation checklist. The results of this study showed that females were the majority (57.1%). The elderly above 50 years of age were the majority (54%). The main disease affecting poultry coccidiosis (26.2%), the pests were lice (48.8%), the predators were eagles (29.8%) whereas the disease signs which presented most was diarrhea (52.4%). Most of the respondents carried out animal medication by themselves (80.9%). Twenty-five medicinal plants belonging to 21 families were used in poultry EVM. Fabaceae was the most dominant family. The most mentioned plant was Allium sativum with a frequency of mention of 6. Twenty-four percent (24%) of the respondents cited ash as the most commonly used non-plant EVM material. Most respondents reported to have learnt about EVM practices from relatives (32.14%). Majority 52.4%) of the respondents cited no challenges faced with EVM practices. The biggest challenge associated with the use of the EVM practices was ineffectiveness (19.05%). It is therefore recommended that more studies should be carried out to get information from the elderly people before it gets extinct. Furthermore, research should be carried out to validate the therapeutic claims of these ethnomedicinal materials.
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