Department of Animal Production, University of Ilorin, P.M.B. 1515, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
Receive Date: 10 October 2013,
Revise Date: 03 December 2013,
Accept Date: 15 December 2013
A participatory rural appraisal technique (PRAT) was used to obtain information from 132 randomly selected turkey farmers in two out of four agricultural development zones in Kwara state, Nigeria. Data were obtained on socio-occupational status of farmers, their production objectives, experience, flock structure, management practices, marketing and consumption of turkey eggs. The results showed that there was more male turkey farmers (52.27%) than females. The average age of farmers was 52.6 years and was either Christian or Muslim (43.18% vs. 56.82%). Most of the farmers were literate and relied solely on the local breed for their production. The mean flock size was 13 birds per farmer. The observed plumage colours were black, white and lavender. Over 90% of the birds were kept either extensively or in a semi-intensive system using locally available food wastes and grains. The mean mating ratio was 1: 1.66. Birds were selected mainly for body weight, while most of the sale of turkey occurs during Christmas (65.15%). About 79% of farmers consume turkey eggs meant for hatching because of their love for the taste of the eggs or due to the inability of the hen to incubate all eggs at once. Results indicate that turkey production is still at subsistence level characterised by poor breeding, feeding, housing and marketing. Improved turkey production will require a more vigorous public extension services. It also calls for the introduction of improved local or crossbred turkeys with a higher genetic potential.
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