Harmattan Affects Poultry Operators, Birds in Jos
The Poultry Farmers Association in Plateau State has expressed worry over the level of challenges faced by poultry operators in the state, particularly in Jos the capital and other parts with intense cold.
The association’s Chairman, Johnson Bagudu, said the harmattan which comes with severe cold, especially in January, has affected the poultry business in many ways as the cold has several detrimental impact on the birds/chickens.
According to him, this outcome, poses lots of challenges for poultry owners, while making strenuous efforts to remain in business and keep afloat.
“In fact, the harmattan is kind of a disaster to us because the cold affects the chickens as well as their production drastically. The production of the chickens in this harmattan has dropped to about 70 percent.
“Yet the chickens keep eating at the normal rate which must be provided by the poultry owners despite their low production. That implies that the business undoubtedly suffers some setbacks this period.
“Besides, many chickens have died due to the weather, and since no one can actually regulate or control the weather, the chicken owners leave everything to fate.
“During this harmattan period you will see the chickens looking sickly, dull and cold, but whenever the weather is a little bit warm, you will see them very agile/active and jumping from one place to the other,” he said.
According to Bagudu, they can’t really do anything to keep the chickens warm during the harmattan, because at their matured stage their feathers serve as protection.
He said among the problems are the high cost of feeds, day-old chicks, their drugs/treatment as well as consistent and ready market for sales.
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