Production Characteristics, Disease Prevalence and Herd Health Management in SE Nigeria

Efforts should be made to encourage better management and reduce diseases in order to improve pig performance in the region, according to resarchers at the University of Nigeria, and they recommend that public health risks associated with Brucella and trypanosome infections need to be addressed.
calendar icon 11 January 2012
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Dr John A. Nwanta and colleagues at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State, carried out a study to assess the management practices of pig production and herd health and disease prevalence in south-east Nigeria. Their paper is published in the Journal of Swine Health and Production.

They selected 54 farms in three states in the region. Information on socioeconomic 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 (from faecal samples).

Of 54 farm owners surveyed, 43 per cent were exclusively farmers, 32 per cent were in the buying and selling business, 17 per cent were civil servants, and six per cent were students. More men (89 per cent) than women (11 per cent) kept pigs, with the majority having a herd size of fewer than 100 pigs.

Most pigs were crosses between native and European breeds. Management was predominantly intensive (96 per cent), with most of the barns built of cement blocks, with concrete floors and galvanized roofing sheets.

Prevalence of 47 per cent, 25 per cent, 20 per cent, and 0.95 per cent were recorded for infection with coccidia, helminths, ectoparasites, and trypanosomes, respectively, and 0.6 per cent 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 the farmer's educational level.

In spite of the good productivity recorded in this study – farms having at least six pigs marketed per litter – Dr Nwanta and his co-authors conclude that efforts should be made to encourage better management practices to significantly reduce disease prevalence in order to improve performance. Public health risks associated with Brucella and trypanosome infections recorded in this study should not be neglected, they added.


Nwanta J.A., S.V.O. Shoyinka, K.F. Chah, J.I. Onunkwo, I.W. Onyenwe, J.I. Eze, C.N. E.O. Njoga, I. Onyema, K.I. Ogbu, E.C. Mbegbu, P.N. Nnadozie, E.C. Ibe and K.T. Oladimeji. 2011. Production characteristics, disease prevalence, and herd health management of pigs in Southeast Nigeria. J Swine Health Prod. 19(6):331–339.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on the diseases mentioned in this article by clicking here.

January 2012
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