a1 Department of Animal Science and Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B.5323 Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
a2 Department of Animal Science and Fisheries, Cross Rivers State University of Technology, Obubra Campus, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria
Poultry plays an important role in the livelihood of rural communities in developing countries. Rural poultry (RP) accounts for about 80% of the world's poultry stocks in many developing countries. Thus, RP production is a valuable asset to the local human population despite its relatively low productive performance of 40 to 60 eggs per year and 1.5 to 1.7 kg body weight at maturity. RP contributes significantly to rural livelihood and overall population well-being by providing cash income, satisfying religious and socio-cultural needs, utilising spare family time and satisfying the family's nutritional needs. Efforts are therefore needed from all stake-holders for active participation in RP, geared towards strengthening and improving the development of RP production which had continuously proved to be an effective tool in fighting poverty, providing food security and improving rural livelihood.
(Received January 20 2011)
(Accepted July 06 2011)