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Research Journal of Poultry Sciences

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 23 - 26

The Annual Prevalence of Newcastle Disease in Commercial Chickens Reared in South Eastern Savannah Zone of Nigeria

E.C. Okwor and D.C. Eze


The prevalence of Newcastle disease, a viral disease of birds in commercial birds reared in South-Eastern derived savannah zone of Nigeria was studied for a period of 3 years. Two Veterinary establishments located within the zone were used in the study. Cases in commercial chickens that were reported, examined clinically and through Post mortem findings and confirmed through laboratory examinations to be Newcastle disease were recorded. Field visits to farms that were reported to have outbreaks of infection was done and after clinical, Post mortem and laboratory examination, cases that were confirmed to be Newcastle disease were also recorded. Results showed a high prevalence during the dry harmattan period of November to February and fairly high prevalence during the peak rainy period of June and July. The stress from environmental conditions associated with these periods of the year in Nigeria was suggested to be the major factor that initiates and worsens the disease condition at these periods of the year. The stress condition is thought to lower the immune systems of the chickens thereby making them succumb early to infection and therefore, leading to an outbreak. The use of antistress and rugged vaccinations just was recommended prior to these periods of the year in order to protect birds from infections.