2.1 Meaning of Poultry
Poultry comes from the French /Norman word, (pullus), which means small animal, but in a more comprehensive form, it is seen as a category of domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of collecting their eggs or droppings, slaughtering them for their meat, and / or feathers. These are most typically members of the super order Galloanserac (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails and turkeys ) and the family Anatidae (in the order Anseric forms), commonly known as water fowl” (e.g. domestic (ducks and domestic geese) poultry also includes other birds such as pigeons or doves which can also be slaughtered for their meat.
Poultry in this part of the world can be regarded as an umbrella that covers a variety of birds such as chicken, turkey quail etc whose basic purpose of been kept is to convert feeds to meat and egg, which are of economic value to man.
Historically, the growth of poultry began as a result of the advantage it had over other livestock. These advantages include high protein level in human diet (flock, 1994), source of income to the owners, Nelson (1998), source of nutrients for land improvement Agboola, et al (1997) and employment generation for the unemployed, Ravi (1998). The poultry industry is one of the most popular livestock enterprises in the world today. Law and Payne (1996) stated that the world production of poultry meat represented 23.6% of all meat in 1992. North America had the highest production at 45.2kg per head. In USA chicken consumption alone overtook that of pork in 1986 and beef in 1988. Okunaiya (1986) fund that Nigeria had the largest poultry population in black Africa. According to him, poultry contributed highly to animal protein consumption and gross domestic product. Omonona and Oni (2004) maintained that poultry was one of the quickest ways for rapid increase in protein supply in the short run, and it also provides food, income, employment and industrial raw materials and manure for crop production.
2.2 Poultry Management
According to Ovwigho et al (2009), in virtually all rural areas, poultry production is carried out on small scale under the extensive or traditional and semi-intensive system. But the three major types of poultry management systems are namely extensive semi-intensive and intensive systems. Adegbola et al (1986) further classified the systems of poultry management in the tropics into traditional, free range, restricted range and intensive range systems.
The extensive system is also known as the free range system. According to willamson (1978), this system of poultry management exposes birds to predators and unfavorable weather conditions. B. O Ovwigho et al (2009) also commented that this system of poultry keeping had continued to thrive in the tropics in spite of the new technologies.
The intensive system of poultry keeping is the one that requires adequate and proper management of the birds by the poultry farmer. The poultry farmer houses the birds in a poultry house at a stocking density that is convenient for the birds. He provides them with adequate supply of foods and water in the right quantity and at the right time. He takes proper care of the poultry house and its environment to ensure a disease free environment and also provides the birds with the necessary vaccines at the necessary time. The above listed things being the routine activities in intensive system of poultry management makes it a little bit more demanding in terms of the needed attention and capital compared to others.
In extensive system, birds are given the freedom to run about and fend for themselves with little or no care given to them while in semi-intensive, the birds are sometimes allowed to roam in search of food, they have less attention of the poultry farmer compared to that of the intensive system and they are exposed to risk and harm.
According to Andrew (1986), Portmouth (1972) and Obinne (1986), Any poultry management system that is to be adopted depends on certain conditions in order to ensure a high level of productivity and profitability. It also depends on the kind of birds you are rearing. For Example a farmer producing layers, thinks of making use of either the caped layer production or floor production, both of which are under the intensive system of poultry management.