A poultry farmer, Mr Emmanuel Iregbeyen, says the recent outbreak of bird flu in the country may affect the availability of poultry products for Yuletide.
Iregbeyen, Managing Director, Emiraz Farms Ltd., Aiyedotu Poultry Farmers cluster, Ojo, Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, the predicted scarcity of poultry birds during the Yuletide is as a result of losses incurred by farmers due to high mortality rate of their birds owing to the outbreak of bird flu.
He said that due to the outbreak of the disease, farmers have been advised by the authorities not to stock new birds.
“Under normal circumstance, by this time of the year we are meant to be experiencing egg-glut but with the bird flu factor, it is not noticeable now.
“We are only anticipating scarcity of poultry birds by December, as affected poultry farmers have been advised not to stock anything new because of the disease outbreak.
“There is likely going to be scarcity of poultry products during the Yuletide season and that is the position for now,” he said.
He also advised farmers to look out for early signs of the disease in their farms and to improve biosecurity measures to prevent the spread.
“The early sign of bird flu outbreak is unusual high mortality among the birds. When the poultry birds just drop dead in their numbers even with routine treatment, that is a sign of bird flu.
“That is what we first observe before we run a test on them to confirm the case of bird flu amongst our flock.
“Apart from the high rate of mortality, from experience, we have observed that the birds’ skins turn purple before they drop dead.
“Farmers can prevent bird flu by increasing biosecurity measures. They must ensure serious fumigation of their pens and reduce the traffic in and out of their farms.
“Farm hands should also reduce their visits to other poultry farms in order to reduce the rate of the disease spread and further losses,”Iregbeyen said.