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Nigeria is a country with a large human population and this population needs to be adequately fed with high quality animal products such as egg, meat and milk for good health and increased productivity. The need for improvement in the overall livestock industry, therefore, becomes obvious when viewed against this background of our ever growing population. With a population of 166 million birds (FAO STAT 2007) in Nigeria, the poultry species stand out among the cheapest and highly affordable protein sources for the populace. Nigeria still imports exotic species of livestock including poultry and pigs. The shortage of poultry meat led to the importation of exotic stock which has resulted in the dilution of our indigenous gene pool and neglect of research and improvement of our indigenous gene pool (Ndofor-Foleng et al., 2010). Also our earlier researchers have concentrated on crossbreeding programmes of the local chicken species with the exotic chicken, with a view of improving their body size (Hill and Modebe 1961, Nwosu 1979 and Omeje et al., 1985). This is commendable since appreciable progress has been made in that direction (Omeje, 2013). However, it has not solved our problem of self sufficiency in animal protein supply. The identification, characterization and selection of the native poultry species in Nigeria for productive purposes cannot be over emphasized. This could help us to improve their performance and also develop our own strain of poultry since they have lived and produced for several years in Nigerian environments especially in the rural communities where their products are readily available (Ajayi 2010). In this regard, the Fulani - ecotype chicken (heavy ecotype chicken) readily comes to mind since it has been identified as one of the purest indigenous chicken because of the secluded lifestyle of the Fulani keepers (Olori 1992, Al-Nasesr et al., 2007). Humanity shapes biodiversity; this biodiversity results both from natural selection for adaptation and artificial selection through human efforts for use and/or aesthetic value. The selection of distinct genetic traits is reflected in the breed types and races that are adapted to specific uses or environments. Nwosu (1990) and Sonaiya (2013) noted that Nigeria is blessed with a vast array of biodiversity. This array of breeds is a human heritage worthy of improvement and conservation. Their loss is bound to deplete the quality of life (Hodges, 2002). The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN (2000) while analyzing the economic sub-sectors noted that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been on the down ward trend. Since the nature of GDP reflects the standard of living of the citizens, it means that the standard of living of Nigerians has been on the decline. By extension, this also implies that the animal protein intake of the average Nigerian on daily basis of 45.4g has continued to fall far below the recommended level which is 53.8g on daily basis (Iyangbe et al., 2009) citing FAO, ( 1992). The local chickens of Nigeria play major roles through their contributions to food security, household income, employment and quick funds in emergencies (Adedokun et al., 2001, Momoh and Nwosu 2005, Momoh et al., 2010). The genetic base of the local chicken could form the genetic basis of improvement and diversification to produce our own breed/strain of egg or meat type bird as they have been shown to be adapted to harsh local climatic environment (Nwosu and Orneje 1985, Ogbu, 2010, Adedokun 2001, Momoh et al., 2010). The improvements of the indigenous livestock species require sustained and painstaking approach which would eventually make us self - sufficient in livestock products. Biochemical genetics/genetic engineering, biotechnology and more recently genomics offer useful information to breeders with regard to livestock improvement (Dubey, 2006), however, they are not likely to replace the conventional methods of selection (Nordskog 1981, FAO, 2003) .The novel methods could argument traditional methods such that information obtained could be incorporated into an overall selection index to make selection more effective. Hence, for Nigeria to develop her own indigenous breed/strain of livestock species including poultry, selection is still a basic technology and a better option for now (Agbo et al., 2013).

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages96 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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