This study was conducted to find the effect of the delayed routine vaccination schedules on growth performance, blood parameters and immunity levels of broilers reared in a humid tropical part of Nigeria. A total of 90 broiler chickens were procured and sorted into three treatments (control, 1 week delay in vaccination and 2 weeks delay in vaccination). The results showed significant differences (P < 0.05) in all growth parameters studied with lower values for broilers with delayed vaccination schedules (Treatment 2 and 3). Shank length and gains in shank length were not significantly (P>0.05) affected by delayed vaccination schedule. The blood parameters (PCV and WBC) values were significantly (P<0 .01="" 1="" 2="" 3="" affected="" and="" birds="" broilers.="" compared="" concluded="" considerably="" delayed="" for="" growth="" immunity="" in="" it="" levels="" lower="" of="" other="" performance="" reatment="" respectively.="" schedule="" significantly="" span="" status="" that="" to="" treatment="" treatments="" two="" up="" vaccination="" was="" weeks="" were="" while="" whose="">

1.1 Background of the study
The poultry industry in Nigeria is characterized by a mixture of backyard, peasant, household-oriented and modern large scale poultry farms which dot our country side and urban centres today. It can be said that poultry keeping has become a business in Nigeria since Poultry is now kept by practically every household in Nigeria especially in rural communities (Obioha 1992). Broilers are meat type chickens that reach market size at about 8-10 weeks of age. Nearly 80% of all commercial chicks hatched in Nigeria are broilers (Bundy ET AL 1975).

Poultry occupies a unique position in Nigeria animal production programme for several reasons. The most important of these is the fact that poultry are relatively free from the many pathological, ecological and economic constraints which affect the commercial production of other breeds and classes of livestock in Nigeria (Obioha 1992). The occurrence of disease in a poultry flock is a serious event and one that causes a lot of anxiety to a poultry farmer due to the fact that most commercial poultry are reared intensively with a large number of birds occuping a relative small area, a disease can spread rapidly among the whole flock causing a high level of mortality and huge financial loss to the farmer. The prevention of disease therefore is a decisive factor to the success or failure of a poultry enterprise. Diseases of poultry can be caused by four major factors namely: pathogens, poor management, deficiency of nutrients and metabolic disorders. Most poultry diseases are brought about by the presence of one or more pathogens or causative organisms. These organisms are always present in any poultry environment but they attain a virulent stage when the resistance of the chicken is low due to internal or external stress. The stress condition may be created by mismanagement, transportation, handling, internal parasite or even excessive excitement (Obioha 1992). The infectious organism may also gain easy access to the tissue of the birds following wound that may be cause by cannibalism. Some of the common sources of stress are lack of feed and water, poor ventilation, inadequate floor space, poor sanitation, high internal and external parasitic load, extremes of weather, vaccination failure, sudden changes in feed or environment, pests, flies, ants, nutritional deficiencies etc.

Apart from encouraging the invasion of pathogens, bad management may cause disease directly. Examples of bad management are over crowding, poor ventilation, failure to vaccinate at the right time, failure to remove dead birds promptly, failure to remove droppings regularly leading to accumulation of ammonia and breeding site of pathogens and parasites, cannibalism, uncontrolled access of visitors to poultry farms and absence of disinfectant troughs or dips.

Poultry disease maybe caused by lack of or deficiency of one or more essential nutrients. This is why poultry feeds should be balanced. Where one element is deficient or excessive it can induce or cause the body to show symptoms relevant to such deficiency or excessesive availability of the nutrient. A group of diseases may be caused by faulty metabolic process in the body. These include the fatty liver syndrome. Animal diseases are important limitation to edible protein production. It is the goal of veterinary medicine to reduce losses due to animal diseases and in cooperation with animal scientists, to develop positive live stock /poultry health programme (Oyenuga ET AL 1973).....

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 49 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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