Effects of climate variability and other factors on the outbreak and spread of newcastle disease in Suneka division of Kisii county
Nyaiyo, Norah Moige
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Newcastle Disease (ND) is a common occurrence in Suneka Division. ND is caused by Avian Paramyxovirus Type 1, is one of the most significant diseases for poultry producers around the world. This poultry disease is influenced directly or indirectly by weather as it affects the timing and the intensity of an outbreak. This thesis examined the factors influencing the outbreak and the spread of Newcastle disease in Suneka Division of Kisii County. The objectives of study were; to investigate the relationship between the weather variables and the occurrence of Newcastle Disease (ND) in Free Range Indigenous Chicken, to investigate factors other than weather variables that influence the outbreak and spread of ND, to assess the socio-economic impacts of ND on the poultry farmers and to assess the adaptive and mitigation measures used by farmers to manage ND in Suneka Division. The study used a descriptive design with both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The sample size was 200 households and respondents were poultry farmers. Veterinary officers were key informants. Primary data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Secondary data on rainfall, temperature and relative humidity was collected from the Kisii meteorological station for 2007 and 2011. Data was analysed using measures of central tendency such as means and mode. They were presented using frequency tables. Karl Pearson coefficient of correlation was used to test the null hypothesis that there was no relationship between the climate variables and the occurrence of ND at 5% level of significance. The study revealed that ND occurs during the months of July-August and December-January. It was generally found out that this disease occurs after the long March, April and May (MAM) and short rains October November and December (OND). There was a positive Pearson Correlation between humidity and ND for the month of August (r = 0.328) and December (r = 0.596). However, in the months of July (r = -0.576) and January (r = -0.418) the relationship was negative. It was also found out that there was a positive Pearson Correlation between rainfall and ND in the months of August (r = 0.286) and December (r = 0.275). However, there was a negative relationship in the months July (r = -0.549) and January (r = -0.144). Concerning temperature, there was a positive Pearson Correlation between temperature and ND in August (r =0.772), July (r = 0.683) and January (r = 0.159). However, in the month of December there was a negative Pearson Correlation (r = -0.546). In relation to factors that influence the outbreak of ND, 83.5% of the farmers interviewed reported that ND is caused by infected live chicken, 13% infected poultry products, 2% other animals like dogs and 1.5% all the above factors. Poultry farmers used various methods to control ND. These included use of traditional herbs, selling, eating, burying and vaccination. To curb the ND menace and increase productivity of free range indigenous chicken, the research recommended that there was need for farmers to monitor weather changes by obtaining data from the meteorological weather stations. Educate small-scale farmers on how to adopt hygienic and bio-safe poultry rearing methods to minimize loss of chicken through diseases, pests and predation.