The Zaria-based National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) has introduced a new specie of poultry called `Shika Brown’ that can lay eggs for two years consecutively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). reports that the institute is charged with the mandate of carrying out research into all forms of livestock and animals both wild and domestic.
Dr Grace Erakpotabor, the Principal Research Officer in the institute, told NAN in Abuja on Tuesday that the specie of layer bird was developed recently by the institute to save the country the cost of importing layer birds.
“‘Shika Brown’ bird is one of the major recent achievements of the institute; before now, we used to import layer birds from other countries.
“Importing these birds had made the country lose a lot of foreign exchange because the imported birds could not adapt to the weather conditions of the country; therefore, they die or do not produce well.”
She said that the institute decided to research into how it could produce a breed that would have special adaptability in the country to boost poultry production.
According to her, the bird starts laying eggs in 18 weeks unlike the normal breed that commences in 24 weeks.
She said that the bird had been tested in the North, South and East with positive feedback on its adaptability to the various weather conditions.
The bird produces eggs even if it is infected with diseases or when the weather is not favourable to produce eggs, unlike the exotic species that do not produce at all, she said.
“Even if this specie of bird is infected with diseases such as the new castle disease, it still lays eggs unlike the exotic breeds that do not produce at all when infected.
â€œWhen the weather is hot, several birds do not produce eggs, but with `Shika Brown’, the case is different and positive,â€ she said.
The officer identified inadequate funding as the institute’s major challenge, adding that it is the only one dealing with animal issues in the country.
â€œWe are supposed to take care of the whole country, but we are given only a fraction of our budget allocation and it is not enough to take care of an animal for a whole year,” she said.