Nigerian institute introduces new egg-laying bird

20-10-2011 | | |

Nigeria’s National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) has introduced a new specie of poultry called `Shika Brown’ that can lay eggs for two years consecutively.

Over fifteen years of research by scientists at the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) has led to the production of the layer strain. It has a number of qualities, which makes it preferred layer strain in Nigeria including excellent shell quality, high production, rate, persistency, egg weight, livability, and feed conversion. The Shikabrown is highly adapted to the harsh tropical environment and resistant to many diseases of economic importance.

The Principal Research Officer in the institute, Dr Grace Erakpotabor, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the specie of layer bird was developed recently by the institute to save the country the cost of importing layer birds.

“Shika Brown 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.”

Erakpotabor 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.

The bird had been tested in the North, South and East with positive feedback on its adaptability to the various weather conditions.

Funding is the institute’s major challenge, as it is the only one dealing with animal issues in the country. “We 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,” Erakpotabor concluded.

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