Background of the Study
Climatic change is one of the greatest environmental issues
of our time. There is a general consensus among scientists, economists and
policy makers that the entire globe is facing a real and serious long term
threat from climatic change (Obioha, 2009; Hanseur, Baethgeri, Osgood, Ceceato,
et al, 2007).
According to Goni et al, (2011), projections by experts
suggests that by the end of the 21st century climatic change would have had
substantial impact on agricultural production and hence, on the scope for
The inter-governmental panel on climatic change (IGPC, 2007)
defined climatic change as statistically significant variations in climate that
persist for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It includes shift in
the frequency and magnitude of sporadic weather even as well as the slow
continuous rise in global mean surface temperature. The main causes are the
increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (FAO,
Climatic change is a change in climate that is attributable
directly and indirectly to human conditions. It affects atmospheric condition
of the earth thereby leading to global warming. According to Raymond and
Victoria (2008), climatic change has the potential to affect all natural
systems thereby becoming a threat to human development and survival socially,
politically and economically. A comprehensive summary by the inter-governmental
panel on climatic change in 2007 stated that human actions are very likely the
cause of global warming; meaning a 90% or greater probability is attributable
to man. Various activities carried out by man have varying contribution to
change in climate system. The burning of coal, oil and various agricultural and
industrial practices, are altering the composition of the atmosphere and are
contributing to climatic change. This human activity leads to increased
atmospheric concentration of the number of greenhouse gases which in turn
produce greenhouse effect.
Climatic change is a major challenge to agricultural
development in Africa and the world at large. Africa is more vulnerable because
agriculture is predominantly rain fed and hence fundamentally depends on
vagaries of weather (Watson, Zintower and Moses, 1987) climatic change affect
agriculture in several ways, one of which is its direct impact on food
production. Ozor, et al. (2010) stated that almost all sectors in agriculture
crop, livestock, pastoralism and fishery depend on weather and climate whose
vulnerability have mean that rural farmers who implement their regular annual
farm business plans risk total failure due to climatic change implication.
The poultry site (2009) reported that poultry production is
particularly vulnerable to climatic change because birds can only tolerate
narrow temperature ranges. Some of the potential disadvantages of climatic
change on poultry include- heat stress in both house and outdoor flocks,
reduced egg production and growth rate at higher temperature, higher mortality
rate, increase persistence of some endo and ecto parasite, increase in appetite
of birds, etc.
Statement of the Problem
Poultry production is becoming the first priority of supply
of animals’ protein sources and is an income generating activity. FAO (2010)
reported that nowadays, poultry meat represent about 33% of the total global
However, poultry flocks are particularly more vulnerable to
climatic change because birds can only tolerate narrow temperature ranges.
Studies have shown that the level of performance of birds depends on
environmental conditions; which includes temperature, relative humidity,
sunshine prevailing at a given time, housing system and ventilation. High
temperature and humidity for example have some active effect on poultry.
Increase of body temperature, decreases feed consumption and feed efficiency,
reduction in life weight, high mortality and decrease in productivity and
quality of egg (Ozbey and Oscellic, 2004).
Climatic change poses the challenges of both loss of
productivity and increase in cost of production. The question at this juncture
is are poultry farmers aware and knowledgeable in climatic change threat?
This study is designed to provide answers to these question
and others, relating to climatic change implication on poultry production in