During this study, a total of 248 questionnaires were used to collect information from both semi-literate and non literate livestock farmers. The respondents comprised of individual livestock farmers having mainly backyard farms made up of heterogeneous species of animals and practicing the semi-intensive management system. Poultry farmers who keep local chickens manage them on free range system while the exotic breeds are reared under intensive system. From table 1, Adansonia digitata and Khaya senegalensis were the most common plants reported to be used in the management of diarrhoea in livestock with frequencies of 49 (19.76%) and 43 (17.34%) respectively. Adansonia digitata is very common in the northern parts of Nigeria, and earlier works had published its application in diarrhoea, malaria and cough [28, 29]. The anthelminthic effect of Khaya senegalensis (mahogany) has been reported , which may justify its use in diarrhoea management. Only Cucumis metuliferus and Solanum dasyphyllum were mentioned as herbal remedies used in diarrhoea management in poultry. There are claims that the fruits of the non-bitter Cucumis metuliferus are effective in the management of HIV/AIDS positive patients in Plateau State, Nigeria , and the seeds are reported to have worm expellant properties .
The family Fabaceae is the most common family reported in this study, having 12 members (Figure 3), similar to the observation made by Appidi et al . This observation is however, different from that of Yinegar et al.  who in an ethnoveterinary plant survey in Ethiopia reported Asteraceae family as the highest, followed by Solanaceae, with Fabaceae and Lamiaceae being third. This difference may be due to the fact that their survey was not narrowed to diarrhoea but also on medicinal plants used in all animal diseases. Appidi et al.  corroborated our findings suggesting that the Fabaceae family are more likely to have antidiarrhoeal effect than plant from other families. The Fabaceae family contains many genera that have been shown to be useful in the treatment of many other ailments besides diarrhoea [8, 34]. It was also observed that the leaves (43.86%) constitute the most plant parts used, followed by the stem barks (29.82%) as shown in figure 2. Leaves are sometimes used in combination with other plant parts as reported by Ayyanar and Ignacimuthu . Other indigenous populations have indicated preference for the use of leaves in the preparations of herbal medicines  because it is more convenient collecting leaves than root parts, flowers and fruits etc. . However, some authors have reported that roots are more commonly collected plant parts in Ethnoveterinary practice [8, 37, 38]. Scientifically, leaves are actively involved in photosynthesis and the production of metabolites , thus, the numerous constituents found in leaves could explain their efficacy in the treatment of various ailments in both humans and animals. From the conservation point of view, collection of leaves for herbal preparations could be regarded as sustainable so long as some leaves are left on the parent plant . This is opposed to the collection of roots which could be a severe threat for rare and slowly producing plants.
The herbal remedies were often prepared by pounding either the fresh or dried parts of the plants followed by either soaking or boiling them in water, and the infusions or decoctions administered by drenching agreeing with the observation of Ermias et al. . Sometimes, the plant portions are mixed with the animal's feed and fed to the animals or mixed with potash (kanwa) or salt and given to the animals to lick. Poonam and Singh  reported the use of enhancers such as honey, cow/goat's milk, sugar, ghee, salt, boiled rice and butter milk to improve the palatability and medicinal property of certain remedies by the Kani traditional healers of India. The dosages often administered varied with the parts of the plants used and the mode of preparation. However most farmers administer the preparations once or twice a day for 3 to 5 days, or keep treating until the animal recovers. Full recovery is confirmed when the animals resume feeding and activities. Most respondents claimed that their herbal remedies were efficacious and produced complete healing without adverse effects.
There are documented scientific publications validating the antidiarrhoeal effect of some of the plants listed in Table 1 either using castor oil induced diarrhoea study in rats or mice and/or antimicrobial activity of extracts [17, 42–44].
The problem of inconsistent dosage regimen and unwillingness to part with indigenous knowledge was experienced by the authors in the field. The latter seems to be a common experience of researchers conducting ethnobotanical surveys [45, 46] and therefore a significant basis for conducting such surveys. This is because the custodians of indigenous knowledge of herbal remedies do not usually document their practices; hence transfer of knowledge to their protégés becomes difficult following their demise.
To the best our knowledge, this is the first report of herbal remedies used in the management of diarrhoea in livestock and poultry in Plateau State. This study will form the basis for evaluating the phytochemical and biological activities of the selected herbal remedies used in animal diarrhoea. Overall, the plants identified as herbal remedies in the management of diarrhoea present considerable potential for further scientific research which may lead to the discovery of newer and perhaps safer drugs.