Prevalence of Lice and Fleas in Backyard Chickens of Bishoftu Town, Ethiopia

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:N. Alemu, Muktar, Y., Kassaye, D., Hiko, A.
Journal:American-Eurasian Journal Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Keywords:Backyard, Bishoftu, chickens, ectoparasites, flea, lice

A cross sectional study was undertaken from December 2014 up to April 2015 to determine the prevalence of lice and fleas and identify different species of ectoparasites infesting backyard chickens of Bishoftu town as well as to assess the effect of host related risk factors. Samples were randomly taken from 140 backyard chickens and Age, sex and breed of the study population was simultaneously recorded. Lice and fleas were collected from different parts of the body including shank scraping and identified with stereomicroscopy or light microscopy. An overall 123(87.86%) prevalence was recorded and four species of ectoparasites under two orders (Phthiraptera (lice) and Siphonaptera (flea) were identified, of these 77(62.6%), 26 (21.1%) and 20 (16.3%) of them were infested by only lice, flea and both lice and flea species respectively. Among this, three species of lice, Menacanthus stramineus (33.57%), Menopon gallinae (20.71%) and Cuclotogaster heterographa (15%) and one species of flea, Echidnophaga gallinacean (32.86%) were identified. Among the potential predisposing factors assessed breed was found significantly associated with the level of infestation (P=0.004). Higher prevalence rate was recorded in exotic breed (89%) than local one (82.18%). However, age and sex were not found significantly associated with the level of infestation (P>0.05). In conclusion, the study revealed that lice and fleas are highly prevalent in the study backyard chickens. Therefore, efforts should have to be geared towards the improvement of health and management practices through better awareness creation among poultry households and strategic control schemes should be implemented to alleviate the problems in order to affirm the contribution of poultry in food security and further detailed study should be recommended

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