A Diagnostic Survey of External Parasites of Free-Range Chickens, in the Rural Areas of Eastern Cape, South Africa

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:S. Moyo, Masika, P. J., Moyo, B.
Journal:International Journal of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Pagination:1 - 9
Keywords:external parasites, free-range chickens, Infestation, Occurrence

External parasites are regarded as the basic causes of retardation in growth, poor conditions and lowered production in free-range chickens. However, information is lacking on the occurrence of external parasites of free-range chickens in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. A study was conducted to determine the occurrence and identity of external parasites in freerange chickens. Fifty chickens were randomly selected and examined for external parasites. The majority (96%) of chickens examined, harboured at least one species of external parasite; Fleas (Echidnophaga gallinacea) (50.7%); lice Menopon gallinae (12.4%); Menacanthus
stramineus (5.3%) and Knemidocoptes mutans (0.57%). Age, sex and physiological status of the chickens influenced the burden of E gallinacea. Cocks, broody hens and hens had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher loads of external parasites than chicks. Different types of external parasites were found to be present in free-range chickens in the study area.

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