Lice infestation in village chicken and management practices of keepers in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2021
Authors:O. A. Opeyemi, Shittu, O., Kadir, R. A., Kayode, A. E., Yusuf, K.
Journal:Sri Lankan Journal of Biology
Date Published:Jan-26-2021
ISSN:2550-3340, 2513-2245
Keywords:Ilorin Nigeria, Lice infestation Management practices Knowledge, Village chicken

Indigenous poultry production is an essential means of sustaining livelihoods in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa where chicken meat augments dietary needs. However, ectoparasites bedevil its wellbeing. Therefore, this study was designed to document local management practices adopted for ectoparasite control among keepers. A cross-sectional epidemiological survey was carried out using pretested questionnaires to obtain bio-data of keepers and information on management practices. Both body and housing of chickens were combed for ectoparasites and preserved. The specimens were processed following standard parasitological methods and subsequently identified using entomological keys. Descriptive statistics and cross tabulations were employed to process data with statistical significance set at p<0.05. A total of 3,164 birds from 284 keepers (male 69(24.3%), female 215(75.7%)) were examined out of which 1,125 birds (38.7%) were infested (p<0.05). Among the keepers, 61.6% were gainfully employed, 8.8% were farmers and 29.6% solely depended on poultry for sustenance. The species identified include Menacanthus stramineus 297(52.9%), Menopon gallinae 132(23.5%), Lipeurus caponis 88(15.7) and Gonoides gigas 44(7.8%). Two hundred and eighty two (99.3%) keepers had prior knowledge of ectoparasites (p<0.05), 178(62.7%) identified itching as a prominent symptom of infestation and 270(95.1%) adopted local treatment methods. Local treatment methods (91.0% agreed to its reliability) includes; hot ash (42.6%), lime leaves (17.3%) and Azadairactha indica leaves (15.5%). The prevalence of these lice species is an attestation to its ubiquity in our locality and the identified management practices suggests immense understanding of its potential constraints to the overall welfare of chicken.

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