Journal of Animal Health and Production

Research Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 7(3): 92-98
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Khaled Kaboudi1*, Rafika Ben Romdhane2, Ameni Ben Salem3, Moncef Bouzouaia1

1Department of Poultry Farming and Diseases, National Veterinary Medicine School of Sidi Thabet; University of Manouba, Tunisia; 2Department of Animal Production, Regional District of Agricultural development of Tunis – Tunisia; 3National Center of Zoosanitary Eve of Tunisia, Tunisia.

Abstract | The presence of ectoparasites on birds can lead to low productivity and eventually death. This study was carried out to identify and estimate the prevalence of ectoparasites of free-range poultry (Gallus gallus), in the Northeast of Tunisia. A total of 512 birds of both sexes and aged from 1.5 month to 24 months were examined and/or necropsied. Results showed that 19 ± 3.39% (98 birds), as overall prevalence, were infested by at least one parasite specie. Young animals were more infested (13 ± 2.91%) than adults (6 ± 2.05%). There was significant difference (P < 0.05) in prevalence found during rainy and cold seasons (winter: 24 ± 6.59%; spring: 23 ± 7.83%; autumn: 20 ± 7.87%). Six species of ectoparasite were identified in the present study. Cnemidocoptes mutans (8 ± 2.35%) was the most prevalent, followed by Menopon gallinae (6 ± 2.05%), Laminosioptes cysticola (3 ± 1.47%), tick larvae of Argas persicus (3 ± 1.47%), Echidnophaga gallinacea (3 ± 1.47%) and Menacanthus stramineus (2 ± 1.22%). Infestation by one species of ectoparasite (13 ± 2.91%) was more frequently than mixed infestation (6 ± 2.05%). On the basis of these results it could be suggested that, good management, biosecurity and the education of farmers could be a vital measures to keep free from ectoparasites and improve the productivity of the chicken.

Keywords | Backyard poultry, Ectoparasite, Prevalence, Infestation, Tunisia