The prevalence and infestation levels of Ecto and Metazoan endoparasites in Chicken submitted for necropsy at College of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University
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Poultry production, especially the chicken enterprise has been growing in Uganda over the last decade. The industry has experienced production losses reportedly, more from infectious diseases and but less from parasites. Unfortunately, very few studies have documented the ecto and endoparasites prevalence and infestation levels in Ugandan chicken flocks. A cross sectional study was carried at necropsy lab in which 116 chickens were examined for both ectoparasites and endoparasites. The overall prevalence of ectoparasites was 5.2% and for metazoan endoparasites was 22.4%. Lice (Menopon gallinae) and fleas (Echdinophaga gallinacea) were the only identified ectoparasites at a prevalence of 1.7% and 3.5% respectively. The identified nematodes (Ascaridia galli) and cestodes (Raillietina) had a prevalence of 10.3% and 8.6% respectively as single infections and 3.5% were mixed infections. One point seven percent of the birds had coinfestation of both ectoparasites and endoparasites. Slightly over two percent (2.6%) were heavily infested with ectoparasite while 9.5% had a high endoparasite infestation level. Layers were significantly highly infested with endoparasites than Kuroilers and broilers (p = 0.011). Deep litter birds suffered a high endoparasite infestation level than free range and caged birds, (p < 0.001). Layers were significantly prone to a heavy ectoparasite intensity than Kuroilers and broilers, (p = 0.038). Generally, the study revealed a relatively low parasitic prevalence compared to other studies done. However, the infested birds had high infestation levels of parasites which subjects’ chicken to stress that in turn affects production. Therefore, further field studies should be conducted to determine the factors which predispose to the high infestation levels.