PREVALENCE OF GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CHICKENS IN AKURE, ONDO STATE, NIGERIA
A survey of gastrointestinal parasites of chickens was carried out in Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria between January and July, 2015. A total of three hundred and twenty seven (327) chickens of different breeds were examined for gastrointestinal infections. Faecal samples obtained from these chickens were prepared for microscopy using flotation technique. The results showed that 67 (20.5%) of the 327 chickens examined were infected with various gastrointestinal parasites. It was further observed that the highest prevalence of gastrointestinal infection (36.7%) was recorded among the chickens that were kept in semi-intensive management system while the lowest prevalence was recorded among those kept in intensive management system. Laboratory screening of the faecal samples for parasites revealed three types of protozoa: Eimeria spp. (7.7%), Histomonas meleagridis (0.6%) and Giardia lamblia (0.3%). Five types of nematodes were also observed among the chickens, these included: Ascaridia galli, (7.0%), Heterakis gallinarum (1.8%), Capillaria spp. (0.9%), Syngamus trachea (0.6%) and Trichostrongylus tenuis (1.6%). Of all these parasites, Eimeria spp. was the most prevalent (7.7%) while Giardia lamblia was the least prevalent (0.3%). The average parasite burden per fowl was found to be 2 and majority of the encountered parasites species were those of the subjects’ small intestines.