Ectoparasites of free ranging local chickens in urban and peri-urban areas of Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania
Author(s): Adrian E Materu and Jastin W Mkhandi
Abstract: A free range system of poultry production is an important economical investment to most of the poor farmers as a source of income and protein, however it faces several challenges including parasitic diseases such as ectoparasite infestation. A cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of ectoparasites, as well as to assess the possible predisposing risk factors infesting free-ranging local chickens in urban and per urban areas in Morogoro municipality, Tanzania. Samples were randomly taken from 144 chickens and age, sex and management practice status of the study population was simultaneously recorded. An overall 53.5% (77/144) prevalence was recorded in this study and three common taxa of ectoparasites were identified, which are lice, fleas, and mites. The individual ectoparasite prevalence were as follows Menopon gallinae 48.6% (70/144) followed by Cnemidocoptes mutans 16% (23/144), Echidnophaga gallinacean 9.7% (14/144) and Goniodes gigas 5.8% (8/144). Among the potential predisposing factors assessed, age and management practice was found to be statistically significantly associated with ectoparasitic infestation (p < 0.05). However, sex was not found statistically significantly associated with the level of infestation (p < 0.05). This study reveals that ectoparasites are highly prevalent in free-ranging local chickens in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania.