Assessment of Arthropod Ectoparasites associated with Poultry at Zoological Garden, Owerri, South-East, Nigeria

  • C. N. Ehisianya
  • E. S. Ibe
  • B. N. Ibediungha
Keywords: Arthropod, ectoparasite, poultry, garden, infestation, prevalence


The characterization of arthropod ectoparasites infesting poultry at the Nekede Zoological Garden (NZG) in Owerri was conducted from May to July, 2017.  Arthropod sampling was done weekly by picking them from the bodies of their hosts after parting the feathers and/or by blowing of same. Lice and fleas were collected by applying concentrated ethyl alcohol-soaked cotton wool to anaesthetize the parasites. Mites were collected by scrapping the skin around their feet gently in order not to injure the bird. All the parasites collected were sorted and labeled based on sex, age and breed before they were transferred to the Laboratory of the Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. Specimens were observed under a stereo-microscope, using x10 magnification power. Identification to generic and specific levels was done with the aid of pictures and taxonomic keys. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages. A total of 165 ectoparasites were collected belonging to five genera and five species. Irrespective of sex, age, breed, species or/and management level,  lice infestation was highest (84.24%), followed by fleas (10.30%) and the least was mites (5.45%). Prevalence of the ectoparasites infestation was higher in females (89.10%) than males (74.44%), adults (93.98%) than young (62.50%), and local (86.96%) than exotic (80.15%) breed. No ostrich was infested with lice and no female exotic poultry was infested with flea.



Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0300-368X