Prevalence of coccidiosis in chickens at three poultry farms at Minna, Niger State, Nigeria
Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease of birds caused by a microscopic protozoan which lives and multiplies in the intestinal tract and causes damage to tissues, and eventually death. This study was carried out in three poultry farms in Minna, Niger State and among birds of ages 2 to 4 weeks and 6 weeks and above. Faecal samples were examined using the sedimentation technique. Out of 200 samples analyzed, 56 (28%) were positive for Eimeria species infection. In farm A, out of the 67 samples analyzed, 20 (29.85%) were infected. While an infection rate of 18 (27.30%) out of 65 and 18 (26.90%) out of 68 samples were infected for Farm B and C respectively. Based on age differences, Eimeria species were detected in 35 (34.65%) out of 101 young birds and 21 (21.21%) for adult birds out of the 99 samples analyzed. In Farm A 10 (30.30%) out of 33 samples were detected in young birds and 10 (29.41%) out of 34 samples in adult birds. In Farms B and C, 12 (36.36%) out of 33 and 6 (18.75%) out of 32; 13 (37.14%) out of 35 and 5 (15.15%) out of 33 samples were detected for Eimeria species for young and old birds respectively. There was a slightly higher prevalence rate among the farms and the various ages of the birds which was not significantly different at (p>0.05). The result of this study showed that the prevalence of infection was low in the 3 farms examined, and increased among the younger birds within the ages of 2 to 4 weeks old. The prescence of Eimeria species in farms could cause great economic losses in birds production. Therefore, farmers are encouraged to ensure adequate bio-security by avoiding wet litter which could encourage oocyst sporulation, and reduce the stocking density of birds.
Keywords: coccidiosis, microscopic protozoan, Minna, eimeria, oocyst sporulation