Gastrointestinal helminths of local chickens slaughtered in live bird markets in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State, Nigeria
The local chicken constitutes a major part of our poultry population providing eggs and meat for domestic and commercial purposes. They however get very little or no medical attention making them vulnerable to parasitic infection. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) helminths of local chickens slaughtered in four Live Bird Markets (LBMs) in Makurdi between September and December, 2016. A total of 200 gastrointestinal samples were collected from male and female chickens and were examined for GI helminths using the flotation method. A total of 110 chickens were infected with an overall prevalence of 55.0% with 69(34.5%) having single infection, 32(16.0%) double infection, 8(4.0%) triple infection and 1(0.50%) had quadruple infection. Ten species of GI helminths were encountered, three cestodes and seven nematodes. Rallietina species with 73(36.5%) was the most prevalent followed by Ascaridia galli 36(18.0%), Amidostomum anseris 1(0.5%) and Davainea proglottina 1(0.5%) as the least prevalent. There was no statistical significant difference between the four different LBMs (p = 0.058) but there was statistical significant difference in the infection rate based on sex (P= 0.041) and site of preference by the parasite (p = 0.00). Based on location of parasites in the GIT 60.5% of the species were restricted to the small intestine, with the large intestine having 19.5%. This study confirms the presence of GI parasites in the local chickens slaughtered in Makurdi. There is need to institute proper measures in the control of GI helminthes which will further improve the productivity of our local chicken.
Keywords: Local chickens; gastrointestinal helminthes; live bird markets; Makurdi