Ectoparasites of local scavenging chickens of central Ethiopia

  • Hagos Ashenafi Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University, PO Box 34, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
  • Eshetu Yimer Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, PO Box 181689 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Keywords: Central Ethiopia, ectoparasites, local chickens, prevalence


Study on identification of ectoparasites of local chickens was conducted from October 2000 to April 2001, on 190 chickens raised under traditional management system in central Ethiopia, namely Jeldu, Sebeta and Awash Melka Kontire. The study indicated that 178 (93.7%) of the examined chickens were infected by diverse species of ectoparasites. Parasitic examination revealed the presence of fourteen species of ectoparasites (fleas, lice, mites and ticks). The prevalence of ectoparasite infection accounted 84.4%, 98.4% and 100% in the highland, midland and lowland sites, respectively. Statistical analysis of the results revealed a significant difference (p<0.05) between the prevalence rates of ectoparasites in the mid and lowland zones than the highland zone. This indicates that the number of local chickens infested by ectoparasites is highly influenced by agro-ecology. Menopon gallinae 167 (87.9%) was the most prevalent ectoparasite species followed by Menacanthus stramineus 136 (71.6%), while Ornithonyssus species 5 (2.6%) was the least identified. Other mange mites identified included Knemidocoptes mutans 37 (19.5%), Cytoditus nudus 24 (12.6%), and Epidermoptes bilobatus 7 (3.7%). This study has shown that ectoparasites are the highly prevalent infection on traditionally managed local chickens in the study area. Further detailed study with particular reference to ectoparasitism and assessment of their impact is recommended.

Key words/phrases: Central Ethiopia, ectoparasites, local chickens, prevalence

SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science Vol. 28 (1) 2005: 69–74

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2520-7997
print ISSN: 0379-2897