Poultry farming has tremendously developed in recent years and plays a vital role in income and employment generation as well as source of protein for the teaming population of Nigeria. The present study was carried out to establish the gastrointestinal parasites in local and exotic breeds of chicken in Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. It was conducted between July and September, 2013.
Two hundred and ten (210) fecal samples from local and exotic breeds of chicken obtained randomly from seven (7) major towns in Gwagwalada Area council were collected and examined for gastrointestinal parasites using concentration by Flotation. Five (5) different gastrointestinal parasites eggs and oocytes were identified. Of these parasites, Ascaridia galli was found to be the most prevalent (16.7%) among the chickens. Other parasites encountered include;
Eimeria oocytes (15.2%), Heterakis gallinarum (7.1%), Capillaria specie (2.4%), syngamus trachea (1.4%) and mixed infection (1.9%), thus a total of 42.9% were infected. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in prevalence rate of infection between the local and exotic breeds of chickens. Parasites preference with respect to sex was also recorded, although females harbored more parasites than the males in both breeds, there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the prevalence of infection among sexes.
Therefore, sustainable ways of controlling these parasites and further studies on period prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in chicken need to be designed for improved intensive egg and poultry meat production.
Keywords: gastrointestinal parasites, Chickens, Prevalence