Original Research

A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and management of free-range indigenous chickens in rural Zimbabwe

S. Mukaratirwa, T. Hove
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 80, No 3 | a200 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v80i3.200 | © 2009 S. Mukaratirwa, T. Hove | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 May 2009 | Published: 23 May 2009

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S. Mukaratirwa,
T. Hove,

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A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and husbandry aspects of indigenous free-range chickens was carried out in selected districts from the highveld and lowveld of rural Zimbabwe. The survey recorded infection with 4 species from the order Phthiraptera (lice), 1 species from the order Siphonaptera (fleas), 6 species from the order Acarina (ticks and mites) and 9 species of cestodes. Among the ectoparasites, the most prevalent was Menacanthus stramineus (87.7 %) followed by Echidinophaga gallinacea (71.9 %). Chickens in the Mazowe district had the highest number of ectoparasites species (10 of 11) followed by Goromonzi district (9 of 11) both these districts are situated in the highveld of Zimbabwe. The most prevalent cestode species was Raillietina tetragona (84.4 %), followed by Raillletina echinobothrida (32.2 %). Chickens in the Goromonzi district had the highest number of cestode species (7 of 9), followed by Mazowe district (one subgenus and 5 of 9). In all the districts sampled the main purpose of keeping free-range chickens was for meat for the household, with few households using the birds as a source of income. The majority of households kept their birds extensively with barely any appropriate housing, and supplementary feeding was only occasionally practised.


Cestodes; Ectoparasites; Free-range Chickens; Husbandry; Zimbabwe


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