Helminth parasites in the intestinal tract of indigenous poultry in parts of Kenya
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A study was carried out on 456 indigenous poultry intestinal specimens from various towns in Kenya to determine the occurrence and distribution of helminth parasites in the intestinal tract of the birds. Of the specimens examined, 414 had parasites whereas the remaining 42 had none, which is an infection rate of 90.78%. The main species of helminths found in the intestines were Raillietina sp. (47.53%), Heterakis gallinarum (21.33%), Ascaridia galli (10.03%), Strongyloides avium (9.96%), Choanotaenia infundibulum (4.61%), Cotugnia digonopora (3.6%), Capillaria sp. (1.5%), Trichostrongylus tenius (1.04%) and Syngamus trachea (0.40%). Most helminths were present in both the mid- and hindguts. Syngamus trachea and C. digonopora were only found in the foregut and midgut, respectively. Although chickens from which the specimens were collected appeard healthy, the high prevalence of helminthiasis observed shows the poor level of helminth infection control practiced by the indigenous poultry keepers in the country, which might affect the health status of the birds and their growth rates. Poultry keepers should be encouraged to prevent, control and treat such cases.