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Alexandria Journal of Veterinary Sciences ... Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja-Nigeria.

Alexandria Journal of Veterinary Sciences AJVS. Vol. 51(2):183-188. November 2016 DOI: 10.5455/ajvs.220092

Coccidial Infection in Free-range and Intensively Managed Chickens in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja-Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa Babatunde, S.M., Mohammed B.R., Simon M.K., Agbede R.I.S. Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja-Nigeria.

Abstract Key words: Abuja, Gwagwalada, Coccidiosis, Poultry, Prevalence

Correspondence to: Agbede, R.I.S., [email protected]

Poultry production has been faced with a number of challenges thereby limiting the expansion and profitability of which parasitic diseases remain the hallmark. Coccidiosis remains one of the commonest parasitic diseases affecting poultry resulting in great economic losses in Nigeria. The prevalence of this disease in chickens within the Federal Capital Territory Abuja is unknown. This study was therefore conducted to determine the prevalence of coccidial infection in free-range local and intensively managed exotic chickens in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja. Between February and August, 2014, a total of 100 Fresh droppings samples were randomly collected; 50 samples from birds in the free-range system and 50 samples from birds in the intensively managed farms within the Area Council. Simple floatation was used for sample examination for the presence of coccidian oocysts. Data obtained were analysed using the students T-test. Results showed that there is a significant difference in the prevalence of coccidiosis between the two breeds studied. The prevalence rate was higher in the local breeds under the free range system (32%) than the exotic breeds (18%) reared intensively respectively. Since the disease is spread via resistant cysts, appropriate biosecurity measures should therefore be employed to curtail the menace of this disease. The study has implication on poultry production for the fulfillment of sustainable human protein requirement.

and parasitism (Uhuo et al., 2013; Al-Jamaien et al., 2013). Parasitic diseases have remained the major problem limiting the expansion and profitability of the developing agricultural countries (Mohammed and Sunday, 2015), where skilled husbandry in-puts have not matched the rate of expansion and intensification of poultry holdings (Adene, 2004). Of the parasitic diseases, Coccidiosis is the commonest and most important disease of poultry resulting in great economic losses worldwide (Latif et al., 2016). Literature review revealed that Nigeria, a tropical country has established the economic importance of coccidiosis as a major parasitic disease of poultry (Adewole, 2012; Garbi et al., 2015). The disease has been shown to be common and significant in intensively managed commercial poultry farms in

1. INTRODUCTION Poultry production in Nigeria has been on a rapid expansion over the past decades and therefore one of the most capitalized subsectors in the agricultural sector of the economy (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2014; Heise et al., 2015). In most African countries including Nigeria, backyard poultry accounts for more than 60% of the total national poultry flocks and accorded an assets value of more than £3.98 billion (Getu, 2014; Nghonjuyi et al., 2014; Mohammed and Sunday, 2015). It is estimated that backyard poultry provides 12 kg of poultry needs per inhabitants per year whilst cattle provides only 5.3 kg per inhabitants per year (Ekpo et al., 2010). Poultry production is however constrained by many extrinsic factors among which malnutrition, poor management, absence of biosecurity 183

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Nigeria especially where management or hygienic standards are compromised (Mohammed and Sunday, 2015). Epidemiological studies have also shown a high prevalence of coccidiosis in Nigeria, however, there is no data on the prevalence of coccidiosis in the free ranged and intensively managed chickens in Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is believed that, understanding of coccidiosis disease of chickens will help in devising measures to improve health and economic value of these birds. The present study is therefore a survey to determine the prevalence of coccidiosis in free range and intensively managed chickens in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, Nigeria.

subsistence agriculture as the main economic activity of the rural populace (Nikolas and Patrick, 2015).


Figure 1: Map of Gwagwalada town indicating the location of the study area. Adopted and modified from Muhammed et al., 2015. /index.php/JEES/article /viewFile/25676/26558

The study was conducted in Gwagwalada Area Council in the FCT, Abuja, Nigeria. Gwagwalada has an area of 1,043 km2 and is located between latitude 80-25ˊˊ and longitude 60-45´ˊ and 70-45ˊˊ east of Greenwich. It falls within the semi-seasonal equatorial climate zone with associated contrasting wet and dry period (Malann and Soso, 2012). The rainy season begins from April and ends in October, when day time temperature reaches 280C to 300C and night time of 220 C to 230 C. During dry season, day temperature can drop as low as 120C. Rainy season is from March to November with mean annual rainfall of about 1400 mm (Aondoaka, 2012). Table 1. Study area Number of location 1 2 3 4 5

2.2 Sample collection Between February and August, 2014, ten (10) samples were collected randomly from the exotic chickens reared in each of the five intensively managed farms; this brings to a total of 50 samples from the five selected farms and the various factors affecting production in the farms were observed. Similarly, ten (10) samples were also collected from the five different districts for the free range chickens making a total of 50 samples. The health status, state of the droppings and respective ages of the birds were recorded. All the samples were carefully collected in sampling bottles and labeled appropriately. The samples were finally preserved using 10% formalin to facilitate transportation from the site of collection to the Parasitology and Entomology laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja for processing and identification.

Name of location Angwan dodo Dagiri Kutunku Phase I Phase II

Five intensively managed poultry farms namely Ajima, Dukpa model, Provider, Solomon and University of Abuja farm (i.e. locations 1,2,3,4 and 5 respectively) rearing exotic chickens were sampled. Within the Gwagwalada metropolis, free-range chickens (local breeds) were also sampled and these locations include; Angwan dodo, Dagiri, Kutunku, Phases 1 and 2 (i.e. locations 1, 2, 3 and 4). Gwagwalada comprises ten (10) wards viz Dobi, Giri, Gwako, Ibwa, Paiko, Kore, Kutunku, Tunga and Quarters (Phases 1, 2 and 3) (Figure 1) with

2.3 Processing of samples The simple floatation technique as described by Hansen and Perry (1994) and Zeryehun (2012) was used. The magnification used was 40X. 2.3 Oocyst identification using microscope The eggs and oocysts were identified in the Parasitology and Research Laboratory using keys and specific diagrams of helminth eggs and oocysts (Soulsby, 2001). 184

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2.4 Statistical analysis The data obtained were analysed using the student Ttest to evaluate the prevalence of coccidiosis between the extensively and intensively reared birds. P value < 0.05 was considered significant according to SAS (2004). 3. RESULTS Figure 2 showed the images of typical sporulated and unsporulated oocysts identified under the microscope at 40 X 10= 100X.

Table 2: Prevalence of coccidiosis in both exotic and local chickens in the study area Number of birds +ve oocyst Location Sample Exotic Sample size Local size 1 10 1 10 2 2 3 4 5 Total %

10 10 10 10 50

2 2 4 0 9/50

10 10 10 10 50

4 5 3 2 16/50

Mean ± 0.18±0.05b 0.32± SEM 0.04a Superscript a and b shows that there is significant difference in the levels of coccidial infection between the exotic and local birds

Table 2, shows that the prevalence rate of coccidiosis was higher in the local breeds (LB) under free range system than the exotic breeds (EB) reared intensively as the values were 32% and 18% respectively. Similarly, 40% of the sample size from the EB was apparently sick and 30% of the sick birds were infected with coccidiosis, compared to the 40% that were sick in the LB sample size and 55% with positive result. This further suggests that there is higher prevalence rate of coccidiosis in the LB than in the EB. The calculated T-student test value and the critical value of the two-tailed test at 5% (0.05) level of significance were 7.842 and 1.542 respectively. Therefore, there is a significant difference in the prevalence of coccidiosis between the two systems evaluated.

Figure 2. Showed demonstration of sporulated (double wall) and unsporulated oocysts (single wall) which are oblong ovoid in shape. The outer wall is thick and pale yellow in color while inner is thin and brownish. The results indicate the number of birds that were positive for the presence of coccidian oocyst in the intensively managed exotic breeds of chicken (EB) and the free-range local breeds (LB).The calculated Tstudent test value and the critical value of the two tailed test at 5% (0.05) level of significance were 5.703 and 1.984 respectively. Thus, there is a significant difference in the prevalence of coccidiosis between the two systems considered (Table 2).

Table 3: Prevalence of coccidiosis in the exotic and local chickens in the study area Number of sick birds +ve oocyte Exotic Local Sick birds +ve Sample size Sick birds +ve Location Sample size 1 10 3 0 10 3 1 2 3 4 5

10 10 10 10

Total % Mean ± SEM


4 3 5 5 20/50

2 1 3 0

10 10 10 10

4 4 4 5




0.30±0.05b 185

2 2 2 4 11/50 0.55± 0.01a

This table further suggests the number of sick birds in each of the sampled location and result for the presence of coccidian infection.

comparative result suggests that a large proportion of the apparently sick birds in the free range local breeds were infected with coccidiosis (55%) to the 32% of the sick birds from the intensively managed exotic breeds that were also infected which is in cognisance with the rising rate of coccidiosis in chickens as intensification of poultry increases. On the other hand, for the local breeds reared extensively, the prevalence of the disease in each of the sampled location within the Gwagwalada Area Council presented in a descending order is as follows; Kutunku 32%, Dagiri 25%, Phase 1 19%, Phase II 12.5% and Angwan dodo 12.5%. This is not unconnected with the array of factors militating against effective anticoccidial programme lacking in the study areas. For the exotic breeds reared intensively, the highest rate of prevalence (40%) was recorded in Solomon farms where 40% of the samples collected from the birds were infected with coccidiosis whilst the birds from the University of Abuja farms sampled at 3 weeks of age were all free from infection. The disease therefore has been shown to be common and significant in intensively managed poultry farms where hygienic standard is compromised (Jatau et al., 2012).

4. DISCUSSION Coccidiosis is one of the most important and commonest diseases affecting poultry, resulting in great global economic losses (Quiroz-Castañeda and Dantán-González, 2015; Malik et al., 2016). Coccidiosis caused by parasites of the genus Eimeria is a disease of poor management is often associated with lack of concrete floor, old and wet coffee husks beddings and poor ventilation. Conversely, exotic breeds of chickens were reared in rooms with concrete floor that had dry coffee husks and good ventilation. Apart from the intrinsic survival attribute of the coccidial parasite, there are several extrinsic factors, which assist the parasite in its survival antics such as age and breed (host factors), husbandry such as litter quality and stocking density, environmental factors like warmth and humid climate or weather which enhance coccidial activity. These array of factors contributing to the spread of coccidiosis in poultry is vitally augmented by the type of management practiced (Adene and Oluleye, 2004; Shivaramaiah et al., 2014). The poultry production under the extensive management does not receive proper nutrition and therefore suffers from effects of harsh weather and are exposed to various diseases than the intensive system (Ameji et al., 2012). This study shows that the prevalence of this disease is higher in the free range system where local breeds are reared than the intensive system consisting of exotic breeds, the prevalence rates were 32% and 18% respectively. Adhikari et al., (2009) also reported highest prevalence of coccidiosis (29%) in mud/mud brick floor than that in concrete type of floor. This result concurs with Farouq et al., (1999) who reported significantly higher coccidiosis, morbidity and mortality in chicken reared on concrete type of floors which allows for effective eradication of Eimeria oocysts at the time of cleaning of floors. This also agrees with the results obtained in the current study. Poor management practices (such as wet litter that encourages oocysts sporulation, contaminated drinkers and feeders, poor ventilation and high stocking density) can increase the risk of coccidiosis) (Gharekhani et al., 2014). In the same vein, new poultry houses quickly become contaminated, even on farms where poultry have not previously been kept (Reid, 1989). Previous studies on coccidiosis in the neighboring Kogi state revealed the disease to be only second to Newcastle disease (Ameji et al., 2008).This

5. CONCLUSION We therefore conclude that, the current study showed the prevalence of coccidian infection in the intensively managed farms is not significant except where proper hygiene is not adhered to. Conversely, in the free range system where local breeds are profound with data indicating an increasing level of prevalence of the disease. Moreover, there is a significant difference in the prevalence of coccidiosis between the local breeds of chickens reared extensively and the intensively managed exotic breeds in Gwagwalada Area Council. The array of factors contributing to the occurrence of the disease is profoundly present in the free-range system, thereby favoring the survival of the infective oocyst and its life cycle. 6. Acknowledgements The authors wish to appreciate Mrs Lilian A. Onyekanihu and Mrs Bukola Arowolo of the Department of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja for their technical support and assistance. 7. REFERENCES Adene, D.F. 2004. Economic Impact of Diseases on Poultry Production and Risk Management. In Poultry Health and


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