Gastrointestinal Worms Cause Considerable Losses to Productivity of Chicken Flocks

2nd July 2019 Past Events and Activities 0

A recent study on the impact of parasites in chicken flocks has published in Tropical Animal Health and Production. The study, led by Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Van (research assistant of ViParc), is the first study to characterize gastrointestinal helminths in small-scale commercial chicken flocks in the Mekong Delta. The study investigated a sample of 120 chickens of ‘normal’ flocks at the end of their production cycle (typically 18 weeks), as well as 90 chickens from flocks with signs of respiratory and/or severe disease. The gastrointestinal tract of chickens was fully dissected and all visible helminths were identified and counted. Overall, about 55% chickens contained helminth worms. Among colonised birds, diseased ones harboured a higher mass of helminth worms than normal (healthy) birds (3.8g vs. 1.9g, respectively). The study also documented clear seasonal patterns as well as the association between parasite burdens and body weight of chickens. Colonisation was higher during the rainy months (May-November) and colonised chickens weighed 100g less than non-colonised birds. The study highlights the impact of helminth infections, showing how they compromise the productivity and sustainability of small-scale chicken farms. The study can be downloaded from:

The gastrointestinal nematode Ascaris galli found in a diseased chicken