Diseases in poultry remain a major source of concern to farmers and the general public. Ectoparasites infestations in birds compromise their health, growth and productivity. In addition to serving as vectors of viral and bacterial infection, high intensity of infestation may cause mortality in birds. This study which was carried out from July to September 2014 and examined a total of 93 domestic birds (52 fowls, Gallus domesticus, 21 turkeys, Meleagridis spp. and 20 pigeons, Columba livia), all collected from four different poultry farms in Nsukka municipality for ectoparasites. Five species of ectoparasites were isolated: Lipeurus caponis, Menopon gallinae and Goniodes gigas (lice); Dermanysus gallinae (mite) and Echidnophaga gallinacea (flea). Overall, ectoparasite prevalence was 97.8% with G. domesticus recording 100% prevalence, Meleagridis sp. 100% and C. livia 90%. G. domesticus had very high prevalence of infestation for all parasite species, M. gallinae (96.2%), L. caponis (92.3%), G. gigas (90.4%), E. gallinacea (86.5%) and D. gallinae (78.8%). Intensity of infestation was highest in Meleagridis spp. for M. gallinae (5.44 Â± 2.65) and least in C. livia for G. gigas (1.11Â± 0.61). Prevalence of infestation was significantly higher in female G. domesticus for D. gallinae than males (p = 0.003). Infestation of ectoparasites was high at all the sampling locations and was not significantly different (p > 0.05). Prevalence of ectoparasites infestation in poultry farms examined in Nsukka municipality was very high. Appropriate measure to curb this menace is advised to avoid outbreak of ectoparasites borne infections.
Keywords: Ectoparasites, Gallus domesticus, Meleagridis, Columba livia, Nsukka municipality.