October 27, 2011


Climate change and its possible potential effects on poultry parasitic diseases
Climate change can alter poultry’s relationship with parasites and vectors. These changes can influence where parasites and vectors thrive, making certain geographical regions more or less amenable to them. Climate change can also alter when and for how long parasites and vectors pose a threat to the birds. Climate can determine how vectors/ pathogens are distributed, transmitted and evolve, and can influence the factors associated with emerging poultry diseases and how birds respond to those diseases. Significant environmental changes have been well documented in recent decades, and some of these changes are causing trouble the poultry.
Regular parasite and disease surveillance is necessary as this will provide up-to-date information about changes in vector/ pathogen prevalence and intensity/ populations. Laboratory and field research will help illuminate how climate changes influence vector/ pathogen characteristics, and models will help researchers and producers to predict and plan for vector/ pathogen threats.
“More and more countries are indicating that climate change has been responsible for at least one emerging or re-emerging disease occurring on their territory. This is a reality we cannot ignore and we must help Veterinary Services throughout the world to equip themselves with systems that comply with international standards of good governance so as to deal with this problem,” explained Dr Bernard Vallat, DG of the OIE.
Climate change and its possible potential effects on poultry parasitic diseases
Poultry flocks are particularly vulnerable to climate change because birds can only tolerate narrow temperature ranges. Poultry farmers need to consider making adaptations now to help reduce cost, risk and concern in the future.
Potential disadvantages of climate change include:
  • More heat stress in both housed and outdoor flocks
  • Reduced egg production and growth rates at higher temperatures
  • Higher mortality rates in outdoor flocks, resulting from extreme weather events
  • More expensive housing to withstand storms and temperature fluctuations
  • More effective ventilation and cooling systems to counteract higher temperatures
  • Higher energy costs to operate ventilation systems more frequently
  • Increased persistence of some endo and ecto parasites with associated increase in medication
  • Increased mortality and reduced production due to increased mycotoxins in feed
Adaptation suggestions include reviewing poultry house building design in new builds to more effectively cope with new climate and weather extremes, including the installation of more/new equipment to cope with new climate extremes.

Mitigating measures include the installation of renewable energy such as solar or wind power to power poultry sheds, and using biomass boilers or anaerobic digestion of poultry litter.



October 22, 2011


Ministry of Livestock Development, P.O Box 25 Ololulung'a

Control options available

Control of ectoparasites in indigenous chicken is perceived as a major impediment to rural farmers since their scavenging habits and constant contact with contaminated environment make them an easy prey to parasitic infestations. Isolating poultry flocks from other animals to reduce the opportunity for disease transmission; isolating young from older birds if more than one age group is present on the farm and keeping wild birds, rodents, insects and pets away from poultry is almost impossible due to the nature of their production system (free range system).

When the pests are discovered and identified, effective control will entail collective alternatives. This control can be approach as on-host and/ or off-host treatment. A number of techniques have been used in control of these ectoparasites. These include: management changes such as modification of poultry housing by eliminating, minimizing or sealing cracks and crevices required by these pests for shelter in current or planned housing. Entry of wild birds and rodents can be prevented with screen and other barriers.

Cultural methods like paraffin use in control of fleas (Echidnophaga gallinacea) and petroleum jelly applied on scaly legs (Cnemidocoptes mutans); and traditional herbs like neem (Mwarubaini) leaves and bark have been employed in control of ectoparasites in indigenous family chicken. In the treatment of scaly mites, neem (Mwarubaini) mixed with residue from soaked and filtered ash and a little water is made into paste and smeared on the scaly legs. The commonly used insecticides include permethrins, cabaryl compounds, coumaphos, tetrachlorvinphos and/ or tetrachlorvinphos and dichlorvos combination, applied as a spray (or bird dipping) and dust treatments.

Control mites by treating their hiding places. Treat roosts, walls, litter, and equipment by painting, spraying, or dusting. Treat all cracks, crevices, and rough spots. As a general practice, even in the absence of a known infestation of insects or mites, the poultry house should be treated at least twice a year. The treatment should include a thorough cleaning of the house and an insecticide application. Northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) specifically infest the vent area, although males tend to have a more scattered infestation. Caged layers should be sprayed or dusted from underneath the cage in order to penetrate the vent feathers. For an effective treatment, spray two times with half doses, thirty minutes apart, to ensure that the vent region has been thoroughly saturated with the appropriate pesticide. Floor birds with northern fowl mite infestations can be bunched into a corner and treated with the same spray techniques, again, aimed at the vent area. For very small flocks, simply dipping each bird in a tank of the full dose spray mixture can be very effective. Treatment of Dermanyssus gallinae involves cleaning and disinfecting the poultry house. Mites can be located along cracks and crevices of the roost areas and poultry house, and eliminated by spraying pesticides in these infested areas two or three times for several weeks. Spray roosts and other equipment in the house. Remove nesting material and spray nest boxes inside and out. Allow time for drying before adding new nesting material.

Control of poultry lice requires treating the birds since lice remain on the bird throughout its life. Treat by dipping, dusting, or spraying the birds, and be careful to avoid contaminating eggs, feed and water. Treatment is easiest at night when birds are quiet. For best results, split treatments with half of the recommended amount of insecticide applied initially, and the second half applied soon after the first, since the wet feathers retain more active ingredient. Applying liquid sprays to dry feathers often results in loss of some of the insecticide due to runoff.

Integrated poultry pest management

Poultry integrated pest management (IPM) is based on applied ecology – understanding the pest biology and behavior in the habitat. Pest control in poultry facilities requires a judicious meshing of the cultural, biological, and chemical methods described previously. Biosecurity is always a primary element for preventing as much as possible the introduction of disease organism and pests into the operation. Optimal flock, housing, and waste management procedures should be continuously practiced to assist in suppressing pest populations and to encourage natural control factors, including moisture control, fly parasites and fly predators. When monitoring indicates unacceptable pest levels, additional actions are required to improve the implementation of the management practices.

In addition, chemical applications may be necessary. The timing of insecticide applications must be meshed with the poultry management practices. Very often this restricts applications to between flocks in a house when thorough cleaning and spraying is possible as for beetle, chicken mite, and bedbug control. Chemical applications for fly control by residual spraying, insecticide–bait mixtures and occasional misting are sometimes necessary to bring the adult fly population down to an acceptable level. However, those applications must be made with minimal contamination of the manure to preserve the natural populations of fly parasites and predators.


Regional Animal Health Centre for Western and Central Africa, B.P. 1820, Bamako, Mali
Corresponding author: efgueye@refer.sn

Family poultry (FP), which make up around 80% of poultry stocks in many developing countries of Africa and Asia, are still important. However, FP farmers are facing many constraints, including high mortality, mainly due to Newcastle disease and currently also to the highly pathogenic avian influenza in many countries since its occurrence in Asia in late 2003. Significant improvements in FP production systems can be achieved through well-designed and implemented information dissemination programmes that endow FP farmers with necessary knowledge and skills. The setting-up of poultry networks that enable FP farmers to acquire and share knowledge, views, experiences as well as research and development results in FP keeping in developing countries is discussed. Ways to improve the efficiency of information dissemination through poultry networks by taking into account the socio-cultural and economic environments of targeted FP farmers are also explored.