Aims: To study the effects of poultry production systems on prevalence of internal parasites in hens of the Baladi breed in Northern West Bank, Palestine. The study is important to provide basic information essential to design appropriate parasitic control and prevention measures.
Methodology: A survey study of internal parasites in Baladi layer hens was conducted in five villages of Northern West Bank, Palestine. Fecal samples were collected between September 2015 and April 2016 from 240 Baladi hens raised under four production systems (single-tier cages, double-deck cages, floor, and free range systems). The samples were examined for infection with internal parasites using the sedimentation and flotation techniques. Infection rates and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated and comparisons among production systems were performed using logistic regression and Pearson’s Chi-square test.
Results: The results showed that 102 samples (42.5%) were positive for one or more types of internal parasites. The types of detected internal parasites were nematodes (25.4% Ascaridia galli, 11.7% Heterakis gallinarum, and 3.3% Capillaria spp.), cestodes (Raillietina spp., 8.3%), and protozoa (Eimeria spp., 4.2%). Of the parasitic infections, 73.5% were nematodes, 10.8% were cestodes, 6.9% protozoa, and 8.8% were mixed species. Prevalence rates were 23.3%, 40.0%, 50.0% and 56.7% in single-tier cages, double-deck cages, floor system and the free range system, respectively. Hens raised in double-deck cages had odds ratio of infection of 1.999 (P = .08) compared to single cages, while hens raised in floor and free range systems had odds ratios 2.999 (P = .005) and 3.923 (P < .001) compared to single cage system.
Conclusion: This study showed that hens reared in floor and free range systems had higher risk of parasitic infection than hens reared in cages indicating a higher need for appropriate prevention and control measures in these systems compared to cage systems.