Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 41, Issue 8, pp 1685–1693 | Cite as

Ethno-veterinary control of parasites, management and role of village chickens in rural households of Centane district in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • M. Mwale
  • P. J. MasikaEmail author


Mwale and Masika 2009 Ethno-veterinary control of parasites, management and role of village chickens in rural households of Centane district in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Tropical Animal Health and Production. Village chickens contribute significantly towards rural livelihood in the African continent through the provision of animal protein, income and socio-cultural uses. However, village chickens are susceptible to parasite infestation. Due to limitations of using western drugs to control these parasites, farmers resort to the use of ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM). However, there is dearth of information on EVM use in chickens. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to document various EVM practices used in controlling gastro-intestinal parasites in village chickens. Stratified random sampling was used to select 62 chicken farmers that were interviewed using a structured questionnaire About 70 and 96.7% of farmers provided housing and water for their chickens respectively whereas the rest did not. The chief role of chickens was meat provision (91.7%). Most households (86%) reported parasite problems in chickens, particularly gastro-intestinal parasites. Eighty-three percent of the interviewed respondents use medicinal plants to control both internal and external parasites in chickens. Use of plants increased with parasite incidences (r=0.347; P<0.01). Mainly gastro-intestinal parasites were problematic and were largely controlled by medicinal plants. Further research on pharmacological properties, safety and efficacy of these plants is important for improved chicken productivity and hence rural livelihood.


Gastro-intestinal parasites Management Medicinal plants Rural farmers Village chickens 



The researchers are very grateful to the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa for funding the project. The researchers are indebted to the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI) for the institutional and technical support, Messrs Qondile Nyamezele, Lubabalo and Busani Moyo for their invaluable assistance in data collection and the Centane district farmers for their mutual understanding and co-operation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Livestock and Pasture ScienceUniversity of Fort HareAliceSouth Africa
  2. 2.Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI)University of Fort HareAliceSouth Africa

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