A cross sectional study was conducted from Nov. 2008 to April 2009 to identify and estimate prevalence of ectoparisites of poultry in intensive and backyard chicken farm at Wolayta Soddo town southern nation nationalities and peoples region of Ethiopia. Three hundred eighty four chickens were selected using systematic random sampling technique. Ectoparasites were collected from different parts of the body including skin scraping from shank. Concomitantly age, sex as well as other risk factors recorded. The study result showed that four genus (lice, flea, mite and tick) and six species of ectoparasites recovered in back yard and none in intensive production system. The prevalence of external parasite infestation in backyard production system were 88% lice, 16.5% flea, 8.1% mite and 9.2% tick. Menopon gallinae 49 (139/284) the most prevalent ectoparasite species followed by Cuclotogaster heterographus 40%(115/284) while nemidocoptes mutans 8.1%(23/284) was the least identified. The finding in age group showed that there was a significant difference in prevalence of lice infestation between young and adult chicken (P< 0.05) with odds ratio of 5.2. Where young age group are 5.2 times more likely to be infested with lice than adult ones, where as mite prevalence was significantly different between age group with OR of 2.8, where adult group are 2.8 times more likely to be infested than young. On the other hand, flea and tick weren't significantly different (P>0.05) in both age and sex groups but it needs further study to find plausible explanation. The study indicated that external parasites are highly prevalent in backyard chicken, which is associated with poor hygienic system. There is a need to improve hygiene to increase chicken productivity in the area.
Chicken, Ectoparasites, Prevalence, Backyard, Intensive, Commercial Poultry Farm, Wolayta Soddo, Hygiene.