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Use of indigenous methods to control gastro-intestinal nematodes in chickens.

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Millions of resource-limited farmers depend on indigenous knowledge (IK) to sustain chicken health. The level of understanding on these IK systems is low. The objectives of the study were to: (1) explore IK used to control gastro-intestinal nematodes in chickens; (2) assess the extent of use of IK to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) in chicken and to (3) evaluate the efficacy of selected medicinal plants used by farmers to control GIN in chickens. The study was conducted in the Jozini local community. Indigenous knowledge is sourced from parents, forefathers, knowledgeable community members through oral communication. Medicinal plants are prepared using different methods such as boiling and soaking in water. Chickens are dewormed after displaying clinical symptoms of GIN infestation. Birds take a maximum of three days to recover after treatment. Male farmers were 3.968 times likely to be using IK than females. Male farmers were more cultural and depended on IK more than females. Farmers owning larger flock sizes were 8.196 times more likely to use IK than farmers with small flock sizes. Resource-limited farmers were 1.701 times likely to use IK than less-poor farmers. Famers owning cattle were 1.998 times likely to use IK than farmers not owning cattle. The extent of use of IK was influenced by demographics and the availability of medicinal plants. The medicinal plants tested in Trial 3 were Gomphocarpus physocarpus, Cissus quadrangularis and Aloe maculata. These were the popular plants used in Jozini. Birds on the control had higher mean faecal egg count (FEC) (321.3) of than Gomphocarpus physocarpus (270), Cissus quadrangularis (185) and Aloe maculata (155). These results showed that the selected medicinal plants have anthelmintic potential and needs to be promoted. Keywords: medicinal plants, gastro-intestinal nematodes, anthelmintics, faecal egg counts.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.