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Br Poult Sci. 2005 Feb;46(1):26-34.

Influence of Dermanyssus gallinae and Ascaridia galli infections on behaviour and health of laying hens (Gallus gallus domesticus).

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Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Danish Pest Infestation Laboratory, Lyngby, Denmark.


(1) The effect of infections with Dermanyssus gallinae (poultry red mite or chicken mite) and Ascaridia galli (roundworm) on the behaviour and health of laying hens was investigated. (2) Six groups of 15 pullets (Isa Brown) were kept in indoor pens from 18 weeks of age. Two groups were artificially infected with D. gallinae, two groups with A. galli and two groups were kept as uninfected controls. The hens were observed for behavioural reactions and physiological changes (weight gain and various blood variables) to the parasitic infections. (3) Infections with D. gallinae resulted in reduced weight gain, anaemia and even death of some of the hens. Behavioural changes were also observed, as the mite-infected hens showed higher self-grooming and head scratching both during the day and night. (4) A. galli resulted in a lower weight gain but no significant changes were seen in blood variables or behavioural activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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