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Parasitic Profile of Domestic Geese of Kashmir

H. Hamadani A. A. Khan Z. A. Wani H. Jalal S. J. A. Bihaqi M. S. Mir
Vol 7(5), 129-133

Geese, adapted well to free range and grazing, are reared in and around the water bodies, hence may be susceptible to various parasitic infections. Hence, a study was planned with the objective of recording the parasitic incidence in the locally reared Kashmir geese. External as well as internal parasites were recovered. The ectoparasites recovered from the anterior lower neck region of the observed geese were identified as Cuclogaster heterographus. Out of the total 150 samples, 68.67 % were positive and revealed the presence of Acaridia spp. eggs, Capillaria spp. eggs, Eimeria spp. oocysts, Strongyloides spp. eggs and Notocotylus spp. eggs. The endoparasites recovered from different portions of intestines in the present study were identified as Cotugnia spp., Notocotylus spp. and Capillaria spp.

Keywords : Geese Cuclogaster Acaridia Capillaria Eimeria Cotugnia Notocotylus


The increasing demand for protein across the globe has made it imperative to exploit alternate food resources. Poultry meat is a good and cheap source of protein. Although chicken contributes maximum towards this sector but at the same time competes with humans for grains. Alternate poultry like geese offer a great opportunity to widen the resource base and being grazers by nature do not compete for grains with humans. Geese belong to the family Anatidae and genus Anser (Johnsgard, 2010). Some characteristics like high juvenile growth rate (Hamadani et al., 2014), good and likable quality of meat (Hamadani et al., 2013a) and disease resistance (NRC, 1991) make geese rearing a promising enterprise. Geese known to have good adaptation to free range and grazing (Romanov, 1999) are reared in and around the water bodies in the Valley of Kashmir (Hamadani et al., 2013b) hence may be susceptible to various parasitic infections. Parasitic infestation in poultry leads to poor growth and feed-conversion ratio, unthriftiness, decreased egg-production and in severe cases even death (Jacob, 2015). Parasites can also increase the susceptibility of flock to diseases or aggravate existing disease (Jacob, 2015). Therefore, a study was planned with the objective of recording the parasitic incidence in the locally reared geese of Kashmir.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted in the main geese rearing districts of Kashmir Valley. Among these districts geese rearing hamlets were identified and sampling was carried out randomly. Live birds (N=30) were thoroughly examined for the ectoparasites on their body. 150 faecal samples, collected from geese rearing areas were processed by direct, sedimentation and floatation methods and then observed for parasitic eggs under microscope first at 10x and then at 40x. Intestines of the 30 slaughtered birds were dissected and examined for endoparasites. Also the intestinal contents were examined for parasitic eggs by the above mentioned methods. The parasitic eggs and parasites were identified as per Soulsby (1982).

Results and Discussion

After thoroughly examining the bodies of geese externally the ectoparasites that were recovered were identified as Cuclogaster heterographus (Fig. 6 and 7). These ectoparasites were recovered from the anterior lower neck region of the birds examined. Shah (2007) has also reported Cuclotogaster spp. from the goose of Anchar Lake in Kashmir.Out of the total 150 faecal samples examined, 68.67 % were positive for parasitic infestation and revealed the presence of Acaridia spp. eggs (Fig.1), Capillaria spp. eggs (Fig.4), Eimeria spp. oocysts (Fig. 3), Strongyloides spp. eggs (Fig. 2) and Notocotylus spp. eggs (Fig. 5). Distribution of various parasitic eggs in these faecal samples is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Results of faecal sample examination (N=150)

Type of Egg/Oocyte Number of Faecal Samples Positive Percentage of Positive Faecal Samples (%)
Acaridia spp. eggs 4 2.67
Capillaria spp. eggs 8 5.33
Eimeria spp. oocysts 22 14.67
Strongyloides spp. eggs 112 74.67
Notocotylus spp. eggs 4 2.67
Total 150 100

parasites.jpgFigure 1: Ascaridia egg (40x) Figure 2: Strongyloides egg (40x) Figure 3: Eimeria oocyst (40x) Figure 4: Capillaria egg (40x) Figure 5: Notocotylus egg (40x)

parasites.jpgFigure 6: Gross view of Cuclotogaster heterographus Figure 7: Microscopic view of Cuclotogaster heterographus (4x)

The prevalence of Strongyloides spp. eggs in the faecal samples was highest followed by Eimeria spp. oocysts, Capillaria spp. eggs, and lastly Acaridia spp. eggs and Notocotylus spp. eggs. Out of the total birds, whose intestines were examined for endoparasites, 63.33 % of showed the presence of infection. The endoparasites that recovered from different portions of intestines were identified as Cotugnia spp. (Figure 10), Notocotylus spp. (Figure 11) and Capillaria spp. (Figure 8 and 9). Location and distribution of the recovered parasites has been depicted in Table 2.

Table 2: Prevalence of parasitic infection in geese (N=30)

Location Number of Samples Positive for Total
Trematodes Cestodes Nematodes
Duodenum 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 12 (40 %) 12 (40 %)
Jejunum 0 (0 %) 5(16.67 %) 0 (0 %) 5 (16.67 %)
Caecum 2 (6.67 %) 0 (0 %) 0 (0 %) 2 (6.67 %)
Total 2 (6.67 %) 5 (16.67 %) 12 (40 %) 19 (63.33 %)


Figure 8: Anterior portion of Capillaria spp. (10x) Figure 9: Middle portion of female Capillaria spp. showing vulvar flap (10x) Figure 10: Mature segment of Cotugnia spp. (4x) Figure 11: Notocotylus spp. (4x)

Shah (2007), and Gicik and Arslan (2003) have also reported the presence of Acaridia spp. in geese in Anchar Lake of Kashmir and Kras district of Turkey respectively. Various species of Capillaria have been reported in domestic geese of Turkey by Gicik and Arslan (2003) which are Capillaria anseris, Cappilaria obsignata and Capillaria caudinflata. Notocotylus spp. has been reported in domestic geese (Shah, 2007) as well as the wild graylag geese (Kharoo, 2011) in Kashmir. Xu et al. (2012) has reported 87.67% of the domestic geese population in Eastern China infected with coccidian oocysts and identified eight different species of the Eimeriidae family namely T. parvula Koltan (90.63%), E. hermani Farr (76.56%), E. stigmosa Klimes (48.44%), E. nocens Koltan (35.94%), E. fulva Farr (15.63%), E. aneris Koltan (9.38%), E. farri Hanson, Levine and Ivens (4.69%) and I. anseris Koltan (4.69%). Among them, the first three species were found to be most prevalent. Presence of Strongyloides spp. has been reported in domestic geese by Buckland and Guy (2002). We could not find any report on the presence of Cotugnia spp. in domestic geese. However, Cotugnia spp. has been reported in the indigenous ducks of Tamil Nadu (Gajendran and Karthickeyan, 2009).


Buckland R and Guy G. 2002. Goose Production, FAO Animal Production and Health Paper – 154. FAO Corporate Document Repository, Rome.

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