Parasitism causes huge production losses in poultry industry particularly in the tropics and Sub-tropics through reduction in growth, drop in egg production, emaciation, anaemia, as well as mortality. A study on the prevalence of haemoparasites and haematology of chickens was conducted from October, 2017 to February, 2018. A total of 220 blood samples were collected from both local (95 samples) and broiler (125 samples) chickens at four Makurdi main poultry Markets (North-bank, Wurukwu, Wadata and Modern markets) and transported to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital Annex, University of Agriculture Makurdi for analysis. Giemsa-stained thin blood smear method was used for the screening of haemoparasites and the major haematological parameters (TBC, DLC, PCV, Plasma serum protein). An overall prevalence rate of 23.2% was recorded. Prevalence rates of 23.15% and 23.2% were recorded for local and broiler chickens respectively. Wurukwu (34.09%) market recorded the highest prevalence rate while Modern market (15.38%) had the least. Three different haemoparasites (Plasmodium spp, Haemoproteus spp and Leucocytozoon spp) were encountered with plasmodium spp (23.5% and 21.6% in local and broiler chickens respectively) having the highest prevalence rate. Infection rate was higher in male (27.2%) than female chickens (26.1%), but the difference was not statistically significant (p> 0.05). There are significant differences (p˂ 0.05) between the haematological parameters of the infected and uninfected chickens. The study revealed existence of three genera of haemoparasites in Makurdi and its environs at a relatively high prevalence.
Key words: Chicken, Haemoparasites, Haematology, Prevalence, Significant, Makurdi