Predation on livestock ticks by chickens

Vet Parasitol. 1991 Mar;38(2-3):199-204. doi: 10.1016/0304-4017(91)90129-j.


Chickens were shown to be natural predators of ticks. Rhipicephalus appendiculatus were recovered in large numbers from the crops and gizzards of chickens which had scavenged for 30 min-1 h among tick-infested cattle. Other ticks recovered were Amblyomma variegatum and Boophilus decoloratus. The numbers of ticks recovered ranged from 3 to 331, with an average of 81 per chicken. Cattle facilitated the predation of ticks by certain behavioural actions. Chickens also picked up both engorged and unengorged ticks seeded on vegetation, but unengorged ticks were preferred. The possibility of tick predation by chickens forming a viable biological control component in an integrated tick management system in Africa is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / parasitology*
  • Chickens*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Predatory Behavior*
  • Tick Control / methods*