Economic Importance of the Chicken Body Louse1

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Four pullets and a rooster in each of 11 pens were infected with The chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus Nitzsch). Eleven similar plus of birds were kept louse free as controls. No significant difference egg production was observed between the two groups of hens during the 16 weeks following infestation. The louse-infested hens laid eggs at the 76.0% level while their Louse-free counterparts produced lit the 75.7% level. A reduction in the protein content of the feed from 16% to 12% was carried out for five "louse-infested" and five "louse-free" pens during the 17th weeks. The birds in the remaining 12 pens continued as before on the 16% protein feed. No significant difference was obtained when egg production data recorded during this 6-week period were analyzed as a split-plot design. The lice were re- moved at the end of the 22nd week of the test. Egg records for the ensuing 4 weeks showed no trend toward increased production over the birds that had been louse-infested. Fertility and hatchability were not adversely affected by the infestation of lice. Consecutive end-of-the-month louse counts of louse-infested hens located in an extra pen in the laying-hen test resulted in counts of 49, 1,575,8,646 and 12.30.5,respectively.

Two adults of the chicken body louse were placed on each of 192 5-day-old broilers distributed evenly among four pens. An equal number of broiler chicks were located in adjacent pens. No significant difference in weight gain or in feed conversion was noted between the two groups of four pens at the end of the 8-week growth period. Birds were marketed at an average weight of 3 pounds.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1960

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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