Prevalence and Management of Endoparasitic Worm load in Ostriches of Different Captive Conditions Housed in Punjab, Pakistan

Bushra Nisar Khan, Iqra Islam, Nisar Ahmed, Muhammad Oneeb, Muhammad Azhar, Kiran Saleem, Muhammad Rizwan Khan

  • Bushra Nisar Khan Institute of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Pakistan
  • Iqra Islam Department of Parasitology, University of Veterinary& Animal Sciences, Lahore
  • Nisar Ahmed Department of Parasitology, University of Veterinary& Animal Sciences, Lahore
  • Muhammad Oneeb Department of Parasitology, University of Veterinary& Animal Sciences, Lahore
  • Muhammad Azhar Safari Zoo, Lahore
  • Kiran Saleem Lahore Zoo, Lahore
  • Muhammad Rizwan Khan Safari Zoo, Lahore
Keywords: Endoparasites, Ostrich, Prevalence, Anthelmintics, Managemen


Ostrich farming has attained a status of a fast-growing agribusiness in the livestock industry due to the wide range of associated benefits attached to it. This study was designed to assess the prevalence of endoparasites in this economically important bird as well as their treatment to provide better guidelines for successful ostrich farming. The study involved 385 feacal samples of ostriches taken from 55 commercial farms and captive sites Punjab during the period of January 2020 to December 2020. The relevant data and samples were collected from 15 districts of Punjab. Feacal samples were tested against gastrointestinal worm load by using floatation and sedimentation techniques. Ostriches of 11 commercial farms and Lahore Zoo, Jallo Wildlife Park Lahore, UVAS Ostrich farm Pattoki and Bahawalnagar Wildlife Park were found to harbor protozoan parasites such as Eimeria spp. Balantidium coli, and Amoeboid cyst. It was noteworthy that the use of herbal dewormers showed much better results than chemical anthelmintics. Similarly, those wildlife parks where ostriches were given a natural environment showed negative results for endoparasites. At some farms combination of chemical and herbal anthelmintics was also used. The absence of a reliable nutritional management system caused the mortality of ostriches at 40 farms due to gastric problems and choking. The mortality rate at the age of 2-4 months was 73% while mortality of adult birds from 1-7 years was 27%. Among selected farms, 50% of ostriches were facing lameness, leg deformities, and retarded growth due to improper space, a congested environment, and poor feeding systems. Lastly, more research is needed to make this agribusiness flourished.