LINC/PAUL CHAPMAN, The Australian (AU) – A chicken scratcher with a special allergy to ticks has found that the ticks he tries to get past his chicken fence are actually more attracted to his pet birds.
Key points:The researchers believe that this can be attributed to the different types of food used to make the chicken scratchingsThere are more than 100 species of ticks in Australia and many of them are common to Australia’s forests.
Dr David Friesen of the University of Sydney’s Veterinary Entomology Department and colleagues decided to investigate how different types in Australia’s wild bird communities could influence the tick density in their backyard.
“This is a very important area of research because we know that many of the animals that we see in our backyard are not normally attracted to ticks,” Dr Frieseng said.
“We know that ticks are the primary cause of disease in some of the birds that we observe in the wild.”
Dr Frieson said there was evidence that other foods that can be used to grow the larvae of ticks also attracted the insects to their environment.
“It is possible that there are other things that may be causing this and we need to be more careful in what we are using to grow our larvae,” he said.
In the study, the researchers compared the tick densities in two backyard experiments.
One experiment used a conventional feed and the other used a feed that was not grown on a tree.
“The conventional feed used a mixture of corn meal, soybean meal and cottonseed meal.
The soybean feed was grown on wood and the corn meal was grown in a field,” Dr Susser said.
It was then decided that the conventional feed was to be used on the chicken fence, which was designed to have a relatively low tick density, because it had a very thin wall and a thin wall was ideal for growing tick larvae.
The researchers then measured the density of the ticks on the bird fence and the size of the holes.
“For the conventional chicken scratch experiment, we looked at the density on the first chicken fence and it was pretty good,” Dr Cripps said.
However, the next step was to look at the size and number of the hole holes on the second chicken fence.
“On the second fence, we had more holes and it looked like the chicken had more larvae, but we still found it had higher density than the first fence,” Dr Roper said.
She said that the difference in density was the result of the fact that the pellets used in the second experiment were not grown under the tree canopy.
“These pellets were grown on an artificial tree, so we had to have an artificial canopy on both fences,” Dr Jansen said.
The study is published in the journal Parasite and Infestation Biology.
The results suggest that there is a link between the diet and the tick species, and it may be possible to develop a vaccine that could combat the spread of the disease.
“One thing we can learn from this study is that it seems that different types and combinations of foods can have different effects on tick density,” Dr Noyes said.
Topics:health,animal-science,animal,ticks,animals,parasites,woolworths-city-4700,southern-suburbs-4870Contact Amy RuggieroMore stories from New South Wales