The aim of this study was to evaluate and quantify the parasitological challenge in pastured poultry production in the state of Georgia. Over the course of one year, fecal samples from six turkey flocks, ten broiler flocks and 13 layer flocks were collected on a pastured farm in two-week intervals to determine counts of Eimeria oocysts and nematode eggs. Average coccidia counts were 10,198 oocysts per gram of feces (OPG) in broiler flocks, 1,470 OPG in layer flocks and 695 OPG in turkey flocks. The means in broiler and turkey flocks were higher at their first week on pasture. Counts in broilers and layers were significantly higher in spring than in winter and summer. Coccidia counts in broilers were lower than published numbers in conventionally reared poultry, indicating the rotation system of the pastures might effectively reduce the infection pressure. Next-generation sequencing of PCR products showed the presence of most described Eimeria spp. in broilers, layers, and turkeys. In addition, Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) x, y and z were found. The frequency of species was similar for broilers and layers, with the exception that Eimeria praecox and OTU z were more common in layers. In layer flocks, the average count of roundworm eggs per gram of feces (EPG) was 509 EPG with 80% of the samples being positive. The mean counts had no clear pattern related to age. There was an increase of EPG with the increase of temperatures during spring and summer with the peak at mid-fall. Worm eggs from laying hens were identified as A. galli. The seasonal differences suggest that higher temperatures might result in an increase of egg survival and sporulation in the environment.

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