Comparative Evaluation of Two Nigerian Local Chicken Ecotypes and Their Crosses for Growth Traits

Momoh, O. M.; Nwosu, C. C.; Adeyinka, I. A.
August 2010
International Journal of Poultry Science;2010, Vol. 9 Issue 8, p738
Academic Journal
The Nigerian local chickens were grouped on the basis of body size and body weight into Heavy Ecotype (HE) and Light Ecotype (LE). Comparative evaluation of growth traits; Body Weight (BWT), Body Weight Gain (BWG) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) at 4-weekly intervals (from 0-20 weeks) of HE, LE and their F crosses; HE x LE - Main Cross (MCX) and LE x HE - Reciprocal Cross (RCX) were carried out. The total of 214, 142, 190 and 185 day-old chicks of HE, LE, MCX and RCX, respectively were used for the study. The chicks in all the genetic groups were raised on deep lifter pens from 0-20 weeks using standard management procedures. Data were subjected to analysis of variance. Results showed that the HE differed (p<0.05) from the LE in BWT (0-20 weeks). Crossing the HE with LE appeared to have closed the gap between HE and LE in BWT as there were no significant differences (p>0.05) between the BWT of HE and the crossbred groups as from 8-20 weeks of age. The crossbred groups quickly overcame the initial set backs resulting from maternal/sire-dam interaction effects and grew significantly heavier than the straight bred heavy and light ecotypes during the period, 12-20 weeks of age. FCR showed highly significant (p<0.001) difference among the genetic groups which indicates differences in maintenance requirements. On the whole, results of FCR showed that the local chickens are less efficient in feed utilization.


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