Some Biometric and Allometric Growth Traits of Purebred Heavy Ecotype of the Nigerian Local Chicken.


Fifty five (55) experimental birds were randomly replicated into 5 deep litter pens in the ratio of 1 cock: 10 hens. Like to like random mating was ensured to raise 200 chicks in the F1 generation.

Chicks were subjected to measurements like body weight, body length, shank length, shank colour, beak colour, feather colour, feed conversion ratio, mean feed consumption, egg colour, egg fertility, egg hatchability, dead embryo and mortality at hatch and subsequently at 4 weekly intervals.

Data obtained from these traits at ages of 0 (day old) – week, 4-weeks, 8-weeks,12-weeks 16- weeks and 20 weeks were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) in a nested or hierarchial design and in a paternal half sib analysis using SAS (2004) statistical procedure.
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Body weight was significantly different among the progeny and ranged from 30.33g at day old to 1334.67g at 20 weeks of age. Sire had no significant effect in average body weight gain  (ABWG), expect at 8-12weeks of age. ABWG ranged from 85.05g at 4 weeks to 441.20g at 20 weeks of age.

There was significant (p<0.001) difference in feed conversion ratio (FCR) at 12 weeks of age. Sire had highly significant (p<0.001) effect on average feed consumption (AFC) from 4-20 weeks of age.
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Background of Study

Evidence abounds that Nigeria as a Nation is endowed with surplus natural resources that will make her self-sufficient in animal protein production and even become main exporters of all kinds of food items.

According to Nigerianet (2003), Nigeria, being the largest geographical unit in West Africa, has a land area of 923,768 square kilometers.

According to Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN (2002), Nigeria population was reported to be 129.9 million in 2004 based on the projected annual growth rate of 2.8% of the revised 1991 census.

At this given growth rate Nigeria population is estimated to be 141.1 million in 2007.

Nwosu (1989) reported that of the one hundred and thirty three million (133,000,000) chickens in Nigeria, one hundred and twenty-three million (123,000,000) are local chickens.

RIM (1992), reported that the native chickens constituted 80% of the one hundred and twenty million (120,000,000) chickens in Nigeria. This showed that ninety-six million (96,000,000) were native chickens.

The fact that some developed countries with far less natural resources can still boast of self sufficiency and their ability to export poultry products call for sober reflection among Nigerians.
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Abebe, H. (1992): Terminal report on the comparative evaluation of native chicken in the Hanarge Administrative Region and their crosses with the single comb white leghorn. Mimeographed Report. Alemaya Univ of Agric, pp 22.

Adedokun, S.A. and Sonaiya, E.B. (2001): Comparison of the performance of Nigerian indigenous chickens from three agro-ecological zones. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 3(2).

Akinokun, O. (1990).An Evaluation of exotic and indigenous chikens as genetic materials for development of rural poultry production in Africa. In: Rural Poultry Production in Africa. Ed. Sonaiya, E.B. Proceedings of an International Workshop on Rural poultry in Africa. Ile-ife Nigeria 13-16 Nov 1989. 56-61.

Asadu C. L.A.(2002): Fluctuations in the characteristics of an important short tropical season,August Break in Eastern Nigeria. Discovery and Innovation 14(1/2). IITA England.

Atteh,J.O. (1990):Rural poultry production in western middlebelt Nigeria.In: Rural poultry production in Africa. Ed. Sonaiya,E.B. Proceeding of an International workshop on rural poultry in Africa.Ile-ife Nigeria 13-16 Nov. 1989.211-217.

Boardman, et al., (2002). “A comprehensive collection of chicken’s DNA”. In: Curr. Biol. Vol. 12, no. 22, 1965-1969pp. 

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