Abstract

Genetic Divergence between the Indigenous Chickens of Nigeria

A total of 671 pedigreed chicks were artificially hatched from a controlled breeding population of Nigerian local chicken composed of three phenotypic groups namely the normal feathered (NF), frizzle feathered (FF) and the naked neck (Na). Hatch weights were recorded and the resulting chicks were reared in captivity on a standard farm-mix ration. Body weights were taken 4-weekly to 20 weeks of age. Twenty pullets from each of NF, FF and Na were randomly selected and monitored for part period egg production and progressive increase in egg weight to 280 days of age. Data collected were subjected to Mahalanobis D2 discriminant analysis for genetic distance estimation. Six of the seven discriminating variables used in this study revealed that there was significant (P<0.05) genetic distance between the genetic groups. It is concluded that heterosis is expected to be higher for crosses between the NF and Na, and NF and FF than between the Na and FF.


Author(s): Joseph Ochoche Egahi

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