Productive Potentials of Backcrossed Nigerian Indigenous Chickens with Exotic Birds Under Southern Guinea Savanna Zone of Nigeria, I - Egg Production Performance
The study was designed to assess the egg production performance among the backcrossed Nigerian indigenous chickens to Rhode Island Red birds under Southern Guinea savanna zone of Nigeria. The study employed the uses of 220 birds comprises of 20 sires, 5 each of crosses involving frizzled feather Rhode Island Red crossbred (FFRIR), normal feathered Rhode Island Red crossbred (NFRIR), Fulani ecotype Rhode Island Red crossbred (FERIR) and naked neck Rhode Island Red crossbred (NNRIR) with 200 Rhode Island Red dams which were mated at ratio 1:5 to produce the backcrossed chickens of FFRIR x RIR, NFRIR x RIR, FERIR x RIR and NNRIR x RIR respectively. Data were obtained on body weight at first egg (BWFE), weight of first egg (WFE), age at sexual maturity (ASM), number of eggs at ninety days (EN90) and weight of eggs at ninety days (EW90). Significant (P<0.05) influenced of genotype on the egg production performance traits were obtained. FFRIR x RIR chickens was superior than its counterpart backcrossed birds for lighter body weight at first egg (1100.89 g), earlier age at sexual maturity (140.90 days) coupled with more number of eggs at ninety days (52.34 eggs) while NNRIR x RIR backcrossed chickens was better than other genetic groups in respect to weight of first egg (43.78 g) and weight of eggs at ninety days (52.89 g). The correlation coefficients between egg sets and other parameters evaluated were generally negative. The highly positive, negative and significant (P<0.001) correlations among the egg production performance traits of each genetic group of backcrossed chickens suggested that traits are under the same gene action (pleiotropism) which is good indicator for selection for improvements in one trait in an animal will eventually resulted in improvement of the other traits. It can be concluded that FF and NN individuals’ gene were better for egg production especially in this Southern Guinea Savanna region of Nigeria.
Backcrossed Chickens, Rhode Island Red Chicken, Nigerian Indigenous Chickens, Egg Production, Southern Guinea Savanna
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