Genetic Parameter Estimates of Early Growth Traits of Pure and Crossbred Chicken Progenies in the Humid Environment of Nigeria
Adedeji T. A.; Adebambo O. A.; Ozoje M. O.,; Dipeolu M. A. and Peters S. O.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
Heritabilities, genetic and phenotypic correlations amongst some growth traits in pure and crossbred chickens at day old to 8 weeks of age are estimated using 357 chicken progenies. A total of 23 sires from four different strains (Naked neck, frizzle feather, normal feather and White leghorn) are mated to 45 dams of White leghorn strain through artificial insemination. Data collected on body weight, body length, breast girth and keel length on weekly basis are analysed using Maximum likelihood (ML) computer programme and paternal half-sib analysis. Sire heritabilities for growth traits at day old are generally low, suggesting higher influence of environmental factors. However, estimates for 4 and 8 weeks vary between moderate to high in each sire strain. Also, genetic correlations amongst the traits using combined sire variances were generally high while those of phenotypic correlations vary between low to high. Moderate to high heritability estimates indicate presence of appreciable genetic variabilities in the growth traits studied amongst the sire strains and improvement could be made through mass selection. Similarly, high genetic correlations suggest that the traits are under the same genetic influence (pleiotropism), therefore, selection for one trait would lead to improvement in the other traits as a correlated response. This study therefore concludes that Nigerian local chicken are unimproved and has the potentials of genetic improvement.