The layering and physical characteristics of Shaver Brown Hens in a hot humid environment
Eggs were collected from 120 Shaver Brown hens for a period of 56 days in order to determine their oviposition time, sequence of laying, lag time, laying intensity and egg weight. The hens were subsequently divided into three classes on the basis of their laying performance namely: good layers, intermediate layers and poor layers and the physical conditions of these classes were appraised. Results showed that the hens had a bimodal sequence size of 4 and 6 with the longest egg sequence of 56 eggs. The interval between successive eggs ranged from 24.00 hours 1.0 minute to 29.00 hours 24 minutes. The laying intensity was 77.37 percent. The mean egg weight was 60±0. 86g and the egg weight tended to decrease from the first to the last egg in a sequence. The peak of lay was between 6am and 7am followed closely by 9am and 10am. About 83.88, and 0.19 percent of the eggs were laid before 12noon and after 4pm, respectively. Observations made on the physical characteristics of the hens revealed that for good layers, the comb and wattle were smooth, eyes were bright and the beak and shank were bleached. The vent was moist and enlarged with flexible pubic bone, soft abdomen and worn feathers. Intermediate layers had almost the same features except that the beaks, eye rings and shanks showed some degree of bleaching. For poor layers, the wattles and combs were dry, eyes dull, abdomen was fairly soft while the vent was fairly moist. The pubic bones were thick and relatively close together and their feathers worn.
Keywords: Shaver Brown Hens, laying characteristics, humid environment.
Agro-Science Vol. 5 (2) 2006: pp. 25-32