Modeling growth performances, survival, and feed efficiency of four local chickens genetic types from Cameroon
Survival, feed efficiency and growth performances of four local breeds of chickens in West Cameroon (normally feathered NF, feathered tarsus FT, crested C and naked neck NN,) have been compared from hatch to 16 weeks, to determine which one could be improved by selection. Gompertz equation was used to fit growth curve of the four breeds. The normally feathered genotype was the more rustic, with a survival rate of 85.1%, i.e. 12 to 39% better than the other 3 breeds. The feathered tarsus type showed more rapid growth than NF, NN, and C genotypes. The FT hens had the highest weight gain at beginning (17.1 g.d-1), whereas the maximum gain at 16 weeks is observed in NN hens (26.1 g.d-1). Sexual dimorphism continuously increased between 0 and 16 weeks. Feed conversion ratio was significantly affected by sex, but neither by breed or breed by sex interaction. Evolution of growth rate with age was similar in the four groups, but significant differences of growth curve parameters were found among breeds and/or sexes. Estimated hatch weight was lower in C hens and higher in FT hens. Initial specific growth rates and asymptotic body weight were higher in males for all breeds. Age at maximum growth rate was lower for females. Finally, the maturation rate varied both with breed and sex. Taking into account survival, growth, and feed efficiency performances of the four breeds, the NF breed seems to be the most appropriate candidate to be used for meat production in Cameroon.
Keywords: growth, modelling, local breed, chicken, Cameroon