Effect of crossbreeding and selection for meat on Nigerian indigenous chickens
Indigenous chicken possesses great potentials for genetic improvement through crossbreeding, selection and other breeding programmes. This study was conducted to compare our improved local broiler line with the commercial Anak Titan broiler chicken in terms of growth performance, feed intake and water consumption. A total of 250 birds were used for this study comprising 110 improved local broiler chicken and 140 Anak Titan broiler chicken. The two genotypes were subjected to the same standard management procedure from day old to ten week of age in different pens. Data on seven growth traits (bodyweight, breast girth, keel length, body length, shank length, thigh length, chicken height), feed intake, feed efficiency and water consumption were collected from week one to ten in the two genotypes. Data were analyzed using the Generalized linear model implemented in SAS. As expected, genotype and sex significantly (p<0.05) affected bodyweight and all the linear body parameters with the exotic broiler performing better than the improved local broiler. The bodyweight ranged from 47.21g and 37g at week one to 2754.55g and 1573.39g at week ten in exotic and improved local broiler respectively. Breast girth at week one to ten ranged from 11.27cm and 11.76cm to 29.21cm and 27.36cm in exotic and improved local respectively while other linear body parameters followed the same trend. Higher feed intake, efficiency and water intake were recorded in exotic compared to our improved local broiler. The results indicated that our improved local broiler consume lesser feed to achieve improved growth performance when compared to our unimproved local chicken although not as high as that observed in the commercial Anak Titan broiler.
Keywords: crossbreeding, selection, broiler, indigenous chicken, Anak Titan broiler