Comparative study of laying characteristics of Cameroon native (Gallus gallus) and label chickens

  • JC Fotsa
  • KD Poné
  • X Rognon
  • M Tixier-Boichard
  • M Meffeja
  • J Tchoumboué
  • Y Manjeli
  • A Bordas
Keywords: Cameroon, local chickens, label chickens, laying performance, food efficiency, egg quality.

Abstract

Laying performance of local chickens has been evaluated in a testing station in Cameroun, with a comparison to slow-growing label’s genotype imported from France. There were three ecotypes of local chickens (Center, South, North-West/West also called NO/OU) and two groups of label hens, either normal (DW*N) or dwarf (DW*DW). Label hens matured later, and were heavier than local ecotypes by 43%, 46%, and 48% as compared to NO/OU, Center, and South ecotypes, respectively. The dwarf gene decreased body weight of label hens by 20% (2083g versus 2604 g). Body weight of local ecotypes ranged from 1,362g (Center) to 1,481g (NO/OU). Egg weight was also higher for label hens (56g) than for local hens (46g) but the egg weight/body weight ratio was higher for local hens. At 52 weeks of age, egg number reached 85 (Center), 100 (South), 92 (NO/OU), 76 (DW*N) et 78 (DW*DW) and corresponding laying intensity was 68% (South), 63% (NO/OU), 62% (Center), 60% (DW*N) et 59% (DW*DW). Average egg mass recorded between 32 and 36 weeks of hens’ age were 875g (DW*DW), 803g (South), 722g (Center), 687g (NO/OU), and 672g (DW*N). The best food conversion ratio was obtained with local South ecotype (2.97). Residual feed intake was low for genotypes except for the NO/OU. The mean yolk percentage reached 30% in local hens as compared to label ones (27%). It could be concluded that, indigenous hens revealed a rather good laying ability in the controlled conditions of the testing station, the best performance being exhibited by the South ecotype. Crossbreeding between local ecotypes and label genotypes should be tested to improve egg weight.
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