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Non-invasive sex determination of guinea fowl keets (numida meleagris) by polymerase chain reaction

K. M. J. Ahiagbe
B. B. Kayang
A. Naazie
F. K. Avornyo
P. K. Botchway
S. Z. Ali


Early sex determination of birds is crucial for controlled breeding for both production and
conservation. Amidst the potential of the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) industry for the
economies of African countries and as a rich genetic resource to be conserved, inability to
accurately sex guinea fowl keets is a major constraint for breeding. In the present study sex of dayold guinea keets (n=132) and keets of 4 - 8 weeks (n=72) was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by amplifying a sequence homologous to Chicken EcoR1 fragment of 0.6 kb (EE0.6) using Universal Sex Primer 1(USP 1) and Universal Sex Primer 3 (USP 3) together with internal control primers using DNA extracted from feathers. Out of 72 keets, aged 4 - 8 weeks, 38 were identified as males and 34 were identified as females. Out of the 132, day-olds 69 and 63 were identified as female and male keets, respectively, were results from PCR were confirmed by the presence of respective gonads. The methods described can be used for accurate sex determination of guinea fowl keets from day-old with minimal stress and discomfort to the birds. The method can be used by researchers, breeders, conservationists directly or to develop farmer friendly methods in the future.