Evaluation of Body Weight and Other Linear Parameters of Marshall Broiler for Repeatability Estimates
This study was designed to evaluate the body weight and other linear parameters of Marshall Broiler for repeatability estimates. A total of one hundred (100) broiler chickens (Marshall) was used in estimating the repeatability of body weight and linear parameters of day old from 2 to 8 weeks of age. Body weight (BW) and other linear body parameters such as body length (BL), shank length (SL), thigh length (TL), breast girth (BG) and keel length (KL) were taken every two weeks. The mean values for body weight and other linear variables revealed increase for BW (374.78g - 1981.34g), BL (11.63cm - 21.41cm), SL (9.27cm – 13.54cm), TL (6.10cm – 10.97cm), BG (3.47cm – 11.59cm) and KL (9.54cm – 18.14cm) at 2nd and 8th weeks age respectively. The repeatability of body weight (0.332, 0.032, 0.457 and 0.384) was respectively low at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age with high repeatability values for BL (0.813) at 4th week, SL (0.691) and TL (0.697) at 2nd week respectively and BG (0.759) at 6th week of age with KL (0.695) at 8th week of age, indicating that the tendency for successive records of Marshall Broiler chickens to be more alike is low. Repeatability and variance components over the eight weeks of the study for body weight and other linear parameters revealed high values for BL (0.614) and TL (0.606). Therefore, selection for improvement using any of the traits (body weight, breast girth and keel length) will result in good performance and a significant genetic gain throughout the lifetime of Marshall Broiler chickens.
Keywords: Repeatability, Marshall Broiler, linear body variables,