Comparative Egg Production, Quality and Hatchability in Three Chicken Genotypes under Humid Tropical Conditions
Comparative study on egg production and hatchability characteristics in Nigerian local (NL; n=24), FUNAAB-α (F-α; n=24) and Transylvanian naked neck (TNN; n=24) chickens aged 25 weeks old was carried out for 4 weeks. Three hundred and sixty hatchable eggs each were used for quality characteristics determination and for incubation. F-α had significantly (P<0.001) higher egg production (90.3%) than TNN (76.9%) while TNN was higher than NL (58.3%). Egg weight (EWT), length, width and surface area, albumen height, weight, percentage and index, shell weight, color and internal quality unit (IQU) were significantly (P<0.001) affected by genotype. These followed the pattern: NL<F-α<TNN. F-α and TNN had significantly (P<0.001) higher values than NL in egg shape index, yolk weight, height and diameter. Yolk colour index was significantly (P<0.01) higher in TNN than in F-α. Yolk percentage and yolk-albumen ratio followed the pattern: NL>F-α>TNN. NL had (P<0.001) thicker and higher shell percentage (SP) than F-α and TNN. Higher Haugh unit (HU) was recorded in TNN than in NL and F-α. Fertility was significantly (P<0.05) higher in F-α than in TNN. Hatchability was not (P>0.05) affected by genotype. Chick weight and chick: egg ratio were significantly (P<0.001) by genotype. TNN had higher chick weight and yield than F-α and NL chicks. In conclusion, F-α laid more eggs than others, exhibited higher fertility with longer chicks at hatch. TNN is superior in EWT, HU, IQU and chick yield. NL had higher SP than others.
Keywords: Egg production, Egg quality, FUNAAB alpha chicken, Hatchability, Transylvanian naked neck chicken.