Effect of genotype on egg quality characteristics of guinea fowl (Numida meleagris galeata) in a humid tropical environment
This study was conducted to investigate the effect of genotype on egg quality traits of guinea fowl. The genotypes were Pearl x Pearl (PL x PL), Black x Black (BL x BL) and Pearl x Black (PL x BL). A total of 272 eggs were used for the study. A sample of 80 eggs comprising 35 from PL x PL, 32 from BL x BL and 13 from PL x BL were randomly selected and used to evaluate the shell and internal egg quality characteristics. The external and shell quality parameters measured were egg weight (EWGT), egg length (ELGT), egg width (EWDT), egg shape index (ESPI), shell weight (SWGT), and shell thickness (STKN) while the internal traits were egg mass (EMAS), yolk weight (YWGT), yolk diameter (YDM), yolk height (YHGT), yolk index (YIDX), albumen weight (AWGT), albumen height (AHGT), albumen diameter (ADM), albumen index (AIDX). Genotype significantly (P<0.05) influenced some of the external and internal traits. ELGT and ESPI of PL x BL genotype were statistically superior to those of the other genotypes. The values were 48.53 ± 0.47 mm, 46.67 ± 0.28 mm and 46.16 ± 0.28 mm (ELGT), 76.70 ± 0.52 %, 78.93 ± 0.40 % and 77.45 ± 0.43 % (ESPI) for PL x BL, PL x PL and BL x BL, respectively. Generally, PL x BL eggs had significantly (P<0.05) better egg quality both in terms of external and internal traits compared to PL x PL and BL x BL eggs. However, PL x BL eggs compared favourably (P>0.05) with those of BL x BL in egg mass (g) and yolk index (%) and PL x PL in albumen index (%).The result of this study suggests that these traits could be improved through crossbreeding.
Keywords: Genotype, Egg quality, Traits, Crossbreeding, Guinea fowl,