Phenotypic relations between egg weight and other egg quality traits of South Eastern Nigeria local chicken
The experiment was carried out with a total of one hundred and fifty eggs, which were collected from a local chicken variety of southeastern Nigeria hens reared in a cage system. The objective of this study was to determine the phenotypic relationship between egg weight and the other egg quality traits. The mean values related to the external egg quality traits - egg weight (EW), egg length (EL), egg breadth (EB), egg shape index (ESI), shell weight (SW) and shell thickness (ST) were 38.99 g, 49.98 mm, 36.66 mm, 0.73, 4.05 g and 0.34 mm respectively. The internal egg quality traits albumen height (AH), albumen weight (AW), yolk height (YH), yolk weight (YW) and Haugh unit (HU) have the following mean values, 7.53 mm, 19.86 g, 16.80 mm, 12.62 g and 65.21 respectively. There were significant (P<0.01) positive phenotypic correlations between EW and EL, EW and EB, EW and SW, and between EW and all the internal quality traits except HU – which had a non significant (P>0.01) negative correlation. Significant negative correlation was found between EW and ESI. It was concluded that it was feasible to assess some egg quality traits through the egg weight. This is important in view of integrating the local chicken into egg laying breeding programs in Nigeria.
Keywords: Local chicken, egg weight, egg quality characteristics, phenotypic correlation