Growth performance of normal frizzle and naked-neck chickens in a tropical environment
Growth performance of normal-feathered, frizzle and naked neck indigenous chickens of Nigeria during an 18-week growing period was studied. Differences in body weights among the three genotypes (sexes combined) were not significantly different at all ages, although those with normal feathering showed general superiority over the other two genotypes. Male normal-feathered individuals had significantly higher body weights than the females from week 6, whereas differences between male and female naked necks were significantly from the females at all ages. No significant differences were obsened among the genotypes and between the sexes in both absolute and relative growth rates in the 18-week growing period. It therefore seems that any advantage the two major genes investigated may have as a consequence of their direct effects on efficiency of thermoregulation of chickens in hot environments would probably be manifested after the growing period. This justifies the exploitation of these genes for egg production in the tropics.
Keywords: Indigenous chickens, frizzled feather, naked neck, major genes, growth performance.