Effect of phenotype on egg quality characteristics of F1 locally-adapted Turkey of Nigeria
The local breeds of animals in Nigeria deserve improvement in their genetic profile and physiological status. A total of 78 day-old Random-bred Nigeria local turkey poults were used as parent stock to generate another 232 day-old poults (F1 ) to evaluate the Nigerian local turkey phenotypes based on egg quality parameters. Three phenotypic classes (black, white and spotted) were obtained as base population and used to generate F1 progeny for the study. Experimental design for the experiment was a Randomized Complete Block design (RCBD) with phenotypic class as major factor of interest and hatches as block. The egg quality characteristics, namely egg weight, egg length, egg width, egg shape index were the external egg quality characteristics while the internal egg quality characteristics include the albumen weight, yolk weight, yolk height, yolk width and Haugh Unit. These egg parameters were significantly (p<0.05) highest in the black variety. Shell thickness, albumen height and yolk index were not significantly different (p>0.05) in the three local turkey phenotypes. Generally, the black varieties had highest values internal egg quality traits. It is therefore, concluded that for rapid improvement of these traits, the black variety could be used to enhance egg quality and reproduction of Nigerian local turkeys in the study area. The present findings could assist in the design of long-term genetic improvement programmes for turkey
production in Nigeria.
Key words: local turkey, phenotype, egg quality characteristics