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Auto-sexing potential and growth performance in Rhode Island, Nigerian local chickens and their reciprocal crosses

A.E. Jubril
T.R. Fayeye
A.A. Ademola
H.H. Gunn


This study was conducted to determine auto-sexing potential in Rhode Island, Nigerian local chicken and their reciprocal crosses. A total of 241 eggs  were set in the incubator to deter ine the fertility, hatchability, % Hatch, % dead in shell, % dead in cell and % deformed chicks in the four  genotypes (Rhode Island Red (RIR) x Rhode Island White (RIW), Rhode Island Red (RIR) x Rhode Island White (RIW), Nigerian Local Red (NLR) x  Rhode Island White (RIW) and Nigerian Local Red (NLR) x Nigerian Local White (NLW). Only 94 eggs were hatched. RIRXRIW crossbred chicks had the highest percentage fertility of 88.89% followed by RIRxRIW (86.27%), NLRXRIW (77.36%) and NLRxNLW (72.31%), respectively. RIRxNLW had the highest percentage hatchability of 65.19%, followed by RIRxRIW (51.56%), NLRxNLW (51.06%) and NLRxRIW (24.39%). It was observed in the
hatch-out analysis that the cross between NLRxRIW had the highest percentage of dead in shell (29.27%) followed by RIRxRIW (17.19%), NLRxNLW (17.02%) and RIRxNLW (11.36%), respectively. The highest percentage of dead in cell was recorded in NLRxRIW crossbred (43.33%), followed by NLRxNLW (31.92%), RIRxRIW (28.13%) and RIRxNLW (15.91%). The observed deformed chicks were highest in NLRxNLW (20.85%) followed by RIRxNLW (10.34%), RIRxRIW (6.06%) and NLRxNLW (0%), respectively. Also observed was the occurrence of bangers with NLRxRIW, having the  highest occurrence of bangers (9.08%) and with NLRxNLW having no occurrence of bangers. The records of weekly body weight were taken on the 94 chicks and chi square analysis was used to test colour inheritance of chicks. Significant (P<0.05) difference was observed among genotypes in body weight of chicks at hatch and from weeks 1 to 8 weeks of age. The observed changes on body weight from 0 to 8th week of age of chicks showed significant difference across the four different genetic crossed groups (P<0.05) and weight at the 8th week showed that the cross between RIRxRIW (216.93g) had better in growth as compared to the cross between NLRxRIW (202.75g) and NLRxNLW (193.17g) which were statistically  similar (P>0.05) and RIRxNLW (179.75g) crossbred chicks which had the lowest bodyweight at 8 weeks of age. The chi square (X2) analysis revealed that both RIRxRIW and NLRxRIW crossbred chicks were autosexed. The study concluded that selection for plumage colour showed great potential in determining the probability of chicks being autosexed. Also, pure bred of RIRXRIW and reciprocal cross of NLRXRIW showed great potential of  producing autosexed chicks, while results on the direct crosses of NLRXNLW and RIRXNLW suggest that the pattern of inheritance of plumage colour is not simple. The study recommends further investigation to further ascertain the mode of plumage colour inheritance in the Nigerian
Local Chickens.

Keywords: Auto-sexing, plumage, growth performance

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eISSN: 0331-2062