Sexual differentiation and phenotypic correlations among biometric traits of Nigerian local turkey (Meleagris gallopavo))
One- hundred and twenty-four (124) Nigerian local turkeys at six months of age were used for this study. The turkeys were raised from day old in a commercial farm located at Ibadan and data were collected on growth traits to determine the effect of sex and phenotypic correlations among growth traits. Highest coefficient of variation was observed in body weight in both male (9.95 %) and female (15.74 %) while the least (5.71%) was observed for wing span in female and 4.95% for body length in male. Sex had significant effect (p<0.05) on all the variables in favour of male. The body weight, shank length, thigh length, body length, wing length, wing span and breast girth for males were 3.80 kg, 9.01 cm, 21.68 cm, 63.00 cm, 32.44 cm, 72.86 cm and 40.17 cm, respectively, while the corresponding values for female were 2.93 kg, 7.27 cm, 17.96 cm, 55.37 cm, 28.18 cm, 63.92 cm and 36.14 cm. The correlation coefficients between body weight and the linear measurements in the two sexes were positive and mostly significant in male. It ranged between 0.291 and 0.561 in male and 0.233 and 0.721 in female. Sexual dimorphism was obvious in all the traits considered in favour of male. The positive correlations between body weight and the linear body measurements in the two sexes means improvement in any of the traits will lead to improvement in the body weight.
Keywords: Nigerian local turkey, sex, wing length, body length and breast girth