Growth performance, correlation and regression estimates of seven-chicken strains in South-Western Nigeria
This study was conducted to determine the growth performance, correlation and regression estimates of seven-chicken strains in South-western Nigeria using a total of 300 day-old chicks. The birds were divided into seven groups based on their strain. The seven strains are Normal feather (NF), Fulani ecotype (FE), Frizzle feather (FF), naked neck (NN) and Transylvania indigenous strains while Hubbard and Marshal were meat-type exotic chickens. There were forty- five (45) unsexed day-old chicks in each strain except the Frizzle feather that were 30 in number. Completely randomized design (CRD) was used for the trial that lasted for 8 weeks. The birds were fed experimental diets ad libitum throughout the period of the study. Results showed that there were significant differences (p<0.05) in the initial and final weights of the birds. It was observed that exotic strains weighed heavier (3569.73gHB) than their indigenous counterparts (1391.11gNF). However, the Fulani ecotype weighed heaviest (1840.99g) among Nigeria indigenous strains during the experimental period. This showed that FE strains are generally heavy breed chicken and could be incorporated into a meat producing indigenous chicken if improved upon. The result of the correlation coefficients showed that a very strong, positive and highly significant (P<0.001) relationship existed between body weights and linear body measurements as most of the values are (>0.40). All the body parameter examined had significant (p<0.01) and direct relationship with the body weight. Shoulder-to-tail length (STL) had the highest coefficient of 0.98. The high correlation estimates obtained in this study could be as a result of pleiotropy, heterozygosity or linkage of genes in the birds. The three functions were highly significant (p<0.05) for all the parameters studied. This shows that the functions well described the parameters. On the basis of coefficient of determination (R ), the body weight of poultry birds at any age can be predicted most accurately with BRG using cubic function.