Sexual dimorphism and phenotypic correlations among growth traits of exotic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
This study was conducted to determine sexual dimorphism and phenotypic correlations among growth traits of six month old exotic turkeys raised at the Turkey Unit, Teaching and Research Farm of Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa. Bodyweight, shank length, thigh length, body length, wing length, wing span and breast girth for Meleagris gallopavo (female and male) were measured using standard methods. Data collected on 102 exotic turkeys comprised of 61 female and 41 male were subjected to analysis of variance and Pearson's correlation. Bodyweight, shank length, thigh length, body length, wing length, wing span and breast girth for females were 8.16 kg, 8.31 cm, 22.29 cm, 68.47 cm, 32.93 cm, 73.65 cm and 57.24 cm respectively, while the corresponding values for males were 8.84 kg, 9.97 cm, 23.40 cm, 76.27 cm, 35.87 cm, 80.27 cm and 60.20 cm. The effect of sex on the variables was significant (p<0.05) except on bodyweight and thigh length. The bodyweight and thigh length were numerically higher in males (8.84 and 23.40) and lower values observed in females (8.16 and 22.29). The correlation coefficients were all positive for both sexes except in females where the correlation between bodyweight and shank length was negative (-0.031). Among the males the correlation coefficients ranged between 0.447 and 0.859 while in the females it ranged between -0.031 and 0.539. Sexual dimorphism was displayed virtually in all the variables considered and in a similar trend bodyweight could be predicted virtually by all the linear body measurements considered.