Evaluation of Productive Traits of Nigerian Heavy Local Chicken Ecotype Selected For Six Generations through Selection Index
Keywords:Sixth generation, performance evaluation, productive traits, local chicken ecotype and selection index.
A multiple selection programme was designed and carried out to further determine the genetic response of productive traits of the Nigerian heavy local chicken ecotype (NHLCE) using selection index from fourth to sixth generations. A total of 270 pullets (23 week old) from a random breeding population of heavy local chicken ecotype were used for the study. The birds have been subjected to three generations (G1, G2 and G3) of index selection. The parameters measured included Body Weight at First Egg (BWFE), Average Egg Weight (AEW), and Total Egg Number (TEN). The hens were housed individually in cages and fed layers ration G4 and G5: 110g/hen/day; G6: 125g/hen/day. Water was also given ad libitum for 16 weeks egg production (short term egg production). A control population was established to monitor for environmental (rE) effects and estimate genetic responses. Data on BWFE, AEW, and TEN were evaluated using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Selection response indicators namely, Selection differential (?S), expected, predicted and realized genetic gains were determined for each trait. Direct selection responses namely expected, predicted and realized genetic gains were all positive for all the traits selected. Expected average genetic gain per generation for BWFE, TEN and AEW were 66.2g, 4.19 and 1.01g respectively. For gain in index traits due to selection on index score, a mean value of 1.96 eggs was recorded for TEN, 0.14g for AEW and 11.65g for BWFE. The ratio for realized to expected genetic gains were all positive across the three generations with values of 0.96 for BWFE, 1.42g for AEW and 1.62 for TEN. It was concluded that the method applied for selection improved the traits of interest, hence, selection index is recommended for multiple trait selection.
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