Egg traits, hatchability and early growth performance of the Fulani-ecotype chicken
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Three studies were conducted to evaluate Fulani-ecotype chicken for egg, hatchability and growth traits. In study one, 30 eggs were used to evaluate thirteen internal and external egg traits including egg weight, egg length, egg width, egg index, yolk weight, yolk height, yolk diameter, shell weight, shell thickness, albumen height, albumen weight, haugh unit and egg index. In study two, 165 eggs were used to evaluate fertility and hatchability traits. In study three, sixty-eight day-old Fulani-ecotype chicks were evaluated for growth performance. Mean values for egg traits were 40.73g, 20.25g, 4.92mm, 75.53 percent, 13.03g, 14.27mm, 24.68mm and 0.58 for egg weight, albumen weight, albumen height, haugh unit, yolk weight, yolk height, yolk width and yolk index, respectively. Mean value for shell weight, shell thickness, egg length, egg width and egg index were 5.12g, 0.58mm, 34.91mm, 23.59mm and 1.48, respectively. Fertility percent, live germs at 18th day and percent hatchability were 76 percent, 75 percent, and 47 percent, respectively. Body weight gain in chickens increased from hatch to 3 weeks of age, and afterward declined. Indices of egg internal quality suggested that the Fulani-ecotype chicken is highly desirable. Its good shell thickness may be exploited in reducing losses due to cracked eggs. Mean chick weight increased by more than eleven times within the first eight weeks of life. The present report suggests that Fulani-ecotype chicken has good potential for meat and egg production, therefore selection along these two directions may help to develop indigenous strains of meat type chicken.