Egg Production and Egg Quality Traits and thier association with Hen Body weight in Nigerian local, Nicholas White and Crossbred Turkeys
Amao J.O, Ayorinde K.L and Fayeye T. R
Date : 2016-07-21 Volume : 8

The records of 142, twenty-week old turkey hens were used to assess egg production, egg quality traits and their correlations with body weight in Nigeria Local, Nicholas White and their reciprocal crossbred hens. The birds were raised over a period of 52 weeks laying period to assess Age at first egg laid (AFE), Hen Body Weights at first egg (HBW), Egg Number (EN), Egg Weight (EW), Egg mass (EM), Hen Day Production (HDP),Feed Intake (FI), Feed per Egg (F/E) and Feed per Gramme Egg (FGE). Ten eggs were selected weekly to assess the following egg quality traits: Egg Length (EL), Egg Breadth (EB), Egg Index (EI), Egg Shell Thickness (SHT) and Shell Weight (SHW). The results showed that significant differences (p<0.05) among genotypes in age at first egg, hen body weight at first egg, Egg number, Egg mass and Hen day production. The Lowest age at first egg, hen body weight at first egg, Feed intake, Feed per egg and Feed per gram egg occurred in purebred Nigerian local (272.23± 4.41days, 2905.47 ± 11.20 g, 46903.92±236.81, 829.71±420.35and 12.64± 6.40, respectively) while the highest values for these traits (except for Feed per egg and Feed per gramme egg) were occurred in purebred Nicholas White. The Nigerian local hen was significantly higher (p<0.05) in egg number, egg mass and hen day production than Nicholas White and crossbred hens. However, the eggs laid by Nicholas White and crossbred hens were significantly heavier (p<0.05)in weight. Generally, crossbred hens were intermediate between the two purebred genotypes in egg production indices. The eggs from crossbred NWxNL hens were slightly lower in weight compared with eggs obtained from its reciprocal (69.99 ± 1.07g vs 71.24± 1.17g). The higher number of eggs produced by crossbred NWxNL than its reciprocal may be due to maternal effect of Nigeria local hens. Significant positive correlations (p<0.05) were obtained between hen’s body weight and EL, SHT and SHW in all the four genotypes. Significant positive correlation (p<0.05) occurred among the measurements of EW, EL, SHT and SHW in Nicholas White and crossbred hens. The study therefore recommended the crossing of Nicholas males with Nigerian local hens to improve the overall productivity of turkey hens in Nigeria. 1449129645.php