Authors: Fayeye ,T. R. and Jubril, A. E.
This study was conducted to determine the hatchability of eggs and to predict bodyweight in Rhode Island, Nigerian local chickens and their reciprocal crosses. A total of 241 eggs were set in the incubator to determine the fertility, hatchability, % Hatch, % dead in shell, % dead in cell and % deformed chicks in the four genotypes (Rhode Island Red (RIR) x Rhode Island White (RIW),Rhode Island Red (RIR) x Rhode Island White (RIW),Nigerian Local Red (NLR) x Rhode Island White (RIW) andNigerian Local Red (NLR) x Nigerian Local White (NLW). Only 94 eggs were hatched. Records of weekly body weight were taken on the 94 chicks. The data collected on body weight of chicks were subjected to correlation analysis to determine the association between body weights of chicks at different ages. Simple linear regression was used to predict chick’s weight at different ages. Results indicated that the fertility, hatchability of fertile eggs and hatchability of egg set for the four genotypes were 72-89 percent, 24-65 and 19- 57 percent, respectively. Eggs from Rhode Island Red (RIR) x Rhode Island White (RIW) were better in hatchability traits than eggs from Nigerian Local Red (NLR) x Nigerian Local White (NLW) and crossbreds chicken. Significant (P<0.05) difference was observed among genotypes in body weight of chicks at hatch and from weeks 1 to 8 weeks of age. RIRxRIW chicks were significantly higher (P<0.05) in body weight than other genotypic groups at hatch and at 1-8 weeks of age. Generally, significant (P<0.05) positive correlations were obtained between measurements of body weight made at different ages in RIRxRIW, RIRxNLW and NLRxNLW. The prediction equations for chicks’ body weight were associated with varying level of R2 (0.000-0.947). The comparatively higher levels of R2 were associated with prediction equations for chicks’ body weight in RIRxRIW and NLRxNLW. The results suggest that body weight of RIRxRIW and NLRxNLW can be predicted fairly accurately within 0-3 weeks of age using simple linear regression functions. The study concluded that selection for body weight of chicks can be made within 0-3 weeks of life, thereby shortening the generation interval and improving genetic progress in selection for increased chicks’ weight. The study recommends further investigation to unravel the basis for decreasing value of R2 in age specific linear regression function for prediction of body weights in chickens.
Keywords: Coefficient of determination, Correlation, Fertility, Hatchability, Regression
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