Egg Hatchability and Early Growth Performance of Cross and Backcross Involving Nigeria Fulani Ecotype and Isa Brown Chickens
Samuel Ayotunde Amusan 1, Olugbenga Samson Abe* 2, Helen Omosalewa Fasola 3, Tosin Ademola Adedeji 3
1 Department of Animal Production, Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Animal Science, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Nigeria
3 Department of Animal Production and Health, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
An experiment was carried out to study the egg hatchability and growth performance of crossbred chickens involving Fulani ecotype (E) and Isa brown (B) chickens and their backcross using artificial insemination method of mating. The F1 progeny, the crossbred (EB), was produced by crossing E (sire) with B (dam) while the first backcross (BEB) was achieved using the B (sire) and the EB (dam). The second backcross (EBB) was carried out by mating the EB (sire) and the B (dam). A total of 35 birds were used as foundation stock (five E males, five B males and 25 B female chickens) to produce 137 EB crossbred chickens and 187 backcross chickens (98 EEB chickens and 89 BEB chickens). Weekly body weight and daily feed intake were obtained on the progenies generated from the mating for a period of 20 weeks. Other parameters like weight gain, feed conversion ratio, percentage fertility, hatchability and percentage dead shell were calculated from the data. The results revealed that the growth performance was affected by genotype. The EB chickens obtained the highest body weight across the weeks (37.6 to 1169 g) and the backcross chickens had the highest fertility (76.2%) and hatchability (83.2%). Therefore, it could be concluded that crosses between the Fulani ecotype and Isa brown chickens had the best growth performance and improved fertility while the backcross sired by the F1 had better performance when hatchability is considered.