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2016 | 53 | 3 | 343-353
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Phenotypic characterization of indigenous chicken population in Gwer-West, Benue State, Nigeria

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This study was carried out to characterize native chickens of Gwer-West Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria, based on some phenotypic traits. A total of seven thousand and ninety-one (7091), 4624 females and 243 males, mature native chickens were randomly sampled from the study area. The study covered eleven (11) council wards (North Bank I, Wadata, Modern Market, Wala-mayo, Central South Mission, Bar, Fiidi, Agan, Clerk Mission, Mbalagh and North Bank II). The study was conducted between June and August 2012. Parameters examined include live body weight, body length, feather types, head shape, plumage colour, shank colour, beak colour, comb type ear-lobe colour and wattle colour. Majority of the chickens sampled are female (65.21%). The most predominant feather type, head shape, plumage colour, shank colour, beak colour, comb type, ear-lobe colour and wattle colour were normal (88.49%), plain (92.42%), complete brown (29.01%), white (41.19%), single (88.49%), white (79.37%) and white (68.02%) respectively. Mean live body weight of males (1.38 kg ±0.20) was significantly (p<0.05) heavier than the mean live body weight of females (1.23 kg ±0.19). Males were also superior to females in terms of body length (53.77 cm ±6.01 and 49.05 cm ±5.40 respectively). The study revealed that most of the parameters measured revealed distinctive variations, providing the basis for further characterization of native birds breeds, therefore future study can be concentrated on selection for qualitative traits of interest.
Physical description
  • Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State, Nigeria
  • Department of Animal Breeding and Physiology, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Ondo State University, Okitipupa, Nigeria
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