Additive Genetic Effect of Dam-sire, Dam, Common Maternal and Environmental Effect on Clutch Traits of Two Nigerian Local Chickens Populations
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The study was conducted at Akpehe poultry farm, Makurdi. The objectives of the study were to assess the additive genetic effects of dam-sire, dam and maternal effects on clutch traits with the aim to apply these to selection and breeding in order to improve these traits.120 birds were used for the study, 60 each for the Fulani and the Tiv ecotypes. The birds were housed singly in identified cages and hand mated in the pen. Data were collected on clutch size, clutch number, pause length and number, month, sire, dam and ecotype. Ecotype significantly affected clutch size and clutch number. Pause length and number were not affected by ecotype. The additive genetic effect of the sire and dam significantly affected clutch size and clutch number. Heritability estimates due to sire on pulse length and pulse number were very low, while the heritability estimates for clutch number and clutch size were moderate. Non additive genetic effect of the dam ,other maternal environment as well as month significantly affected clutch number, pause length and number. Selecting superior birds based on clutch size and number due moderate heritability estimates will lead to genetic improvement in egg number especially when dam conditions and management employed are improved.
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