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2020 | 29 | 3 | 282-289
Article title

Breeds influence on growth ability and predicting body weight from linear body measurements of ducks at various ages

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A total of one hundred and twenty ducklings (i. e. 60 Muscovy and 60 Mallard) were used for the study to evaluate the breeds effect on growth performance and prediction of body weight using linear body measurements of two breeds of ducks with the aid of General Linear Model and stepwise regression procedure of SPSS. Data on individual body weight (BW), body height (BH), body length (BL) breast circumference (BC), thigh length (TL), bill length (BIL), wing length (WL)and shank length (SL) of 120 ducks were collected on Muscovy and Mallard ducks and used to predict body weight at 4 and 8 weeks. The results showed that Muscovy (56.6t ± 6.7 – 1037.5 ± 30.29g) was significantly superior (P<0.05) to Mallard (51.8 ± 1.66 – 875.44 ± 70.30g) in body weight and in all the linear body measurements from day old to week 10. Individual body weight and linear body measurements was predicted at various ages (4 and 8 weeks) by genetic groups. The values of the coefficient of determination (R2) ranged from (88.6 – 97%) and (81.8 – 90.3%) in Muscovy and Mallard respectively at week 4. While, (R2) ranged from (58.7 – 92%) and 80.1 – 86.9%) in Muscovy and Mallard respectively at week 8. Since linear body measurements that can readily predict body weight without ducks being slaughtered, it is therefore, highly desirable as it will ensure the selection of animals that will reach market weight and size at relatively faster rate. This will also serve as a tool for breeders in selecting animals destined for use as breeding stock. These Muscovy and Mallard can be improved by exploiting the principle of phenotypic plasticity to obtain strains to complement other breeds of duck. Muscovy can also be used to upgrade some other indigenous ducks for better performance in a systematic breeding program.
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  • Department of Animal Science, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Department of Animal Science, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Department of Animal Science, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
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