REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE, FEED INTAKE AND EFFICIENCY OF INDIGENOUS AND CROSSBRED TURKEYS
This study assessed the reproductive performance of indigenous and crossbred parent stocks and the influence of sire genotype on the growth and efficiency of feed utilization by their progenies. A total of 300 poults, 150 for each genotype were generated from two crosses (Nicholas white x Indigenous and Indigenous x Indigenous turkeys). Data were collected on the reproductive performance of the parents while body weight and feed intake from day old to the 20th week of age were also collected from the progenies generated. The experiment was a complete randomized design with data generated subjected to two way analysis of variance using SAS. The result of the study showed that sire genotype had significant effect (p<0.05) on semen colour and semen volume while semen pH, motility, morphology and live dead ratio were not significantly affected. Crossbred tom had higher semen volume (0.39 ml) compared to 0.18 ml recorded in indigenous turkey. Genotype had no significant effect (p>0.05) on all female reproductive traits such as fertility, hatchability, dead in-germ, weak in-shell and dead in-shell. However, the indigenous turkey had higher fertility percentage (85%) while 80% hatchability was observed in crossbred turkey. Crossbred turkey significantly (p<0.05) had higher body weight (3330g) at 20 week of age compared to the indigenous turkey (2869g). Sexual dimorphism in favour of the male turkey was also observed throughout the period of the experiment. Although the crossbred turkey consumed more feed, the efficiency of feed utilization was better in the indigenous turkey. This findings suggested that the indigenous turkeys can be successfully improved with the introgression of exotic genetic material while crossbred turkeys can be further selected for improved productive and adaptive traits.
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