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Heritabilities and genetic correlations between body weight and pecking behaviour in Nigerian local chicken

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Author(s): I. Udeh | S. I. Omeje

Journal: Research Opinions in Animal & Veterinary Sciences
ISSN 2221-1896

Volume: 1;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 398;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Additive Genetic Variance | Correlated Reduction | Selection

ABSTRACT
Heritabilities and genetic correlations between body weight and pecking behaviour in a population of Nigerian local chicken were estimated at the age of 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks using intrasire regression of offspring on dam. The heritability estimates of body weight were low to moderate in size and ranged from 0.07±0.38 to 0.33±0.34. The estimates of heritability of pecking behaviour were low to high in magnitude and ranged from 0.00±0.45 to 0.52±0.78. The genetic correlations between body weight and pecking behaviour at the respective ages (4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks) were negative. The low to high heritability estimates for body weight and pecking behaviour indicate that appreciable additive genetic variance exists for both traits. Therefore, there is much scope for the improvement of body weight and reduction of pecking behaviour in the local chicken by intra population selection. The negative genetic correlations between body weight and pecking behaviour suggests that improvement in the body weight of the local chicken through selection will result to correlated reduction of pecking behaviour.
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