Estimates of Crossbreeding Parameters for Growth Traits in Crosses between Nigerian Indigenous and Exotic Chickens
The aim of this study was to estimate crossbreeding parameters namely direct additive, maternal additive and direct heterosis for bodyweight and weight gain of crosses between Nigerian indigenous (NIC) and two inbred lines of exotic chickens namely pure white (PW) and pure black (PBL). The NIC was divided into two replicate groups namely NIC1 and NIC2. The inbred lines were derived from the within strain mating of two commercial strains of egg type chickens namely H and N Brown Nick and Black Olympia. Estimates of direct additive and their percentages were high and highly significant (p<0.01) in PW, NIC1 and their crosses at 4-20 weeks of age and at 4, 12-20 weeks of age in PBL, NIC2 and their crosses. Similarly, estimates of direct additive for weight gain were significant (p<0.05) at 0-8 weeks of age for PW, NIC1 and their crosses and at 0-4, 8-12 weeks of age in PBL, NIC2 and their crosses. While estimates of maternal additive were positive and significant for bodyweight at 0-4 weeks and weight gain at 0-4 and 12-16 weeks of age in PBL, NIC2 and their crosses, the estimates were not significant for bodyweight and weight gain in PW, NIC1 and their crosses. The estimates of direct heterosis and its percentage for bodyweight and weight gain were significant in both crosses. The study concluded that significant improvement in the bodyweight and weight gain of the NIC could be obtained by crossing with the exotic lines.
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