Growth Performance and Sexual Maturity of Two Exotic Chicken Breeds

Body weight gain; Egg yolk color; Feed consumption; Feed conversion ratio; fertility, Hatchability


January 1, 2023


Introduction: Chicken rearing is an important source of income and nutrition in Ethiopia. However, the country’s poultry producers could not satisfy the expected human food consumption mainly because of the low productivity and chickens are not as productive as expected in rural area. Several programmes, in Ethiopia and elsewhere, have attempted to improve chicken production as a means to reduce poverty. Therefore, this study was proposed to evaluate the growth performance and age at sexual maturity White Leghorn and Fayoumi breeds from day old up to 28 weeks of age.
Materials and Methods: At the age of 34 weeks, White Leghorn and Fayoumi chicken breeds (88 from each breed) were selected randomly as a parent stock from Haramaya University’s poultry farm. Age at sexual maturity, body weight at sexual maturity, and egg weight at first egg were taken when the chickens laid eggs and reached 5% of egg production. The results obtained from this study were analyzed by SAS 2008.
Results: The mean egg weight ranged between 42.87 to 51.12 g for Fayoumi and White Leghorn, respectively. Fayoumi breed had higher fertility (91.25%) as compared to White Leghorn, which had 71.42% of fertility. In addition, higher feed consumption (33.33%), better-feed conversion ratio (0.57 g), higher average body weight gain (31.09 g), better average body weight (124.99 g), and egg weight at first egg (41.67 g) were observed for the White Leghorn whereas Fayoumi breed was better in fertility, hatchability, and yolk color.
Conclusions: It is concluded that the White Leghorn breed is suitable for rising considering its heavier body weight, egg weight, better egg quality whereas Fayoumi breed was better in fertility, hatchability and yolk color. There was non-significant result in age at first egg laying as both attain in 167 days. The age at sexual maturity is an important economic trait due to its effect on egg production, so the age at sexual maturity must be adjusted at a suitable age for production.