Oladele Jacob Amao


Records of 374 turkey poults belonging to four genotypes were used to determine body mass index (BMI) in pure and crossbred turkeys and F1heterosis for body weight and morphometric traits in the reciprocal crossbred poults.  The body weights of poults were taken weekly, from 0 to 20 weeks. Morphometric traits (Body length, Shank length, Thigh length, Keel length, Breast Girth and Wing length) were measured at 1, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age.The results indicate a general increase in the BMI of poults with age in the four genotypes. The Nicholas White x Nigerian local (NWxNL) poults had significantly lower (P<0.05) BMI compared with purebred Nicholas White x Nicholas White (NWxNW). It was also lower in BMI than the reciprocal crossbred poults at 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks of age. Negative F1heterosis value of -1.60 to -32.54 percent and -2.65 to -31.75 percent were obtained for body weight in crossbred NWxNL and NLxNW, respectively.The values for F1heterosis for morphometric traits were generally low and negative for the investigated morphometric traits. However, a high coefficient of variation was obtained for heterosis for body weight of poults at 4-14 weeks old. It is recommended that crossbreeding programme involving the Nigerian local turkey should be preceded by an initial selection in the local population. This would help the breeder to take advantage of the additive genes for body weight and morphometric traits in the Nigerian local turkey. Direction of cross = (♂x ♀). Data collected were subjected to the General Linear Model of SPSS to obtain the mean value used in estimating the body mass index.


Coefficient of variability, Crossbreeding, Nicholas White, Nigerian local, Heterosis

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