RELATIONSHIP AMONG EXTERNAL MORPHOMETRIC TRAITS AND SEMEN QUALITY IN BREEDER COCKS AND EGG CHARACTERISTICS IN LAYING HENS

E. O. Ewuola, O. A. Sokunbi, A. A. Lawanson, S. I. Ogunwole

Abstract


The relationship between external morphometric traits and semen quality in Lohman breeder cocks and egg characteristics in laying hens were evaluated. A total of twelve (12) breeder cocks and sixty–nine (69) hens were assessed in a completely randomized design. External morphometric traits such as comb height, wattle length, earlobe width, ear colour, comb colour were measured using measuring tape. Egg length and egg breadth were measured using Vernier caliper while egg weight was measured using a sensitive weighing scale. Semen was collected weekly for four weeks and evaluated for semen quality such as semen colour, sperm concentration, sperm motility, mass activity and percentage livability. Hen day production was also determined. All data obtained were subjected to correlation analysis. The result showed that a positive non – significant correlation exists between egg weight and wattle length, egg length and comb length, egg length and comb height, egg length and wattle length. Also, a negative correlation which was also not significant was observed between Hen day production and comb length. The relationship between the morphometric traits and semen quality in breeder cocks showed that only the correlation between sperm concentration and comb length was positively significant at P<0.05. It was observed that positive correlation existed between semen volume and comb length, comb height, wattle width, ear lobe width, ear colour, wattle colour and comb colour, while it was negatively correlated with wattle length, body weight, ear lobe height and vent diameter. There was a high correlation between ear lobe height and percentage live sperm cells. This study suggests that external morphometric traits in cocks and hen can be used to predict semen quality and egg laying performance characteristics, respectively.


Keywords


Chicken morphology, Lohman breeder cocks, Egg laying chickens, Semen quality

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