GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BLACK AND PEARL GUINEA FOWL (NUMIDA MELEAGRIS) AND THEIR CROSSES
This study was carried out to estimate and evaluate the growth performance and carcass yield of the black and pearl guinea fowl and their crosses. The following three mating groups were established: Pearl male X Pearl female (PXP), Black male X Black female (BXB) and Black male X Pearl female (BXP), from which a total of 317 guinea fowl keets were obtained in six hatches and used for the study. There were 100 PXP, 118 BXB and 99 BXP keets. Growth parameters estimated were body weight, body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio. Carcass traits studied include live weight at point of slaughter, slaughter weight, dressed weight and dressing percentage. Carcass traits were taken at 14 weeks of age. All the growth performance traits studied did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) across the genotype groups, except body weight at 10, 12 and 14 weeks of age. Birds of the PXP pure line were significantly higher (P < 0.05) at 10-14 weeks old than the other two genotype in this respect. The average bi-weekly body weight gains (g/bird) were 149.34, 126.78 and 124.24g and average daily body weight gains were 9.33, 9.06 and 8.87g for birds in the PXP, BXP and BXB genotypes respectively. The average daily feed intake were 47.92, 47.15 and 47.18g for the PXP, BXB and BXP genotypes respectively while average feed conversion ratios were 5.14, 5.22 and 5.32 for the PXP, BXP and BXB genotypes respectively. Significant differences were not observed among the genotype groups in all the carcass traits. The dressing percentages were 75.83, 75.17 and 74.50 for the BXB, PXP and BXP genotypes respectively. It was concluded that the genotype groups did not differ significantly in their growth performance and carcass traits due to a probable genetic relatedness among the ancestors.
Weight gain, Feed Conversion Ratio, Slaughter weight, Dressing Percentage
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