Effect of genotype and sex on growth traits, feed utilization and survivability in Nigerian local and Nicholas white exotic turkey
Keywords:Genotype, sex, growth traits, feed utilization, mortality, turkeys
Two hundred (200) Nigerian local and Nicholas white (NW) exotic poults (hundred for each breed) were observed from day old to fifteen week for growth traits [Body Weight (BW) and linear body measurements; Body Length (BL), Body Girth (BG), Shank Length (SL) Shank Diameter (SD), Thigh Length (TL), Wing length (WL)], survivability and feed utilization potential (feed intake and feed conversion ratio). There was a significant (p<0.05) genotype effect on BW throughout the experimental period, BW ranged from 120.41± 3.12 to 2764.00±32.10g and 142.29±2.94 to 4601.00±41.45g in Nigerian local and NW exotic turkey respectively. Sex effect and interaction between genotypes and sex (GxS) on bodyweight were significant (p<0.05) between weeks 7 to 15. Genotypes, sex and GxS effects were also significant (p<0.05) on linear body parameters measured at different ages. Feed intake and feed conversion ratio for the two genotypes were significantly (p<0.05) different. The NW exotic consumed more feed than the local turkey (14.29 to 250.31g vs. 13.27 to 200.47g) from week 1 to 15. The Nigerian local poults significantly (p<0.04) had better feed conversion ratio (FCR) from week 1 to 7 (0.17 to 0.21) than the NW exotic (0.20 to 0.23). However, as the poults grow older (from week 8 to 15), the NW exotic had better FCR (0.24 to 0.31) compared to the Nigerian local (0.27 to 0.38).Mortality rate was higher in the NW exotic (25%) than the Nigerian local turkey during the study period. This research showed significant genotype, sex and GxS interaction effects on growth traits of turkey. It showed that the NW exotic poults consumed more feed and gained more weight than the Nigerian local from week 1 to 15, had better feed conversion ratio and poorer survivability at older ages (weeks 8 to 15). The Nigerian local consumed smaller quantity of feed and had better FCR at poults stage (weeks 1 to 7). The Nigerian local turkey had better survivability rate throughout the experimental period and can be selected for an improved body weight and better feed utilization at early stage of life.