Egg production and egg quality traits of Shika Brown and two exotic layer strains in North-Central Nigeria
Keywords:Egg number, correlation, Harco Black, hen-day production, Shika Brown
AbstractA study was conducted to compare the laying performance of Shika Brown and two exotic (Isa Brown and Harco Black) layer strains in North-Central Nigeria. A total of 120, point of lay hens (40 per strain) were used for the study. Birds were fed commercially formulated layers diet. Data were collected on egg number, egg weight, egg length, egg diameter, bird mortality, hen-day production, and hen-house production. Results showed that Harco Black had the highest egg number, with hen-day production of 271.33 (67.83%) followed by Isa Brown, 258.04 (64.5%) and then Shika Brown, 239.58 (59.88%). Isa Brown and Harco Black had mortality rates of 3.6% and 4%, respectively. Shika Brown recorded the lowest mortality rate (2.4%). Hen-housed production was 60.52%, 57.69% and 53.62% for Harco Black, Isa Brown and Shika Brown, respectively. Egg length, egg weight and egg diameter of Harco Black hens were generally higher than those of Shika Brown and Isa Brown hens (p<0.001). Correlation (r) values between egg weight and egg length and between egg weight and egg diameter were higher in Isa Brown (0.92-0.93) and Harco Black (0.93-0.94) than in Shika Brown (-0.29-0.48). The prediction of egg weight from egg diameter, egg length and egg number was associated with very high R2 in Harco (98.1%) and Isa Brown (96.5%). The study recommends increased attention on locally bred Shika Brown based on its high adaptability compared with the two exotic strains.