ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 79 Number 1
Hatching characteristics of eggs artificially incubated from six reciprocal crosses of indigenous Kenyan chickens. (36)
A study to evaluate hatching characteristics of artificially incubated eggs from six reciprocal crosses of Kenyan indigenous chicken was carried out and involved two batches of hatching eggs. A total of 861 and 955 eggs were set with 736 and 836 fertile eggs, 556 and 758 live embryos, and 433 and 657 hatched eggs being observed in the first and second batch, respectively. Differences in fertility, hatchability, reproductive capacity, and embryo mortality among the crosses were observed. Values ranged from 83-88% and 81-92% for fertility; 47- 66% and 74-84% for hatchability; 41-56% and 65-777% for reproductive capacity; and 12-40% and 3-15% for embryo mortality, respectively, in the first and second batch. There were consistent patterns of differences in the parameters in both the first and second batch. This consistency is an indication of the characteristic of a particular cross, hence the differences observed. The corresponding overall Chi-square values for these parameters were, respectively, 4.3, 11.9, 8.7, and 20.2 in the first batch and, 9.2, 9.5, 10.5, and 20.8 in the second batch. Overall, the evidence that different crosses have different fertility level is not convincing. There was stronger evidence of real differences in hatchability and reproductive capacity values among the crosses in both batches. Embryo mortality among the crosses in both batches had very clear indications of significant differences.
Keywords: Indigenous chicken; Reciprocal crossing; Hatching characteristics; Artificial incubation; Chi-square analysis