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A total of 6 chicken parent stocks (PS) bred by European companies, and 1 local PS, were evaluated under Ethiopian condition for their reproductive performance, to be followed by testing dual-purpose performance of their crossbreed progeny. The imported PS were Lohmann Brown (LB), Lohmann Dual (LD), NOVOgen Brown (NB), NOVOgen Color (NC), Dominant Sussex (DS), and Dominant Red Barred (DR); Koekoek (KK) was obtained locally. They were reared in replicated floor-pens from 16 to 60 wk of age, and evaluated for feed intake, body weight (BW), egg production, fertility, and hatchability. In total, 1,810 females and 261 males were distributed over 4 houses in randomized blocks design. Additionally, 3 experimental crosses, R × K (DR females × KK males), S × R (DS females × DR males), and K × S (KK females × DS males) were evaluated for fertility and hatchability. The PS differed in BW, feed intake, age of sexual maturity, egg production, fertility, and hatchability. Among females, DR and DS had the highest BW, whereas LB, NB, and NC had the lowest BW. Final mean BW of the parental meat-type males of NC and LD were the highest (5,027 and 3,660 g, respectively), whereas the other parental males ranged from 2,585 to 2,955 g. Fertility of NC and LD was low because the heavy parental males had difficulty to mate naturally their small-body female mates. However, with artificial insemination (AI), fertility of NC and LD was between 75 and 80%, similar to the other 5 PS. The fertility and hatchability of eggs laid by DR, DS, and KK hens was improved by 6.3% in the experimental crosses, where these hens were mated with genetically different males. The LD hens exhibited the highest overall laying rate (64.2%) during the study period, and with AI, hatchability of LD eggs (66.6%) was the highest, making it the best chick producer. Thus, despite its high total feed intake (but similar to DR, DS, and KK), LD (followed by DR) was the best PS in this study under floor management in Ethiopia.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Poultry science
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