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Biochemical Parameters of Native Chicken of Himachal Pradesh, Dahlem Red and Their Crosses

Smriti Saklani Geetanajali Singh Rishika Vij Varun Sankhyan

Native chicken comprise the important part of free-range poultry production in the rural areas of Himachal Pradesh. They are gaining tremendous importance due to their better adaptability but are not efficient producers, thus has been crossbred with exotic breed Dahlem Red. Characterization of these breeds with respect to their physical and biochemical parameters have not done yet. Thus, the objective of this study was to find the baseline values of plasma biochemical parameters of the native chickens of Himachal Pradesh, Dahlem Red and their crosses and compare these parameters among themselves and gender wise. Significant difference (p<0.05) among the breeds/crosses and for the sexes within a breed /cross were observed for plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, ALT, creatinine, calcium and phosphorus. The baseline values provided may act as foundation for the management of the health of these chicken breeds/crosses.

Keywords : Baseline values Biochemical parameters Breed/cross Crossbreeding Dahlem Red Native chicken Poultry production

How to cite: Saklani, S., Singh, G., Vij, R., & Sankhyan, V. (2019). Blood Biochemical Values of Native Chicken of Himachal Pradesh, Dahlem Red and their Crosses. International Journal of Livestock Research9(10), 127-132. doi: 10.5455/ijlr.20190719082925


Poultry farming is the part of livestock industry in India, which through eggs and meat contributes to animal protein requirements of the people (Ullengala et al., 2008). In Himachal Pradesh, rural poultry production system is dominated by the native chicken resources (Katoch et al., 2010). Native chicken of Himachal Pradesh is the non-descript breed of chicken characterized by brown plumage with adult male and female body weights as 1.2(±0.03) and 1.8(±0.05) kg, respectively. They possess survival traits such as disease resistance, adaptability to adverse climatic conditions, efficient foraging, scavenging and brooding abilities (Sankhyan et al., 2013; Reen et al., 2014). For the subsidiary income and fulfillment of their animal protein requirement through meat and eggs, rural farmers rear indigenous birds (Ullengala et al., 2008; Padhi, 2016) but they are not profit makers in comparison to commercial breeds. To enhance the profitability exotic breeds or their crosses with native breeds are generally used. Dahlem Red is one such exotic layer breed used in Himachal Pradesh for improved characters in filial generations by combining qualities of both native and exotic breed (Sankhyan et al., 2013).

Biochemical parameters provide view into the state of health and helps in disease diagnosis (Enam et al., 2018). A knowledge of typical reference values is crucial for distinguishing between healthy and diseased conditions (Oladele, 2009). As avian medicine is undergoing a new shift in developing countries, it is now involving the use of haematological and biochemical indices as tools to diagnose avian diseases (Oladele, 2009). Thus, it is pertinent to determine biochemical reference data for particular geographical areas as diagnostic aids (Enam et al., 2018). Currently no known information on serum biochemical parameters of native chicken of Himachal Pradesh and their crosses with exotic breed Dahlem Red is there. Thus the objective of this study was to establish baseline data of above mentioned parameters for native chickens, Dahlem Red breed, cross of native chicken with Dahlem Red breed (DRN) and cross of DRN with Dahlem Red breed (DND) followed by their breed-wise comparison among the four groups and gender-wise comparison within each breed/cross.

Materials and Methods

The present study was conducted at poultry farm of College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, CSKHPKV, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh located at 32.1º N latitude, 76.5º E longitude and 1290.8 m altitude at the month of September-October. The average annual precipitation is between 2100-2200 mm and average temperature is around 26º C during summer season and falls to 14º C during winter season. Four breed/cross-wise groups with ten chickens with equal number of males and females of similar age, comprising of native, Dahlem Red, DRN ( cross of native with Dahlem Red) and DND (cross of DRN with Dahlem Red), respectively were constituted. Birds were selected randomly and maintained on deep litter with nest boxes. Ad libitum feeding with crumbled feed according to their age and feeding requirement done. Leg bands were used for identification of the selected birds. Birds were restrained carefully and 70% (v/v) ethanol was swabbed on the blood collection site5 ml blood was collected with sterile needles by the aseptic venipuncture of the ulnar vein in clean screw capped heparinized centrifuge tubes and then centrifuged at 2500 rpm for 10 minutes in the centrifuge (REMI, R8C laboratory centrifuge) to separate the plasma. The plasma pipetted out into the micro centrifuge tubes and stored at -20ºC until further analysis. Blood plasma biochemical parameters viz glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, alanine amino transferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatinine, uric acid, calcium and phosphorus were estimated by using respective biochemical estimation kit (Agappe diagnostics ltd.) in an automatic blood biochemistry analyzer (Mispa Nano, Agappe).

Statistical Analyses

The biochemical values observed were analyzed by GraphPadInStat software (GraphPadInStat, 2008) using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) using Tukey’s test at five percent level of significance.

Results and Discussion

Table 1: Plasma biochemical values of the birds (mean ± standard error)

Parameters Native Dahlem Red DRN DND
Glucose (mg/dl) Male 259.10±7.25 241.44±2.60 264.60±11.09 260.14±8.66
Female 227.1±8.23 241.44±2.60 233.44±14.21 242.28±6.42
Total cholesterol (mg/dl) Male 128.94±6.42a 218.22±11.06b 238.06±3.91b 253.16±11.13bx
Female 136.42±13.90a 178.36±7.29ab 200.04±7.24b 182.10±6.39by
Triglycerides (mg/dl) Male 84.54±4.03a 58.64±4.90ax 58.22±4.55a 56.60±7.14a
Female 84.20±5.20ab 104.24±4.69ay 59.58±7.85b 72.08±7.12b
AST(U/L) Male 241.40±1.99 202.12±4.62 234.72±14.52 235.40±14.38
Female 223.08±6.71 198.54±5.36 195.64±25.31 229.96±8.90
ALT (U/L) Male 16.72±1.12a 10.58±0.61b 14.64±0.42ab 14.42±1.33ab
Female 14.86 ±1.55a 12.62±0.50a 12.98±1.58a 11.60±0.60a
Creatinine (mg/dl) Male 1.24 ±0.08a 1.07±0.03a 1.53±0.02bx 1.17±0.07a
Female 1.06±0.03a 1.13±0.07a 1.09±0.05ay 1.29±0.04a
Uric Acid (mg/dl) Male 5.70±1.06 7.26±0.32 6.28±0.21 7.04±0.26
Female 6.28±0.87 5.36±1.11 7.40±0.66 5.78±0.46
Calcium (mg/dl) Male 11.88±0.49a 9.58±0.19b 10.16±0.57ab 9.82±0.41b
Female 11.92±0.57a 11.36±0.26a 10.36±0.18a 11.74±0.71a
Phosphorus (mg/dl) Male 3.86±0.26a 3.04±0.21a 3.06±0.33a 5.30±0.08b
Female 3.02±0.12a 3.10±0.51a 3.76±0.22a 5.54±0.37b

Figures with different superscripts (a, b, c, d) in columns differ significantly (p<0.05) in different breeds/crosses.

Figures with different superscripts (X,Y) in rows differ significantly (p<0.05) in different sexes within breeds/crosses.

Plasma glucose value showed no significant difference (p>0.05) among the breeds/crosses. The range observed fell within the reference range given by Clinical Diagnostic Division (1990) but lower than that observed by Bora et al. (2017). Sex difference was insignificant (p>0.05) for glucose value which was similar to the findings of Simaraks et al., (2004) in Thai indigenous chicken and Bora et al. (2017) for indigenous chicken.

Total cholesterol concentration for Dahlem Red and their crosses (DRN and DND) was significantly (p<0.05) higher than the native male and female chicken. This lower cholesterol content of native birds can be ascribed to their high-energy demand because of more body activity (Almeida et al., 2006). The range observed for cholesterol was higher than that observed by Bora et al. (2017) for indigenous birds and Pampori and Iqbal (2007) for male native chicken of Kashmir. In DND cross, females had significantly (p<0.05) lower total cholesterol as compared to male birds. The significant breed and sex differences in total cholesterol was similar to the findings of the Meluzzi et al. (1992) and Bora et al. (2017).

No significant difference (p>0.05) among the breeds/crosses was observed for the plasma triglyceride levels in male birds. Triglyceride content of female crosses were significantly (p<0.05) lower than the females of native and Dahlem Red breeds. Low concentration of triglyceride can be due to lesser hepatic lipogenesis or more utilization of triglycerides by body tissues except the adipose tissue (Griffin et al., 1982). The observed range falls within the range observed by the Durotoye et al. (2001) in adult male domestic chicken. On contrary Silva et al. (2007) reported higher plasma triglyceride concentration in broiler chickens than the observed range. Significant (p<0.05) sex difference in Dahlem Red birds were found where females have higher triglyceride content than males which is similar to the findings of Prahsanth et al. (2012) for grower chicken whereas on contrary Meluzzi et al. (1992) observed higher triglyceride content in male broilers.

No significant difference (p>0.05) among the breeds and sexes was observed for the AST enzymatic activity. Bora et al. (2017) on contrary observed significant difference in male and female birds of Kadakanth and Rajsri birds. Scholtz et al. (2009) observed higher AST values for male Japanese quail than the observed range. The range observed in this study was higher than that observed by Abdi-Hachesoo et al. (2012) but lower for turkey birds and ring necked pheasant (Szabo et al., 2005 and Nazifi et al., 2011).

ALT activity of native and Dahlem Red males was found to be significantly (p<0.05) different which can be due to breed difference. The ALT levels among females were insignificant. Prahsanth et al. (2012) observed higher range for ALT activity than this observed range whereas Abdi-Hachesso et al. (2012) observed a lower range.

No significant (p>0.05) difference was observed among birds and sexes for uric acid levels. The values observed for plasma creatinine and uric acid was similar to those observed by Pampori and Iqbal (2007) for native chicken of Kashmir. Creatinine value of DRN male birds was significantly (p<0.05) higher than the other birds which can be due to difference in its protein and nitrogen metabolism (Szabo and Milisits, 2007).

The plasma calcium values obtained were significantly (p<0.05) different among the males of all the breeds/crosses in this study. Insignificant (p>0.05) difference among the sexes was observed which was similar to reports by Meluzzi et al. (1992), Ibrahim (2012) and Elagib et al. (2012). The range observed falls under the reference range given by the Clinical Diagnostic Division (1990).

Plasma phosphorus content of DND males and females was significantly (p<0.05) different than the native, Dahlem Red and DRN birds. The range observed is lower than that observed by Pampori and Iqbal (2007) and Prahsanth et al. (2012) except for the DND birds. No significant (p>0.05) difference was observed among the sexes which is similar to the findings of Ibrahim (2012) and Elagib et al. (2012) for indigenous chicken but contrary to the findings of Abdi-Hachesoo et al. (2013) and Bora et al. (2017).


The observed biochemical values can serve as reference baseline values of the blood biochemical parameters of poultry birds. Since rural poultry production is given importance to improve the livelihood of the farmers, these biochemical parameters will have direct application in breeding programs, assessing diseases and improving health status of these chicken breeds/ crosses that are used for poultry production in Himachal Pradesh.


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