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Effect of Rearing Systems on Morpho-Biometric Characterization of Local Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) in the Central Region of Cote d’Ivoire

Koua . H. W. N’Dri A. L.1 Ahouchi V. S.
Vol 8(4), 30-37
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20171221094952

This study aims to compare the morphometric characters of traditional chickens bred in two different systems. It was conducted with 30 chickens in claustration and 39 in wandering. There was no significant difference in the animals of the same sex except for the wingspan. Moreover, it exists a significant difference between the cock which ramble and the cock in cloistering for the length and the height of comb and the length of the beak. The result had shown that there was not difference between the body weight of wandering chicken and that of claustration chicken. There was a significant difference between the sexes for each system of breeding for the majority of variables. The results of this work may therefore serve as an important base for future research on the conservation and development of Indigenous chicken.


Keywords : Breeding Claustration Local Chicken Morphometric Characters Wandering System

The development of industrial poultry farming has now led to the development of several improved breeds of hens according to the objectives of breeding (egg and flesh). This activity is proving to be an important source of income and supply of animal protein in urban areas. However, in rural areas, traditional poultry farming remains the main source of poultry products. This poultry farming uses local hens whose products are appreciated, economical and available for the populations (Missohou et al., 2002; Kondombo et al., 2003; Zaman et al., 2004). Moreover, this poultry farming requires very few inputs, contributes to the preservation of biodiversity and contributes significantly to food security (Tadelle and Ogle, 2001; Missohou et al., 2002; Alders, 2005). Despite the remarkable development of industrial poultry farming in recent years, traditional poultry farming remains the most widespread in Cote d’Ivoire. Traditional poultry farming presents, in spite of its potential of very fast numerical development, the relatively low zoo technical performances. In order to improve these performances, uncontrolled reproduction is done by crossing traditional chickens and exotic animals whose performances are known. However, the uncontrolled introduction of exotic animals into the populations of local races is not desirable even if its helps to increase the performance of animals. This phenomenon should therefore be analyzed and controlled in order to safeguard biodiversity (Moula et al., 2009).  Another way of improving the performance of the local chicken could be the intensification of its breeding.

In the present study, our objective was to compare the morphometric characters of local chickens raised in claustration system to those of local chickens in wandering system.

Materials and Methods

Description of the Study Area

The work took place in the locality of Tieple, counting among the 143 villages enumerated within a radius of 20 kilometers around the city of Bouake in country central of Cote d’Ivoire, at about 350 km of Abidjan. The locality of Tieple is located 15 km south of the city of Bouake. Its geographical coordinates are 07° 32′ 42” Nord latitude and 5° 0′ 15 ” West longitude. The thermal amplitude is high (22 ° C to 35 ° C) and the sunshine is more constant, compared to the southern parameters of the country. The average relative humidity varies between 50% and 60%, far below that of the southern part of the country (80% to 90%).

Animals and Morphometric Characterization

The animals used for the morphological and Biometric characterization were adult local chickens from two systems of rearing. The study included 69 chickens. Thirty of them aged 7 months were confined, and 39 with unknown age in wandering system. Animals in the wandering system had the appearance of chickens that have just reached sexual maturity. Quantitative data were collected using a mechanical scale (precision=0.05 Kg), a digital caliper (precision=0.01 mm), a meter ribbon and an angle-meter. The methods used in this study are those used by Francesch et al., 2011 except the ergot length which is the distance measured with a caliper, from the tip of the spur to its insertion into the tarsus. In total, there are 26 parameters that can be divided according to the regions of the body-

  1. head: the length and width of the skull, the length and height of the comb, the length and width of the ocular, the length and width of the ear lobes, the length and width of the wattles, the length and width of the beak, the length and the width of the neck;
  2. The body: weight, body length, wingspan, keel of sternum length, breast angle, tail length;
  3. The extremities: the length of the thigh, the length of the tarsus, the diameter of the tarsus, the length of the spur and the length of the folding wings.

Statistical Analysis

Data were entered on a table EXCEL 2010 and submitted to the analysis of variances (ANOVA 1). Then the Tukey test was done to compare the animals of the breeding methods. The analysis was made using the R version 3.3.1 software.

Results

Table 1 presents the mean of all the variables by the system of rearing.

Table 1: Elementary statistics for body weight, trunk and limb traits and head and neck parameters by breeding system

Variables Mean±SD Wandering

 Mean ± SD

Claustration

 Mean ± SD

Effect Of The Breeding System
N=69 N=39 N=30
Body weight 1033.93 ± 195.66 1060.98 ± 175.89 a 960 ± 232.38 b *
Ornithological measures 49.35 ± 4.59 49.23 ± 4.47 a 49.67 ± 5.05 a NS
Wingspan 67.82 ± 5.02 66.91 ± 4.21 b 70.28 ± 6.29 a *
Skull length 38.58 ± 3.96 39.69 ± 3.58 b 35.52 ± 3.36 a *
Skull width 10.18 ± 1.70 10.15 ± 1.86 a 10.25 ± 1.23 a NS
Comb length 48.73 ± 26.18 47.06 ± 23.30 a 53.29 ± 33.32 a NS
Comb width 23.89 ± 15.77 21.73 ± 13.23 b 29.79 ± 20.64 a *
Ocular length 12.48 ± 1.20 12.54 ± 1.25 a 12.29 ± 1.05 a NS
Ocular width 11.57 ± 11.68 12.05 ± 13.65 a 10.25 ± 1.08 a NS
Beak length 27.80 ± 3.86 26.52 ± 3.24 b 31.29 ± 3.27 a *
Beak width 11.55 ± 1.07 11.33 ± 0.97 b 12.15 ± 1.13 a *
Ear lobes length 16.01 ± 5.12 15.72 ± 4.60 a 16.78 ± 6.45 a NS
Ear lobes width 15.24 ± 3.64 15.33 ± 3.46 a 15.01 ± 4.21 a NS
Wattles length 20.19 ± 14.33 19.55 ± 13.49 a 21.92 ± 16.82 a NS
Wattles width 24.41 ± 8.62 24.83 ± 7.80 a 23.27 ± 10.79 a NS
Neck length 92.26 ± 11.40 95.50 ± 10.69 a 83.39 ± 8.31 b *
Neck width 32.82 ± 3.66 33.61 ± 3.35 a 30.67 ± 3.70 b *
Keel of sternum length 94.66 ± 6.42 94.28 ± 6.17 a 95.70 ± 7.18 a NS
Tail length 139.05 ± 45.25 135.98 ± 47.40 a 147.45 ± 39.03 a NS
Breast angle 36.18 ± 3.24 36.63 ± 3.16 a 34.93 ± 3.22 a NS
Thigh length 109,90 ± 12,80 109.39 ± 12.46 a 111.29 ± 14.06 a NS
Tarsus length 66.75 ± 7.96 67.94 ± 6.83 a 63.49 ± 10.01 b *
Tarsus diameter 12.17 ± 1.13 12.21 ± 1.04 a 12.03 ± 1.40 a NS
Folding wings length 21.25 ± 1.35 21.09 ± 1.15 b 21.71 ± 1.76 a *
Ergot length 5.35 ± 5.56 5.29 ± 5.88 a 5.50 ± 4.74 a NS

M ± SD = Mean ± Standard Deviation; assigned values ​​of the same letter are not significantly different (P >0.05)

The results showed that there are no significant differences (P > 0.05) between wandering chickens and chickens in claustration for most variables. However, differences (p<0.05) in body weight, wingspan, length of the skull, comb width, beak length and width, neck length and width, tarsus length and folding wings length were observed. The wandering chickens exhibited the greatest value of body weight (1060.98 ± 175.89 g vs 960 ± 232.38 g). Similar results were observed for the length of the skull (39.69 ± 3.58 mm vs 35.52 ± 3.36 mm), neck length ( 95.50 ± 10.69 mm vs 83.39 ± 8.31 mm) and width (33.61 ± 3.35 mm vs 30.67 ± 3.70 mm for chickens in claustration system), the length of tarsus (67.94 ± 6.83 mm vs 63.49 ± 10.01 mm). On the contrary, concerning the value of wingspan, wandering chickens had less measurement than for chickens in confinement (66.91 ± 4.21 cm and 70.28 ± 6.29 cm respectively). Regarding the height of comb, the wandering chickens showed 21.73 ± 13.23 mm which is smaller than 29.79 ± 20.64 mm for chickens in claustration system.  Claustration birds exhibited the highest length of the beak compared to those of wandering chicken’s average (31.29 ± 3.27 mm vs 26.52 ± 3.24 mm). Same result was observed regarding the width of the beak (11.33 ± 0.97 mm vs 12.15 ± 1.13 mm), the length of the folder (21.09 ± 1.15 cm vs 21.71 ± 1.76 cm).

The results of the variance analysis exhibiting effect of sex (P<0.05) for all parameters are consigned in Table 2. Measurements of males were higher than those of females. However, no sex by breeding system (wandering and claustration) interaction was found for any variables. Concerning the sex, there were no significant difference animals of the same sex except for the wingspan where wandering cock has an average of 70.38 ± 3.17 g, lower than the cock in claustration (74.64 ± 6.32 g).

Table 2: Means of body weight, trunk and limb measurements parameters by sex and by breeding system

Variables Divagation Confinement Sex Effect

(S)

Mode Effect

(M)

Mode  X

Sex

Mean ± SD Mean ± SD
Cocks Hens Cocks Hens      
Weight (g) 1194.44 ±147.41 a 971.92 ±119.76 b 1042.86 ± 310.15ab 850 ± 135.4 b * * NS
Ornithological measure (cm) 52.41 ± 4.52 a 46.10 ± 3.30 b 53.28 ± 4.07 a 45.45 ± 4.65 b * NS NS
Wingspan (cm) 70.38 ± 3.17 b 63.53 ± 2.92 c 74.64 ± 6.32 a 66.62 ± 2.99 c * * NS
Keel of sternum length (mm) 97.25 ± 6.77 ab 91.37 ± 5.14 c 100.11 ± 6.22 a 92.51 ± 5.77 bc * NS NS
Tail length (mm) 152.91 ± 67.60 a 119.54 ± 17.68b 169.23 ± 46.13 a 124.45 ± 18.21ab * NS NS
Breast angle (mm) 37.75 ± 3.22 a 35.85 ± 3.08 ab 36.14 ± 3.18 ab 33.90 ± 2.72 b * NS NS
Thigh length (mm) 118.14 ± 11.81 a 100.36 ± 8.97 b 122.69 ± 12.10 a 103.03 ± 5.79 b * NS NS
Tarsus length (mm) 73.37 ± 5.41 a 62.74 ± 5.00 b 71.13 ± 9.29 a 58.42 ± 5.13 b * * NS
Tarsus diameter (mm) 12.67 ± 0.95 a 11.61 ± 1.07 b 13.07 ± 1.22 a 11.12 ± 0.87 b * NS NS
Folding wings length (cm) 21.97 ± 0.81 a 20.16 ± 1.03 b 22.97 ± 1.61 a 20.45 ± 0.93 b * NS NS
Length of the spur (mm) 7.10 ± 6.63 ab 3.77 ± 4.83 b 9.90 ± 3.16 a 1.65 ± 0.35 b * NS NS

M ± SD = Mean ± Standard Deviation; assigned values ​​of the same letter are not significantly different (P >0.05)

Means for each head and neck traits by sex onto breeding system are given in Table 3. Effect of sex was significant (p<0.05) for all traits except for shull length and width, ocular length and width and for beak width.  Significant difference between the wandering cock and the cock of claustration system for the crest length and comb height and the length of the beak were noticed. For these variables, the wandering cocks exhibited lower value (70.31 ± 14.44 mm, 35.31 ± 6.16 mm and 28.04 ± 3.76 mm respectively) than those of the claustration cock (85.56 ± 16 , 04 mm, 48.27 ± 8.23 mm and 33.66 ± 1.93 mm respectively) for the length, the peak height and the length of the beak. Similar results were observed in females for beak length. Values of 24.97 ± 2.51 mm and 29.67 ± 2.74 mm were found for the wandering hens and claustration hens respectively. Effect of sex and breeding system interaction were observed only for comb length and width.

Table 3: Means of head and neck measurements parameters by sex and by breeding system and their interaction

Variables Wandering Confinement Sex effect Mode effect S X M
Mean± SD Mean ± SD (S) (M) effect
Cock Hen Cock Hen
Skull length (mm) 39.93 ± 3.63 a 39.52 ± 3.71 a 36.75 ± 2.59 ab 34.72 ± 3.38 b NS * NS
Skull Width (mm) 10.03 ± 1.32 a 10.33 ± 2.19 a 10.27 ± 1.38 a 10.18 ± 1.07 a NS NS NS
Comb length (mm) 70.31 ± 14.44 b 27.91 ± 6.70 c 85.56 ± 16.04 a 25.04 ± 6.42 c * NS *
Comb height (mm) 35.31 ± 6.16 b 10.86 ± 4.05 c 48.27 ± 8.23 a 13.28 ± 11.17 c * * *
Ocular  length (mm) 12.64 ± 1.60 a 12.29 ± 1.07 a 12.71 ± 1.02 a 11.89 ± 0.98 a NS NS NS
Ocular width (mm) 14.63 ± 20.60 a 10 ± 0.91 a 10.91 ± 1.13 a 9.75 ± 0.72 a NS NS NS
Beak length (mm) 28.04 ± 3.76 b 24.97 ± 2.51 c 33.66 ± 1.93 a 29.67 ± 2.74 b * * NS
Beak width (mm) 11.39 ± 0.76 a 11.47 ± 1.12 a 12.47 ± 1.06 a 11.69 ± 1.13 a NS * NS
Ear lobe length (mm) 19.79 ± 3.73 a 12.45 ± 1.77 b 22.36 ± 4.79 a 11.54 ± 2.23 b * NS NS
Ear lobe width (mm) 17.47 ± 3.64 a 13.38 ± 2.14 b 18.03 ± 3.95 a 12.21 ± 2.10 b * NS NS
Wattle  length (mm) 33.32 ± 7.72 a 11.88 ± 4.34 b 37.77 ± 9.20 a 7.90 ± 4.17 b * NS NS
Width of wattle 32.33 ± 5.53 a 19.15 ± 2.20 b 31.37 ± 10.85 a 16.19 ± 2.91 b * NS NS
Neck length (mm) 95.97 ± 10.68 a 93.61 ± 10.71 a 85.93 ± 7.18 ab 82.10 ± 8.71 b * * NS
Neck width (mm) 33.44 ± 3.43 a 33.92 ± 3.14 a 31.91 ± 4.60 ab 29.94 ± 2.47 b * * NS

M ± SD = Mean ± Standard Deviation; assigned values ​​of the same letter are not significantly different (P >0.05).

Discussion

The body measurements were in favor of the cocks. That is due to the marked sexual dimorphism between the two sexes and is in favor of the cocks (Mignon-Grasteau and Beaumont, 2000). These results are similar to the findings of Guèye et al. (1998), Mallia (1998), Missohou et al. (1998), Msoffe et al. (2002) and Keambou et al. (2007). These authors found that males have larger body measurements and weigh also more than females. This dimorphism could be set up a selection criterion for the production of local chicken broilers. However, the lack of a significant difference between animals of the same sex in the different farming methods could be in the mainstream of chickens into confinement. Animals which fetch their food and receive almost no supplement feed from the breeders would take more than 7 months to reach the average weight observed in this study. Anyhow, 7 months breeding in confinement where animals receive everything from breeders, they get a conformation like older animals. These results show out that the raising of traditional chickens in confinement helps to increase the performance of these animals more rapidly than wandering. These body weight mean exhibited in this study (from 1042.86 ± 310.15 g to 1194.44 ± 147.41 g for the cocks and 850 ± 135.4 g to 971.92 ±119.76 g for the hens) coincide with those of Moula et al.(2012) in Congo such as 1027 ± 72.0 g for cocks and 903 ± 19.8 g for female.

The difference observed at the level of the comb could be explained by the facts that animals are more exposed to heat in confinement, and so they developed these appendages to increase exchange surfaces and improve heat loss (Dauncey and Ingram, 1986). In this study, cocks present comb lengths (70.31 ± 14.44 at 85.56 ± 16.04 mm in cocks) greater than those found by Moula et al. (2012) in Congo (59.1 ± 6.44 mm), Keambou et al. (2007) in Cameroon (68.6 ± 17.8 mm). Otherwise the females exhibited lower length of comb (25.04 ± 6.42 mm to 27.91 ± 6.70 mm) than those of others researches (30.8 ± 1.14 and 32.2 ± 11.7 mm for Congo and Cameroon respectively. The mean height of the comb changes in the same way as well as the length of the comb of the cocks (35.31 ± 6.16 at 48.27 ±8.23 mm in this study), 30.8 ± 4.22 mm in Congo by Moula et al.(2012) and 31.9 ± 13.0 mm by Keambou et al. (2007) in Cameroon. However, this variable was lower (10.86 ± 4.05 to 13.28± 11.17 mm) than that of Congo hens (14.5 ± 0.65 mm) found by Moula et al. (2012) and better than that of hens in Cameroon (12.2 ± 15.5 mm) pointed out by Keambou et al. (2007). The neck’s muscular development of wandering chickens compared to chickens in confinement could be accounted for the fact that when these animals seek food in the ground, they make a lot of head movements to take away a grain with their beak or to kill an insect before swallowing. Means of the tarsus length (58.42 ± 5.13 at 73.37 ± 5.41 mm) in our study, were in the same range with the results of Keambou et al. (2007) (63.6 to 78.0 mm) from the west of Cameroon. Previous study in the high western plateau of the same country have recorded that local hens tarsus length was 92 mm for males and 76 mm for hens (Fotsa and Poné, 2001). However, our values were lower than the results of Fotsa et al. (2010) in Cameroon (92.1 mm for females at 113, 5 mm for males) and Hassaballah et al. (2015) in Chad (76.1 mm to 128 mm) and Francesch et al. (2011) in Spain (80, 2 mm for the Penedesenca partridge and 80.4 m at the blonde hen Empordanesa). Quite as the tarsus length, the tarsus diameter mean discovered (11.12 ± 0.87 to 13.07 ± 1.22 mm) concord with the results of Keambou (2006), Cameroon (12.7 mm to 15.5 mm) and Fotsa et al. (2010) in the same country (10.7 mm to 13.1 mm) and Francesch et al. (2011) in Spain (12.7 ± 0.13 mm for the Penedesenca partridges and 13 ± 0.13 mm at the blonde hen Empordanesa).

The values of wattles length of cocks (33.32 ± 7.72 at 37.77 ± 9.20 mm) were similar to the results of Keambou et al. (2007) in Cameroon ( 33.7 ± 11, 8 mm) and better than results of Moula et al. (2012) in Congo (26.3 ± 3.64 mm). For female chickens, wattles length (7.90 ± 4.17 at 11.88 ± 4.34 mm) was in the same order to this of Fotsa et al.  (2010) in Cameroon (08.5 ± 0.05 at 10.2 ± 0.03 mm). The beak length (28.04 ± 3.76 mm at 33.66 ± 1.93 mm) in cocks was in the same range of others studies (Keambou et al., 2007). Values of the hens (24.97 ± 2.51 mm at 29.67 ± 2.74 mm) coincides also with the results of Moula et al. (2012) in Congo (27.1 ± 0.27 mm) and those of Fotsa et al. (2010) in Cameroon (31.7 ± 2.61 mm), whereas, our values were higher than those of Francesch et al. (2011) in Spain (20.16 ± 0.30 mm). The breast length (91.37 ± 5.14 to 100.11 ± 6.22 mm) coincides with the results of Moula et al. (2012) in Congo (93 ±8 mm) and Francesch et al. (2011) in Spain (108 ± 1 mm ). Animals in the two rearing system exhibited the same value of breast angle. This result may be related to the possibility of sustained physical activity also in claustration system contrarily to discomfort that offer confinement system in cage.

Conclusion

It appears from this study that the weight difference was not significant between the traditional chickens raised in confinement and those bred in wandering. However, the results show out that the raising of local chickens in claustration helps to increase the performance of these animals more rapidly than wandering and selection for some linear body measurements will cause direct improvement in body weight of Indigenous chickens. The results of this work may therefore serve as an important base for future research on the conservation and development of Indigenous chicken.

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