Egg production performance of native and exotic chickens under semi-intensive management conditions in Lesotho

Author: A.M. Nthimo, F.W.C. Neser, W.O. Odenya and M.D. Fair
Year: 2006
Issue: 5
Volume: 36
Page: 82 - 85

Egg production performance of the Lesotho native chickens was compared with that of South African native (Ovambo, Lebowa-Venda, Naked Neck and Potchefstroom) and exotic (Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire) chicken lines under semi-intensive conditions in Lesotho. Traits that were studied included age at first lay, average egg production per hen, average egg weight and age at moulting. Data for average egg production and average egg weight were collected over a period of 45 weeks. Age at first lay was similar among lines (between 25 and 26 weeks for all lines). Significant differences in egg production/hen and average egg weight were recorded among the different lines. The LES hens performed fairly well (0.35 g of eggs/week and 0.04 eggs/hen/week). The Lebowa-Venda and Ovambo lines were the first to show signs of moulting. It is suggested that there is a possibility to improve egg production performance in the Lesotho native chicken lines under semi-intensive management conditions if selection and planned breeding programs are implemented.

Keywords: age at first lay, Egg production, Lesotho native chickens, moulting
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