Performance of Rhode Island Red, Black Australorp, and Naked Neck crossbreds under alternative production systems

Author: M. Usman, A. Mahmud, J. Hussain & A. Javid
Year: 2020
Issue: 4
Volume: 50
Page: 564 - 577

The effects of the production system, breed cross, and their interaction on performance, egg quality, and hatching traits were evaluated. Rhode Island Red and Black Australorp were crossed with Naked Neck chickens (first generation RNN, and BNN, respectively). These crosses were mated among themselves and crossed to produce four crossbreds: RR (RNN x RNN), BB (BNN x BNN), RB (RNN x BNN), and BR (BNN x RNN). Thirty-six pullets and 9 cockerels from each crossbred were maintained in three production systems: the aviary system (AV), conventional cages (CC), and enriched cages (EC). Thus there were 48 pullets and 12 cockerels in each production system. Bodyweight, egg production percentage, and egg weight were highest in EC, followed by CC and AV. Higher egg weight, egg surface area, and egg volume were also observed in EC compared with CC and AV. Fertility and hatchability were higher and early embryonic mortality was lower in AV than in EC and CC. Bodyweight, egg production percentage, egg weight, egg volume, and surface area were higher for RB and BR than for BB and RR. Fertility and hatchability were similar for RB and BR. RR was similar to BR, but lower than RB. BB had the lowest fertility and hatchability. Thus, chickens in EC performed better than in the other systems, except that hatching traits were better in AV. RB and BR performed better than BB and RR.

Keywords: breed crosses, chicken, Egg quality, hatchability
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