Production traits of chickens of the Lesotho line, namely: body weight, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and mortality, were compared with four South African indigenous lines (Ovambo, Potchefstroom Koekoek, Lebowa-Venda and Naked Neck) and two exotic lines (Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire) throughout their pre-laying phase (26 weeks). Significant differences between lines were observed for most production traits, namely final body weight at 185 days and average daily gain. Significant differences in mortality were also observed between the respective lines. The Lesotho line was the poorest performer in all traits while the Ovambo was the best performer among indigenous lines. Overall, the New Hampshire and the Owambo were the best performers, although differences with some other lines did not reach significance.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher