On Farm Carcass Performance Evaluation of Three Local Chicken Ecotypes in Western Zone of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Shishay Markos, Berhanu Belay, Tadelle Dessie


The study was designed to determine the effects of chicken ecotypes, sex and their interaction on carcass performances of local chicken ecotypes in their natural environments of western zone of Tigray. Forty eight matured local chickens with 24 females (8 / ecotype) and 24 males (8 /ecotype) with age ranging from 10-12 months were purchased for carcass trait evaluation. Chickens were immediately slaughtered and defeathered manually after the purchased chickens were deprived of feed and water over night and weighted to get the actual live, carcass and carcass cuts of each chicken using a Sensitive balance of weighing scale of one gram precision. GLM procedure of SAS 9.2 was employed to determine the effects of chicken ecotypes, sex and their interaction on carcass traits of the local chickens. Tukey test was used to compare significant traits. Male chickens performed significantly (P<0.05) higher than females in all carcass traits. Lowland chicken ecotypes had significantly performed better than either of the rest two chicken ecotypes in all considered carcass traits except skin weight. Sex by chicken ecotypes interaction had significant effect in all considered traits (p<0.05).  Both chicken sexes from lowland ecotypes significantly performed higher than their respective counter parts from either of the two ecotypes in almost all considered carcass traits. The variation in carcass trait performance among the chicken ecotypes is an indicator of their genetic variation with respect to carcass traits. In depth further studies on molecular assessment of genetic variations are required to validate the detected variations in carcass performances. Thus, environmentally friendly and community based holistic genetic improvement programs should be designed and implemented in order to assure sustainable improvement, utilization and in-situ conservation of the indigenous chicken genetic resources.

Key words: Carcass traits, local chicken ecotypes, western Tigray

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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