Effects of Early Removal of Chicks from the Mother Hen on Clutch Sizes and Inter-Clutch Intervals

Sudik, S. D.


The study on the effects of early removal (weaning) of chicks from the mother hen on clutch sizes and inter-clutch intervals was conducted in Garkawa town in the Southern Zone, Plateau State, Nigeria from November 2, 2011 to August 29, 2012. 5 matured hens of varied ages and a cock were bought in Garkawa market. They were left to roam in the day and roosted at night freely. The parameters studied includes number of clutches, duration for a clutch, number of eggs, number of chicks per clutch per hen and time interval between the clutches. The results indicated 5 clutches in 301 days (about 10 months). From the 301 days, the actual periods of production was 250 days (8.3 months) with a clutch period of about 50 days(1.7 month) (about 10-12 days to lay eggs, 21 days of incubation, 2-3 days for hatching, and 14 days of forceful weaning). Again, from the 301 days, a total of 51 days were periods which the hens were out of production or resting phases (i.e. about 10 days between clutches).  244 eggs (49 per clutch and 10 per hens) were recorded. On the other hand, 208 chicks were hatched (about 42 per clutch and 8 per hen). The duration of days between clutches decreasing from clutch 1 to 4 and risen at clutch 5. While the number of eggs and chicks per clutch increases from clutch 1 to 5. In conclusion, the hens were induced for successful production. Feed supplementation, proper hygiene practices and provision of nesting boxes were suggested to achieve sustainable production.

Keywords: indigenous chicken, chicks, egg, clutches and inter-clutch intervals

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

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