Abstract— Strains found among Tswana chicken population include the naked neck, dwarf, frizzled, rumpless and normal-feathered (normal). Internal and external egg quality characteristics and phenotypic correlations among egg quality traits in different strains of Tswana chickens under intensive management have never been evaluated. The study was conducted to determine the internal and external egg quality characteristics of the naked neck, normal and dwarf strains of Tswana chicken. A total of 200, 185 and 175 eggs were collected from the naked neck, normal and dwarf strains, respectively, for external and internal egg quality analysis. No significant differences in albumin height, albumen pH and yolk pH were found between the strains. The naked neck strain however produced eggs with the highest egg weight, albumen weight, albumen content, egg volume and egg surface area and the lowest yolk content. The dwarf strain had the lowest egg weight, albumin weight, egg volume, and egg surface area and the highest egg shell thickness.All the three strains of Tswana chicken produced eggs of acceptable quality. The naked neck strain however had the best egg quality characteristics, followed by the normal strain and lastly the dwarf strain. Of the three strains, the naked neck strain had the strongest correlation coefficients among external and internal egg quality characteristics and between external and internal egg quality characteristics. Egg weight was positively and highly correlated with other egg quality traits such as egg length, egg width, egg volume, egg surface area, albumen weight and yolk weight in the three strains of Tswana chicken. Selection for higher egg weight is likely to lead to the greatest improvements in other egg quality characteristics (both internal and external) in the naked neck than in the normal and dwarf strains.
Keywords— Internal Egg Traits, External Egg Traits, Tswana Chickens, Intensive System, Botswana
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