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Asian Journal of Poultry Science
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 1 - 6

Assessment of Broodiness and its Influence on Production Performance and Plasma Prolactin Level in Native Chicken of the Sudan

N.M. Eltayeb, C.E. Wani and I.A. Yousif    

Abstract: This study was designed to evaluate broody behavior and its effect on some production traits and the plasma prolactin hormone levels during production, incubation and rearing periods in the native chicken of the Sudan. Two stocks of dwarf (Betwil) and bare neck chicken ecotypes constituting 270 pullets were used in this study. The experimental birds were housed in floor breeding pens individually and the exhibited characteristics of broody behavior were closely observed and recorded on daily bases. Feed intake during broody and non broody periods was recorded. The effect of chicks rearing and egg accumulation in the nest as some managerial practice on broody cycle and hence egg production were also studied. Ninety blood samples representing production, incubation and rearing stages were collected from randomly selected hens (45 for each ecotype) to evaluate prolactin hormone levels and its association with the onset of broodiness. The results indicated that 86.6% of the betwil ecotype exhibited persisted broody behavior in all the measured stages compared to 55.5% for bare neck ecotype in which the signs of broody behavior were observed to be relatively mild compared to those in betwil ecotype. Depriving hens from chicks rearing resulted in significant reduction of broody cycle days. Broodiness significantly affected feed intake and egg production. The average blood prolactin level was found to be significantly (p<0.01) higher in betwil than in bare neck ecotype during the incubation and rearing periods. The highest prolactin level was recorded during incubation period in both ecotypes whereas the lowest was found during rearing period. It was concluded that broodiness can be alleviated by managerial practice to improve egg production potential of the local flock.

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