Heritability Estimates and the Interrelationships of Body Weight and Shank Length in Rhode Island Red and White Chickens
Data on body weight and shank length measurement of 361 birds from 5 hatches, one week apart were analysed to obtain heritability estimates for body weight and shank length at 20, 30 and 40 weeks of age, as well as to establish the genetic and phenotypic correlations between the traits. The mean values for body weight at various ages showed good performance of all birds. The heritability estimates observed for body weight and shank length decreases with increasing age of birds. This observation agreed with the reports of some workers and disagreed with the findings of others. Differences however, in heritability estimates could be attributed to differences in method of estimation, breed, environmental effects and sampling error due to small data or sample size. There were positively high genetic and phenotypic correlations between body weight and shank length at these ages. The coefficient of genetic correlation (rg) ranged between 0.582 and 0.645, while the coefficient of phenotypic correlation (rp) ranged between 0.613 and 0.816. High and positive genetic and phenotypic correlations between body weight and shank length suggest that it was possible to predict body weight of live Rhode Island chickens on the basis of their shank length measurement, as an aid to farmers in areas where sensitive weighing scales are not readily available.
Cited References Fulltext