Indigenous Race of Hen: Egg Physical Characteristics and Laying Performance - Case of a Family Poultry Farm in Madagascar

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

Department of Animal Science, Graduate School of Agronomics Sciences, University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo 175, Madagascar

Abstract

The purpose of the present study is to get a better knowledge of the Malagasy indigenous race of hen through its egg physical characteristics and its laying performance in order to promote villager poultry production. This study was undertaken within a local family farm, of the rural Township of Ambalamahasoa, Haute Matsiatra Region, Madagascar, with 25 hens and 4 roosters in age to reproduce. From 180 collected eggs and 4 incubation tests with three repetitions, the results showed that: 1 – Eggs were light weighted (average weight=45.49±4.63g), of small calibers (average length=4.82±0.22cm; average diameter = 3.61±0.15cm) but of normal format (average IF=0.75±0.03) 2 – they were presenting a good fertility rate (73.94%) with a high hatching percentage (90.16%) and a low embryonic death rate (9.84%). The mother-hen is both a good brooder and a good local reproducer. Egg physical variability reflects a broad genetic diversity within the indigenous race among the poultry population; which could constitute an asset for villager poultry production promotion and poultry biodiversity conservation in Madagascar.

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