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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.22.0369    [Accepted] Published online January 11, 2023.
Characterization of clutch traits and egg production in six chicken breeds
Lei Shi1,2  , Yunlei Li1  , Adam Mani Isa1  , Hui Ma1, Jingwei Yuan1  , Panlin Wang1, Pingzhuang Ge1  , Yanzhang Gong3, Jilan Chen1  , Yanyan Sun1,* 
1Key Laboratory of Animal (Poultry) Genetics Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China
2College of Animal Science and Technology, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, China
3Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
Correspondence:  Yanyan Sun, Tel: +86-10-62816005, Fax: +86-10-62816005, Email: sunyanyan02@caas.cn
Received: 19 September 2022   • Revised: 14 November 2022   • Accepted: 10 January 2023
Abstract
Objective
The better understanding of laying pattern of birds is crucial for developing breed-specific proper breeding scheme and management.
Methods
Daily egg production until 50 wk of age of six chicken breeds including one layer (White Leghorn, WL), three dual-purpose (Rhode Island Red, RIR; Columbian Plymouth Rock, CR; and Barred Plymouth Rock, BR), one synthetic dwarf (DY), and one indigenous (Beijing-You Chicken, BYC) were used to characterize their clutch traits and egg production. The age at first egg, egg number, average and maximum clutch length, pause length, and number of clutches and pauses were calculated accordingly.
Results
The egg number and average clutch length in WL, RIR, CR, and BR were higher than those in DY and BYC (P < 0.01). The numbers of clutches and pauses, and pause length in WL, RIR, CR, and BR were lower than those in DY and BYC (P < 0.01). The coefficient variations of clutch length in WL, RIR, CR, and BR (57.66%, 66.49%, 64.22%, and 55.35%, respectively) were higher than DY (41.84%) and BYC (36.29%), while the coefficient variations of egg number in WL, RIR, CR, and BR (9.10%, 9.97%, 10.82%, and 9.92%) were lower than DY (15.84%) and BYC (16.85%). The clutch length was positively correlated with egg number (r = 0.51 ~ 0.66; P < 0.01), but not correlated with age at first egg in all breeds.
Conclusion
The six breeds showed significant different clutch and egg production traits. Due to the selection history, the high and median productive layer breeds had higher clutch length than those of the less productive indigenous BYC. The clutch length is a proper selection criterion for further progress in egg production. The age at first egg, which is independent of clutch traits, is especially encouraged to be improved by selection in the BYC breed.
Keywords: Chicken; Clutch Length; Clutch Trait; Egg Production; Laying Performance


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