Tonderai Gombarume, Rumbidzai B Nhara*, Tinoziva Hungwe and Nyasha Sakadzo
Department of Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe
*Corresponding Author: Rumbidzai B Nhara, Department of Livestock, Wildlife and Fisheries, Garry Magadzire School of Agriculture, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe.
Received: February 25, 2020; Published: March 04, 2020
Study sought to phenotypically characterise indigenous chickens in Rushinga district. Samples were drawn from three wards with the highest number of chickens. Purposive sampling was initially carried to select indigenous chicken farmers followed by snowball sampling to identify more farmers with at least ten adult chickens. A total of 65 questionnaires were administered randomly to assess on production environment. Data was analysed using SPSS version 16 for frequencies, descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance to differentiate chicken populations in wards on quantitative traits. The study showed that more females (67.7%) where involved in indigenous chicken production compared to males (32.3%). Mean flock size was 23.07 and flock composition was mainly characterized by chicks, pullets and cockerels. Neck lengths, shank length, comb height, wattle length and wing span were significantly different amongst all wards (p < 0.05). Pelvic width; back length; body circumference, body weight and body length, were similar in all the wards investigated. Production environment in Rushinga is characterized by resource poor farmers who rely on erratic rain fed farming for income. Phenotypically, chickens exert adaptive characteristics to harsh climatic and production environment. There is need to design and implement a national research program to collect, conserve and improve indigenous chicken breeds.
Keywords: Indigenous Chickens; Production Environment; Phenotype
Citation: Rumbidzai B Nhara., et al. “Phenotypic Characterisation of Indigenous Chickens in Rushinga District". Acta Scientific Agriculture 4.4 (2020): 20-24.
Copyright: © 2020 Rumbidzai B Nhara., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.