GROWTH PATTERN, REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE AND SEASONAL SENSITIVITY OF BOVAN NERA AND ISA BROWN PARENT-STOCK
Parent stocks (PS) of exotic hybrids have contributed immensely to commercial poultry
production in Nigeria. Their continued optimal utilization depends on their performance test.
Information on performance indices of PS layer breeds in South-West Nigeria is however
limited. The growth, reproductive performance and seasonal sensitivity of Bovan Nera (BN)
and Isa Brown (IB) hybrids were evaluated.
Secondary data on 24 batches of PS of each of BN and IB kept over a period of 10 years (1999-
2008) in Ajanla Farms, Ibadan were used. Average batch population was 3896 pullets and 600
cockerels at point-of-lay. Records on Body Weight (BW), Age, Hen-Day-Production (HDP),
Egg Weight (EWt), Egg fertility (EF), Egg Hatchability (EH), Pullet Day-Old Chicks produced
(PDOC) and Hatching Rejects (HR) in four seasons: Early-Wet (EW, April-July); Late-Wet
(LW, August-October); Early-Dry (ED, November-January) and Late-Dry (LD, February-
March) were obtained. Data were standardized and analysed for growth, Age-at-first-egg
(AFE), HDP characteristics, reproduction, seasonal sensitivity, genotype-season interaction
using descriptive statistics, ANOVA, correlation and regression (p=0.05).
There was no significant difference in BW (g) and growth rate (g/day) between hybrids:
1724.8±562.8 and 1549.8±543.3; 1.4±2.3 and 1.1±1.6 for BN and IB hens, respectively. Effect
of seasons on AFE was not significant in both hybrids, but ED and LD seasons delayed AFE.
The HDP values (%) recorded for BN (63.2) and IB (72.9) in ED were significantly higher than
in other seasons. There were significant differences in EF (80.8 and 88.7%), EH (69.1 and
73.6%), PDOC (32.6 and 36.1%) and EWt (56.2 and 59.9 g) for BN and IB respectively in EW
season. EF (86.2 and 89.5%) and EH (73.1 and 73.9%) in LW were highest within hybrids
respectively. Phenotypic correlation (r) between Age and Hen Weight, Age and EWt, Hen
Weight and EWt, EF and EH, EF and PDOC, and EH and PDOC were 0.78, 0.74, 0.68, 0.73,
0.72 and 0.98 in BN; and 0.77, 0.52, 0.53, 0.69, 0.71, and 0.97 in IB respectively. The positive
and significant correlation between HR and EWt (r = 0.14 and 0.13), for BN and IB
respectively, indicated increase in HR as EWt increased. The environmental performance in
body weight of both hybrids was significantly depressed before 10 weeks in cocks and
throughout the life cycle of hens, except at 10 to 16 weeks in the BN hen. Performance
depression was also observed in HDP (-10.2%), EF (-6.9%) and EH (-14.4%) in IB, and EWt (-
2.9 and -3.2%) in both genotypes respectively over their life-time period. Predictions of BW by