Livestock Research for Rural Development 19 (10) 2007 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Growth, body conformation and immuneresponsiveness in two Indian native chicken breeds

R N Chatterjee, R P Sharma, M R Reddy, M Niranjan and B L N Reddy

 

Poultry Genetics and Breeding, Project Directorate on Poultry, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, (Andhra Pradesh), India

rncchat@rediffmail.com
 

Abstract

           

Two Indian native chickens namely, Kadaknath and Aseel were studied for their growth, body conformation and immunocompetence traits under deep litter management system. Body weight at 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, gain in body weight between 2 -4, 2 – 8, 4 – 8, 8 – 12 and 12 – 16 weeks of age, shank length (SL), keel length (KL) and breast angle (BA), humoral response to SRBC and NDV and cell mediated immune response to PHAP were evaluated in Kadaknath and Aseel breeds.

 

The body weight at all ages except at 2 weeks of age was significantly (P<0.05) higher in Aseel than Kadaknath. The body weight gain was also significantly (P<0.05) higher in Aseel than Kadaknath at all periods except between 2 – 4 weeks of age. The body weight was increased linearly in both the breeds beyond 4 weeks of age. All the body conformation traits (SL, KL and BA) were significantly (P<0.05) higher in Aseel than Kadaknath. The humoral response to SRBC was significantly higher (P<0.05) in Aseel than Kadaknath. However, there was no significant difference of humoral response to NDV and cell mediated response to PHAP.  

Key words: Aseel, body weights, conformation traits, immunocompetence traits, Kadaknat


Introduction

There are twenty indigenous breeds of chicken in India (Singh and Johari 2000; Sharma and Chatterjee 2006). These native breeds are broody, good foragers, have best mother for hatching and resistant to some of the poultry diseases. Kadaknath is inhabitating in vast areas of western Madhya Pradesh mainly the Jhabua and Dhar districts and adjoining areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan. However, pure Kadaknath birds are rarely available in Dhar and adjoining areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan because of indiscriminate crossbreeding with RIR and other breeds (Thakur et al 2006).

           

There are three main varieties of Kadaknath breed, like Jet Black, Pencilled and Golden Kadaknath. In all the three varieties of Kadaknath breed, most of the internal organs exhibit intense black colouration which is due to the deposition of Melanin pigment in the connective tissue of organs and in the dermis (Rao and Thomas 1984). These birds are poor in egg production potential, but their black flesh is very delicious and popular among tribal people. Sometimes this flesh is being used for the treatment of many diseases by tribal, which needs proper scientific intervention (Thakur et al 2006). 

           

The Aseel is a very old game breed from Indian subcontinent. It has been bred in sub- continent for many centuries for its aggressive behaviour. Aseel birds are also known for their intelligent defensive and tactical thinking to keep power for long time in endurance fight.  "Aseel" is an Arabic word meaning "pure" or "thoroughbred". The Aseel breed is available in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh. These birds are also found with cock fighting lovers throughout the country. It is well known for its pugnacity, high stigma, majestic gait and dogged fighting qualities. It is biggest in size among all the Indian native chickens, which measure 28 inches from back to toe. These birds are also known for its plentiful delicious and flavoured meat. For centuries, adiwasi communities living in East Godavari district have reared and selectively shaped this breed especially for its meat. Today infectious diseases, high production losses and Government policies promoting non-local breeds threaten its existence (Sharma and Chatterjee 2006). Some well known varieties of Aseel are Khager (Black), Peela (golden red), Kava (pure black with beard), Java (black with silver) etc. (Panda and Praharaj 2002).

           

Both Kadaknath and Aseel breeds are being used for development of germplasm suitable for backyard poultry farming at Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, India (Singh and Singh 2004). Shivakumar and Kumar (2005) reported the immune responsiveness to NDV in two divergent populations (to SRBC) of White Leghorn. Kundu et al (1999) Studied the humoral response to SRBC in some native Indian and exotic breeds. However, the studies on early body weight, gain in body weight, body conformation traits and immunocompetence traits of Kadaknath and Aseel are very limited.

 

In the present study, the objective was to evaluate the body weight at early ages, gain in body weight, body conformation and immunocompetence traits of Kadaknath and Aseel (two Indian native chickens) under deep litter management system.



Materials and methods

Population size          

A total of 387 birds of Kadaknath and 189 birds of Aseel were evaluated for early body weight, gain in body weight and body conformation traits under deep litter management system. Seventy eight birds of Kadaknath and sixty birds of Aseel were studied for cell mediated immune response to PHAP, 78 birds of Aseel and 152 birds of Kadaknath for humoral response to NDV, 85 birds of Aseel and 150 birds of Kadaknath for humoral response to SRBC were evaluated.


Traits

           

Body weight at 2 weeks (BW2), 4 weeks (BW4), 8 weeks (BW8), 12 weeks (BW12) and 16 weeks (BW16) of age were recorded for individual birds. Gain in body weight between 2 – 4 weeks, 2 – 8 weeks, 4 – 8 weeks, 8 – 12 weeks and 12 – 16 weeks of age were recorded. Shank length (SL), Keel length (KL) and Breast angle (BA) were recorded at 15 wks of age. Humoral response to NDV at 61st day and SRBC at 12 weeks and Cell mediated response to PHAP at 18 weeks of age were recorded.  

Estimation of humoral response to NDV         

All the birds were vaccinated against Newcastle’s Disease (ND) at 5th day and 28th day with Lasota. Blood was collected at 61st day of age from wing vein and serum was separated and kept at –20oC for analysis. Antibody titre against ND  were determined by HI assay using 4 HA units of NDV. The highest dilution where there was complete inhibition of agglutination was read as titre (Thayer and Beard 1998). Titre were expressed in log2 values.

 

Estimation of humoral response to SRBC

           

Each bird received an intravenous injection of 0.1 ml of 0.5 percent suspension of packed sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in normal saline at 12 weeks of age. Five days later, the blood was collected from wing vein of each bird in the individual test tubes. Sera were collected after two hours of incubation at room temperature and kept at – 20C. The total antibody titre was determined by haemagglutination test, performed in the microtitre plates. From individual serum sample two fold serial dilutions was carried out in Normal saline solution (NSS) and equal amount of  0.75% SRBC suspension was added in each well. The serum was not added in the control well. The plates were incubated at 370 C for about 1 hour. The reciprocal of highest dilution showing complete agglutinations was expressed as titre (n). The titre was transformed into log2 (n+1) for further analysis.

 

Estimation of cell mediated response to PHAP

           

Each chick was injected with 100 μg PHAP solution (Bangalore Genei chemicals) in 0.1 ml sterile saline in the left wattle at 18 weeks of age. The thickness was measured with a Thickness gauge (Mitutoyo) before injection and at 24 hours after PHAP injection. The wattle swelling was calculated as the difference between the thickness of the wattle before and after the injection with PHAP solution.

 

Statistical analysis

           

Statistical analysis of the data was performed by standard statistical procedure (Snedecor and Cochran 1994) using a computer programme (SPSS package).

 

Results and discussion

The early body weight, body weight gain, body conformation traits and immunocompetence traits in Kadaknath and Aseel under intensive management were studied.

 

Body weight

           

The body weight of Aseel at 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age were significantly (P<0.05) higher than Kadaknath. However, there was no significant difference of body weight between these two breeds at 2 weeks of age (Table 1).


Table 1.  Body weight of Kadaknath and Aseel at different ages

Trait, g

Kadaknath

(Mean SE)

Aseel

(Mean SE)

BW2

51.8 0.48

65.1 1.04

BW4

125b 2.27

154a 2.39

BW8

275b 9.15

393a 8.52

BW12

583b 18.18

796a 13.12

BW16

861b 19.50

1218a 19.0

Means in the same row with different superscripts letters (a, b) were significantly different (P<0.05)


The increase of body weight was linear from 4 weeks to 16 weeks of age in both the breeds (Fig 1).


 

Figure 1.  Growth pattern in Kadaknath and Aseel


The difference of body weight between these two indigenous breeds increased with the age. The body weights of Kadaknath at 2 and 4 weeks of age under extensive management system as studied by Thakur et al (2006) were similar to the body weights obtained in the present study. However, the body weights at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age of Kadaknath obtained in the present study were much higher than the body weights obtained by Thakur et al (2006) under village condition. This discrepancy might be due to the fact that under deep litter management in the present study, birds have got proper care and management. Chatterjee et al (2002) also reported lesser body weight (at different ages) of Nicobari fowl under backyard farming system than under intensive management system. Similar body weight of birds of both the breeds at 2 weeks of age might be due to non-significant difference of mature egg weight (47.4 g in Aseel and 46.8 g in Kadaknath) as observed by some workers (Anonymous 2006). The Kadaknath birds are smaller in size with cocks weighting about 1.5 kg and hens 1.0 kg, while, the standard body weight of Aseel varies from 3 to 5 kg of cocks and 2 to 4 kg for hens (Sharma and Chatterjee 2006). Singh and Singh (2004) observed higher body weight of Aseel (1821 g) than Kadaknath (1289 g) at 20 weeks of age. Due to difference of genetic make up of Kadaknath and Aseel and Aseel being a heavy bird, the body weights of Aseel at different ages were higher than Kadaknath.

 

Gain in body weight

           

The body weight gain of Aseel was significantly (P<0.05) higher than Kadaknath between different age groups except between 2 – 4 weeks of age (Table 2).


Table 2.  Body weight gain of Kadaknath and Aseel in different periods

Trait, g/d

Kadaknath

(Mean SE)

Aseel

(Mean SE)

Body weight gain 2 – 4 wks

73.8 1.08

90.6 2.27

Body weight gain 2 – 8 wks

221b 5.84

327a 9.01

Body weight gain 4 – 8 wks

151b 5.52

238a 9.09

Body weight gain 8 – 12 wks

309b 10.94

403a 10.59

Body weight gain 12 – 16 wks

278b 11.57

424a 16.53

Means in the same row with different superscripts letters (a, b) were significantly different (P<0.05)


The body weight gain of Kadaknath under extensive management system obtained by Thakur et al (2006) was less as compared to the present study, which might be due to better care and management of the birds in the present study under deep litter management. The body weight gain (of 4 weeks) of Aseel was highest between 12 – 16 weeks of age, while, body weight gain of Kadaknath was highest between 8 – 12 weeks of age, which indicated the gain in body weight of Aseel was still better at higher ages. Singh et al (2003) observed highest gain in body weight at 15th week of age in both Kadaknath and Aseel.

 

Body conformation traits

           

In the present study, the shank length, keel length and breast angle of Kadaknath and Aseel were 7.75 cm, 6.89 cm and 70.45o and 9.52 cm, 8.40 cm and 81.65o, respectively. The shank length, keel length and breast angle were all significantly (P<0.05) higher in Aseel than Kadaknath (Table 3).


Table 3.  Body conformation traits of Kadaknath and Aseel

Trait

Kadaknath

(Mean SE)

Aseel

(Mean SE)

SL, cm

7.75b 1.20

9.52a 5.14

KL, cm

6.89b 1.12

8.40a 1.04

BA, degree

70.5b 8.01

81.7a 0.71

Means in the same row with different superscripts letters (a, b) were significantly different (P<0.05)


The shank length, keel length and breast angle in a coloured synthetic male line (CSML) of broiler were observed to be 7.39 cm, 8.83 cm 62.37 (Anonymous 2007). The SL of CSML was in agreement with the value of Kadaknath but lower than Aseel, KL of CSML was higher than both Aseel and Kadaknath and BA of CSML was lower than both Aseel and Kadaknath. This discrepancy might be due to breed differences.

 

Immunocompetence

           

The humoral immune response to SRBC was significantly (P<0.05) higher in Aseel (7.25 log2) than Kadaknath (5.70 log2). However, there was no significant difference of humoral response to NDV and cell-mediated immune response (CMI) to PHAP between Aseel and Kadaknath (Table 4).


Table 4.  Immunocompetence traits of Kadaknath and Aseel

Trait

Kadaknath

(Mean SE)

Aseel

(Mean SE)

NDV (log2)

9.44 0.16

8.65 0.09

SRBC (log2)

5.70b 0.25

7.25a 0.18

PHAP resp

0.77 0.04

0.74 0.98

Means in the same row with different superscripts letters (a, b) were significantly different (P<0.05)


Singh and Singh (2004) also observed significant difference of SRBC titre between four Indian native breeds (namely, Aseel, Kadaknath, Frizzle fowl and Naked neck). The least square means (log2 value) of response to SRBC in Aseel (Peela variety) was (11.61 log2) observed to be still higher than the present study (Anonymous 2006) and was significantly higher than the commercial layer and broiler varieties. However, Kundu et al (1999) reported lower values of response to SRBC in Kadaknath (5.31) and Aseel (5.10) on 5th day post immunization than the present study. Singh and Singh (2004) also did not find any significant difference of CMI to PHAP between these indigenous breeds. Shivakumar and Kumar (2005) reported the immune responsiveness to NDV in two divergent populations (to SRBC) of White Leghorn.

 

References

 

Anonymous 2006 Annual Report of Central Avian Research Institute 2005 – 06. Page 11.

 

Anonymous 2007 Annual Report of All India Coordinated Research Project on Poultry Breeding 2006-07. Page 102.

 

Chatterjee R N, Ahlawat S P S, Yadav S P, Senani S, Kundu A, Jeyakumar S, Saha S K, Jai Sunder and Deepa Bharati 2002 Comparative growth performance of Nicobari fowl and their cost effectiveness under backyard and intensive system;  Indian Journal of poultry Science 37: 63 – 66.

 

Kundu A, Singh D P, Mohapatra S C, Dash B B, Moudgal R P and Bisht G S 1999 Antibody response to sheep erythrocytes in Indian native vis--vis imported breeds of chickens; British Poultry Science  40: 40 – 43  

 

Panda B and Praharaj N K 2002 Conservation of indigenous chicken germplasm in India: Past, present and future scenario. Proceedings of National Workshop on    Characterization and conservation of indigenous poultry germplasm, 26 – 27 February 2002 held at CARI, Port Blair, Andaman, India. Page 17 – 27

 

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Singh D P, Rajvir Singh and Kataria M C 2003 Conservation and utilization of indigenous fowl. In: Annual Report of Central Avian Research Institute 2002-03 Page 18.

 

Singh R V and Singh D P 2004 Possibilities of exploitation of indigenous poultry germplasm. Paper presented in National Symposium on Livestock biodiversity vis--vis resource exploitation: An introspection, 11-12 February 2004, held at NBAGR, Karnal, India. Page 21-30.
 

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Thakur M S, Parmar S N S and Pillai P V A 2006 Studies on growth performance in Kadaknath breed of poultry; Livestock Research for Rural Development. 18: 1 – 9. http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd18/8/thak18116.htm

 

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Received 17 July 2007; Accepted 19 July 2007; Published 4 October 2007

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