Indian Journal of Animal Research

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Indian Journal of Animal Research, volume 56 issue 5 (may 2022) : 637-641

Productive performance of purebred Thai native black-bone chickens (Chee Fah and Fah Luang) and their crossbreds

W. Laenoi1, K. Buranawit1,*
1Division of Animal Science, School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Phayao, Phayao-56000, Thailand.
Cite article:- Laenoi W., Buranawit K. (2022). Productive performance of purebred Thai native black-bone chickens (Chee Fah and Fah Luang) and their crossbreds . Indian Journal of Animal Research. 56(5): 637-641. doi: 10.18805/ijar.B-1075.
This study was conducted to compare productive performance between purebred Thai indigenous black-bone chickens and their reciprocal crossbreds. Four different genetic groups were studied: 2 purebreds (Chee Fah and Fah Luang) and 2 crossbreds (Chee Fah × Fah Luang and Fah Luang × Chee Fah). The results showed that Fah Luang × Chee Fah had the significantly highest body weight at birth and 20-week of age, while the lowest values were found in Chee Fah × Fah Luang (p<0.05). For feed conversion ratio, Fah Luang ´ Chee Fah had greater potential than purebreds and Chee Fah × Fah Luang (p<0.05). Additionally, Fah Luang × Chee Fah grew faster than the others (p<0.05). The productive performance of crossbred chickens was more favorable than purebreds. Considering crossbreds, Fah Luang × Chee Fah showed greater performance than Chee Fah × Fah Luang. Therefore, Fah Luang had more potential for using as a sire than Chee Fah.
It is commonly known that chicken is one of the most important livestock animals, which has an economic value as they are a good source of animal protein and no limits of religious preferences are involved in term of consumption. In some areas, native chickens are preferable because of their predominant characteristics, especially disease resistance and climate adaptability, including carcass and meat quality (Choprakarn and Wongpichet, 2007; Jaturasitha et al., 2008a). Furthermore, they play important roles of socio-cultural part covering a source of income for many small-scale farmers (Choprakarn and Wongpichet, 2007; Laenoi et al., 2015).
Black-bone chicken is another breed of the native chickens, which has its skin, meat and bone black. Those appearances are in consequence of the melanism or fibromelanosis (Jiang and Groen, 2000). Recently, in China, some researchers revealed that meat of the black-bone chicken has medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine (Zhu et al., 2014). In Thailand, there are two breeds of the black-bone native chicken which were newly registered in 2013, namely Chee Fah and Fah Luang. They were widely reared in many districts of Chiang Rai province, in northern Thailand, for a main purpose of household consumption. Besides, they are considered as a desirable food material for serving the tourists (Intharachote et al., 2005; Morathop et al., 2005).
However, only a few studies revealed data related to Chee Fah and Fah Luang black-bone chickens in view of phenotypic characteristics (Buranawit et al., 2016), productive performance (Intarachote et al., 2003; Inthara- chote et al., 2005; Morathop et al., 2005) or carcass and meat quality (Jaturasitha et al., 2005; Jaturasitha et al., 2008b). Moreover, the growth performance of their crossbreds has not been reported yet. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the productive performance between purebred Thai native black-bone chickens and their crossbreds.
All animal care and experimental protocol were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC), University of Phayao, Thailand.
Animals and management
The experiment was carried out in Thai native black-bone chickens, which were divided into 4 treatments by following genetic groups: 2 purebreds (Chee Fah and Fah Luang) and 2 crossbreds (Chee Fah × Fah Luang and Fah Luang × Chee Fah), which were originated by reciprocal cross between those two purebreds with 1:4 of the male to female mating ratio. Mature chickens of 6 males and 24 females per breed were selected from black-bone native chicken herds at Doi Mae Salong, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. Also, breed characteristics of each breed, as reported by Buranawit et al., (2016), were used as criteria for breeder selection. Eggs were collected daily by breed group and kept for 7 days for incubation by the hatchery. Fertile eggs were observed on day 7 and 14 of incubation.
After hatching, sixty 1-day-old chicks per breed group (30 chicks of each sex) were randomly selected and reared, separated by breed group and sex, in conventional housing with rice husk covering on the floor. The photoperiod was 23L:1D and the thermal conditions depended on the ambient environment with 27.2°C of the average temperature. Chickens were fed ad libitum with commercial diets (Betagro Public Co., Ltd, Thailand) for each growing period with nutrient requirements according to NRC (1994) and had free access to water throughout the experiment. Animals were vaccinated in accordance with the guideline of the Department of Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative, Thailand.
Data collection and traits
The chicks were weighed in gram at birth (BW0) and continually after every 4 weeks  during the study period of 20 weeks (BW4, BW8, BW12, BW16 and BW20, respectively). Feed intake (FI) was recorded in gram every week. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) and average daily gain (ADG) were calculated based on those data. A percentage of viability (VIA) was collected at the end of the experiment.
Statistical analysis
One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the data were following randomized complete block design using the following statistical model:
yij = µ + bi + 𝜏j + εij
yij = Is the observation of the traits.
µ  = Is the overall mean.
bi  = Is the effect of ith sex (i = 1 and 2).
𝜏j  = The effect of jth breed group (j = 1, 2, 3 and 4).
εij  = Is the residual error.
Differences of means were compared between breed groups by Duncan’s new multiple range test (DMRT) using the R program (R Core Team, 2016).
The average birth weight and body weight at different ages of purebreds and crossbreds were shown in Table 1. The significantly prominent birth weight (29.58 g) was found in the FC group (p<0.05), followed by FAH (28.13 g), CF (27.09 g) and CHE (26.78 g), respectively. These results corresponded to Thai native black-bone chickens, namely Chee Fah (Morathop et al., 2005) and Fah Luang (Intarachote et al., 2003; Intharachote et al., 2005) and other Thai indigenous chickens (Penmas, 2005; Leotaragul et al., 2015; Sungkhapreecha et al., 2015; Molee et al., 2018). While, some studies revealed higher birth weights (Suayroop et al., 2012; Siripanya et al., 2013; Patra et al., 2018), which might be due to they were genetically improved for productive performance. However, the results in the present study agreed with some previous studies of native and crossbred chickens in the other countries (Van Marle-Köster and Casey, 2001; Malago and Baitilwake, 2009).

Table 1: The body weight (±SD) of purebred and crossbred Thai native black-bone chickens at the different period of age.

Correspondingly, FC had the highest BW during 4- to 20-week of age, whereas, CHE showed the lowest values (p<0.05). Over a period of 20 weeks, our investigation confirmed that crossbred groups had significantly higher values of BW than purebreds (p<0.05). A possible reason might be heterosis effect that caused crossbred groups have better performances than purebreds (Falconer and Mackay 1996). The average 20-week BW of CHE and FAH were resembling with Nigerian native chicken (Sola-Ojo et al., 2011). Similarly, crossbred CF chickens’ weight was consistent with the study of Khawaja et al., (2013), who reported that the BW of 2-way and 3-way crossbred chickens were 1236.50 and 1288.73 g, respectively. However, some various weights of 20-week of age were published (Mosaad et al., 2010; Osei-Amponsah et al., 2012; Khadda et al., 2017; Sarma et al., 2018). The contrary could be explained by different genetic background, age and maturity, sex, environment and farm management in each study, which the main effect influenced quantitative traits.
Table 2 represents the comparison of productive performance among chickens separated by genetic groups. The significant difference of the FI during 20-week period was observed (p<0.05), CHE chickens consumed less feed, while the largest was found in FC group. Considering the average daily feed intake, the range of 48.72 to 50.76 was found in our chickens (data not shown). FI values in this study were lower than some previous publications (Kittichonthawat et al., 2003; Suayroop et al., 2012; Khawaja et al., 2013). Several authors reported that the various results of feed intake were a response of the breed differences (Van Marle-Köster and Casey, 2001; Castellini et al., 2002; Azharul et al., 2005; Castellini et al., 2016). Additionally, another possible reason might be surgical caponization, which capons consumed feed more than intact chickens during 18 to 28 weeks of age (Lin and Hsu, 2002).

Table 2: Productive performance (±SD) of purebred Thai native black-bone chickens and their crossbreds over a trial period of 20 weeks.

The FC crossbreds showed more favorable FCR (5.44) than CF group (5.58), furthermore, they had significantly better value than both of purebred chickens (p<0.05; Table 2). Considering purebred groups, the average FCR of FAH chickens was significantly lower than CHE (5.61 vs. 5.65; p<0.05). Our investigation correlates with the previous literature, which reported that FCR of crossbred native chickens tended to predominate over purebred natives (Azharul et al., 2005). On the contrary, some studies revealed that no significant difference was found between purebred and crossbred native chickens (Kittichonthawat et al., 2003; Siripanya et al., 2013). However, the high FCR range (11.1 to 13.9) was reported in the Northwest Ethiopian indigenous chickens during 0 to 22 weeks old (Hassen et al., 2006). The different FCR values were published due to FCR is considered as a quantitative and complex process trait which is influenced by many factors, such as animal behavior, level of production, appetite, including interaction between them (Hassen et al., 2006).
In view of ADG, FC chickens significantly grew faster than the others (p<0.05) with 9.34 g/day (Table 2). The current findings were similar to Pradu Hang Dam chickens (Penmas, 2005), Black Hmong, Black Chinese, Brown Hmong and crossbred Black Hmong × Pradu Hang Dam chickens (Sungkhapreecha et al., 2015) However, some studies revealed greater ADG with the average varied from 16.1 to 54.5 g/day (Castellini et al., 2002; Chen et al., 2014; Leotaragul et al., 2015; Castellini et al., 2016). Due to the factors affect ADG are not only genetic, but also the age of the chicken. According to those publications, they set the experiment on chickens during 0 to 12 weeks old, while the present study accounted for 0-to 20-week of age. The disagreement was explained by Mosaad et al., (2010), who reported that the growth rate of indigenous chickens reached a peak during the first 12-week of age and decrease during the age of 12 to 20 weeks.
There was no significant difference in the percentage of viability among our chickens (p>0.05; Table 2). However, our percentages of viability fell into the range of previous studies (60.20 to 98.46%; Kittichonthawat et al., 2003; Hassen et al., 2006; Khawaja et al., 2013). The environmental factors such as disease, accident and farm management could reduce the percentage of viability, even if it has genetically enhanced to a maximum level (Hassen et al., 2006; Khawaja et al., 2013).
The better growth performances were found in the crossbred chickens compared with the purebreds. For purebred groups, Fah Luang chickens tended to show more desirable performances than Chee Fah. Considering the crossbreds, Fah Luang × Chee Fah had higher body weight than Chee Fah ´ Fah Luang during the studied period. Fah Luang × Chee Fah showed greater potential for feed conversion ratio and average daily gain than Chee Fah × Fah Luang chickens. Our reciprocal cross’ findings showed that Fah Luang chicken should be used as a sire to produce crossbred native black-bone chickens, while Chee Fah was suitable for dam line. These investigations justify further detailed studies on a larger number of chickens over generations.
The present study was funded by the University of Phayao (No.RD59010). The authors would like to thank undergraduate students and involved staff for their help during the period of research.

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