An eleven-month experiment was conducted to establish the influence of phenotype and feeding systems on growth performance and carcass characteristics of F1 crossbred broilers. One hundred normal feathered broiler breeder females were mated with 10 naked neck males to obtain the F1. Two hundred and seventy-two chicks obtained from the F1 generation and from four hatches were randomly assigned into four treatments (naked neck full feeding, naked neck feed withdrawal, normal feathered full feeding and normal feathered feed withdrawal) in an RCBD 2 × 2 factorial arrangement and studied for 12 weeks. The naked neck broilers had superior (P < 0.05) weight and better feed conversion compared to their normal feathered counterparts. Chickens on full feeding had higher (P < 0.05) feed intake in comparison to their counterparts on feed withdrawal. Normal feathered birds had higher (P < 0.05) average rectal temperature compared to the naked neck ones. Mortality was lower (P < 0.05) in naked neck birds compared to their normal feathered siblings. Birds on feed withdrawal had higher (P < 0.05) average rectal temperature in contrast to their counterparts on full feeding. The naked neck gene improves growth performance, carcass yield and survivability hence should be incorporated into broiler breeding programmes for tropical countries.
Key words: Broiler, carcass, feed withdrawal, naked neck, phenotype, traits.
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