Chicken is a major livestock species raised by smallholder households in rural areas in developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa as a chief source of meat protein and income generation. However, Newcastle disease largely compromises the production of this precious bird under backyard production settings. The purpose of the study was to assess antibody responses and growth performance following Newcastle disease vaccination in kuroiler, broiler, and local Tanzanian chickens raised under the same tropical environmental condition. In the experiment, a total of 358 chickens comprised of 127 kuroilers, 121 broilers, and 110 local Tanzanian chickens were raised for seven weeks, and body weights were recorded weekly. Birds were vaccinated at four weeks, and blood samples were collected at days 10, and 21 post-vaccination for antibody titres quantification by ELISA test. Results demonstrated higher (P < 0.05) antibody titres in kuroilers (3.81 ± 0.06) as compared to local chicken (3.73 ± 0.07) and broilers (3.53±0.06) at day 10 post-vaccination. The growth performance of local Tanzanian chickens was comparable to that of kuroilers. The present findings contribute to on-going work in understanding chicken immune responses against NDV and inform breeding programs designed for developing chickens with increased resistance to NDV.
Key words: Tanzania, local chicken, kuroilers, Newcastle disease virus, growth performance, ND vaccination, Sub-Saharan Africa, antibody responses
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