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Six different poultry species (Indigenous chicken, Broiler, Turkey, Geese, Duck and
Guinea fowl) were studied under extensive system of management to investigate the effect
of rearing system on egg quality, cholesterol level and the blood biochemical profile.
Birds used for the study were obtained from four different locations (Zangon Shanu,
Bomo, Samaru and Kurmin Bomo) in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna
State. Eighteen (18) birds were randomly selected from the flock with three birds (3) per
strain as replicates. Three eggs were collected daily per replicate for the determination of
external and internal egg quality parameters (egg weight, egg length, egg breadth, egg
shape index, shell thickness, yolk width, yolk height and yolk index). Blood samples (2ml)
were collected from the same birds at the end of the laying phase for the determination of
blood biochemical profile, heamatological parameters and cholesterol levels. Data
collected was analyzed using the General Linear Model of the SAS (2002) Software.
Statistically significant means were separated using the Duncan Multiple Range Test
(DMRT). Results obtained from the study showed that the geese had significant (P<0.05)
better external and internal egg parameters for most of the parameters while indigenous
chicken and guinea fowl had the least results for external and internal egg parameters.
Biochemical indices, showed significant (P<0.05) differences in most of the parameters
except high density lipoprotein (HDL) which was not significant (P>0.05) among the
treatments. The calcium (Ca2+) and phosphorus (PO42-) contents of the blood were all
within a similar range (P<0.05) for the species except for duck which had a lower value of
2.06mg/dl. Also, duck had lowest values for blood total cholesterol (3.33mg/dl), low
density lipoprotein (2.20mg/dl) and triglycerides (0.43mg/dl). However, lowest values of
PO42- were observed in guinea fowl (0.84mg/dl) compared to duck (1.60mg/dl). Other
biochemical indices such as total cholesterol (5.63mg/dl), high density lipo-protein
(1.27mg/dl) and low density lipo-protein (3.93mg/dl), were significantly (P<0.05) better in
goose than other species. Guinea fowl had higher albumin content (45.00mg/dl) compared
to indigenous chicken (26.33mg/dl). The egg cholesterol level differed significantly
(P<0.05) in the poultry species with highest level obtained in guinea fowls (15.30mg/dl)
compared to indigenous chicken (8.83mg/dl), broiler (9.50 mg/dl) and duck (9.50 mg/dl).
Indigenous chicken had higher value for glucose (176.33mg/dl) compared to geese
(47.67mg/dl), though least for cholesterol. Duck and turkey have higher values (P<0.05)
for egg total protein than broiler (53.33 vs. 28.67mg/dl). The results of heamatological
parameters showed that all the parameters measured were significantly (P<0.05) different
amongst the species. However, the monocytes, eosinophiles and bands were not
significantly (P>0.05) different from each other. It was therefore concluded that
differences exist among the various species of poultry birds studied with guinea fowl
(15.30mg/dl) having the highest total cholesterol values for egg quality parameters while
the lowest value (8.83mg/dl) was obtained in indigenous chicken. However, duck
(3.33mg/dl) had lowest values for total cholesterol in the blood and higher values for total
protein (53.33mg/dl), while indigenous chickens had the least value for egg cholesterol
compared to the nutritional standard for hen (410.00mg). Hence, egg and meat of duck
and indigenous chickens are safer to consume compared to other poultry species; and
should therefore be promoted in our farming systems.
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