Genotype evaluation and breeding of poultry for performance under suboptimal village conditions
Indigenous and local breeds still contribute meaningfully to poultry meat and egg production and consumption in developing countries, where they make up to 90% of the total poultry population. This is so because they are well-adapted to the extensive husbandry (scavenging) conditions, with very low levels of inputs, under which they are maintained, usually together with other domestic animals. However, the vast majority of these breeds are not or poorly described. In addition, according to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, about 40% of avian breeds are of unknown risk status. Thus, considerable efforts are needed in order to evaluate these breeds. Genetic improvement of these indigenous breeds is a challenging, but not impossible, task. Such improvement should not lead to a loss of their desirable characteristics. Different breeding strategies are discussed in light of the lessons learnt from previous experiences.
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25 October 2011
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