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Application of principal component and discriminant analyses to morpho-structural indices of indigenous and exotic chickens raised under intensive management system

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The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationships between body weight and morpho-structural indices to predict body weight from their orthogonal body shape characters using principal component analysis and to morphologically classify the chicken genotypes using multivariate discriminant analysis. Data used were from 273 randomly selected 12-weeks-old indigenous chickens of normal-feathered (NF), frizzle-feathered (FF), naked-neck (NN) and Anak Titan (AT) genotypes. Phenotypic correlation among body weight and most biometric traits ranged from 0.227–0.876, −0.7–0.901, 0.034–0.968 and −0.207–0.849 for NF, NN and AT chickens, respectively. Factor analysis with varimax rotation of interrelated traits revealed three principal components which accounted for 83.1%, 74.4%, 78.8% and 76.5% of the total variance in NF, FF, NN and AT chickens in the order listed. Breast girth, keel length, thigh length, shank length and wing length were found to be the most discriminating variables to separate the chicken genotypes. The longest distance (72.54) occurred between AT and NF genotypes while the shortest distance (4.27) was recorded for FF and NN genotypes. Classification results showed that 85.2% of AT genotype was correctly classified into their source population. However, 22.7% of NF was misclassified as NN, while 33.3% of NN was misclassified as NF chickens. These results suggest that there is high rate of gene flow between these two indigenous chicken genotypes. Information obtained from this study may be considered useful in breed improvement programmes for selection, characterization, conservation and better management of Nigerian indigenous chickens.

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Fig. 1

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Anak Titan


Body weight


Breast girth


Body length


Frizzle feathered


Keel length


Normal feathered


Naked neck


Principal component


Shank length


Thigh length


Wing length


Wing span


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Correspondence to Matthew Adekunle Adeleke.

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Ajayi, O.O., Adeleke, M.A., Sanni, M.T. et al. Application of principal component and discriminant analyses to morpho-structural indices of indigenous and exotic chickens raised under intensive management system. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 1247–1254 (2012).

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