Productive and reproductive traits of three different Italian poultry species involved in an in-situ conservation programme
A study was conducted in three different poultry species: duck (the Germanata Veneta and Mignon breeds), turkey (the Comune Bronzato and Ermellinato di Rovigo breeds) and guinea fowl (the Camosciata breed) to assess productive and reproductive traits of these species that are involved in a conservation and valorisation programme applied to the indigenous Veneto poultry breed. The productive characterisation was carried out during 2005 involving 510 animals while the reproductive traits were studied from 2003 to 2005 on 335 batches. Evaluation of performance traits was based on average daily gain and commercial live weight while reproductive traits were evaluated on percentages of fertility and hatchability. Analysis of variance were performed for production and reproduction traits. Breed, sex and conservation nucleus were significant sources of variation for productive traits while for fertility and hatchability percentages breed and year were the variation sources. Fertility percentages ranged between 38 to 68 respectively for Camosciata and Comune Bronzato breeds. Between 2003 to 2005 the fertility percentages improved for all local Veneto species. The Mignon and Camosciata breed did not show differences between males and females for average daily gain while the Germanata Veneta breed, Comune Bronzato and Ermellinato di Rovigo turkey breeds showed an evident sexual dimorphism.