Characterization of Hilly Chickens in Consideration of Climate Change Factors: Light and Heat

ABSTRACT Hilly chickens were characterized from January 2015 to September 2016 considering climate factors (light and heat). The experimental birds were divided into three groups (heat stress; light and control). The heat was generated in the chicken’s shelter by a black shaded light (Lantern) for two to three hours more after sunset. A lighting device (Lantern) was kept in the chicken’s shelter for the same period for increasing daylight duration. The individual chicken’s egg production, egg weight and mature live weight were studied from onset of egg production. It was observed that reddish brown hilly type chicken produced more (100.80 no/year/chicken) and larger sized (43.21g) eggs than spotted chicken (83.4 no/year/chicken and 40.46g). Among the three treatments, the lighting group produced 7.71 and 5.60 more eggs than the control and heat stress group, and one hour lighting lengths increased egg production 4 to 5.8%. Fifty-five blood samples were collected, and DNA was isolated from whole blood. For genetic characterization, 10 microsatellites markers from FAO recommendation list were used in this study. PCR amplification was performed in an MJ PTC-200 Peltier Thermal Cycler. The gene flow among breeds and genetic differentiation was assessed by computing between-breed genetic parameters: molecular co-ancestry (fij). It was found that genetic diversity of these two types of chickens was moderate. Results indicated that they were originated from the same ancestor. Therefore, priority should be given for implementation of appropriate breeding programme and strategies are necessary to avoid loss of genetic diversity.