Phenotypic, Physiological and Blood Profile Characterization of Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata) In North Central Nigeria

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Department of Biology. University of Tlemcen. Algeria.


Animal genetic resources (AnGR) are important to all future developments and adaptations. The concept has an international obligation to conserve certain characteristics of domestic animals for sustainable and future use. Characterization of indigenous Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) would provide information for AnGR and also aid in conservation of ducks for future use. Two hundred (200) Muscovy ducks obtained from five (5) geographical locations in North central Nigeria were characterised using qualitative traits, physiological parameters, blood profile and quantitative traits. The results showed that 52.50, 54.00, 51.50, 50.00, 45.00 and 35.50% of the Muscovy ducks in the study area had black colour with respect to their general body plumage, shank, bill, web, eye, and bean, respectively. 50.00% were of horizontal body carriage, 90.50% had palmate web type, and 95.00% had no crest while 62.50% had caruncles. Sexual dimorphism existed between male and female with drakes having significantly (p<0.05) higher values compared to ducks in all the quantitative traits measured. Physiological parameters were not significantly (p>0.05) different according to sex and origin of the Muscovy duck studied. Comparison of the ducks by origin showed significant (p>0.05) differences in body weight, shank diameter, keel and wing length, and also in white blood cells, lymphocytes, red blood cells and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, platelets and glucose. The information obtained here can serve as a guide on decisions concerning the conservation and development of selective breeding strategies for improvement of Muscovy ducks in the studied area.



Characterization, Muscovy Ducks, Traits, Physiological parameters, Blood Profile