Laying performance, immune response and antioxidant properties of hens segregating for naked neck and frizzle genes under low ambient temperature

https://doi.org/10.17221/221/2018-CJASCitation:Fathi M., Al-Homidan I., Rayan G., El-Safty S., Ebeid T., Abou-Emera O. (2019): Laying performance, immune response and antioxidant properties of hens segregating for naked neck and frizzle genes under low ambient temperature. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 64: 216-225.
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Major genes could be introgressed into laying hens to attenuate heat stress. However, under cold and/or moderate ambient temperature, these genes might possess different behaviour. The main objective of this study was to evaluate laying performance, immune response, and antioxidant status of native laying hens segregating for naked neck (Na) and frizzle (F) genes under low ambient temperature. Five genotypes were studied: homozygous naked neck (NaNaff), heterozygous naked neck (Nanaff), homozygous frizzle (nanaFF), heterozygous frizzle (nanaFf), and normally feathered (nanaff). The hens were raised under temperature range 22.2–16.7°C. No adverse effect due to ambient temperature was detected in laying performance for naked neck genotypes. Significant decrease in egg weight was recorded in nanaFF genotype compared to the other genotypes leading to significant decrease in egg mass. Significant improvement in shell thickness was associated with Na and F genes. NaNaff genotype had a significantly higher eggshell strength compared to nanaff. Furthermore, Na and F genes improved cellular mediated immune responsiveness, whereas this improvement did not extend to humoral immunity. Birds carrying F gene in homozygous state had a higher total antioxidant activity compared to the remaining genotypes. It could be concluded that the presence of Na and F genes in laying hens raised under low ambient temperature significantly increased shell thickness and, in turn, improved shell strength. Moreover, they greatly enhanced cellular immunity, particularly in heterozygous naked neck status.

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