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Abstract, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, College of Veterinary Sciences, G.B.P.U.A&T., Pantnagar - 263145, India, 2002

A population segregating for the naked neck (Na) gene was used to evaluate its effect on fast growing broilers at heat stress. An experimental stock comparable to those of modern broilers was established by backcrossing to colour synthetic male and female lines. Matings between heterozygous (Na/na) males and females produced normally feathered (na/na), heterozygous (Na/na) and homozygous (Na/Na) chicks for the present study. Day old to seven week old coloured broilers of three genotypes viz. normally feathered (na/na), heterozygous naked neck (Na/na) and homozygous naked neck (Na/Na) were compared for heat dissipation, growth performance, body conformation traits, blood biochemical parameters and carcass traits in tropical climate. In hot climate, naked neck broilers had significantly less body temperature and better heat dissipation capabilities as compared to normal broilers. The naked neck broilers had significantly higher body weight and better feed conversion ratio than na/na broilers. The Na/Na or Na/na broilers exhibited higher giblet yield, blood loss and lower feather mass compared to na/na broilers. The results indicated that the reduction in feather coverage in Na/Na and Na/na broilers facilitates better heat dissipation with lower body temperature, more body weight gain, better FCR and carcass traits compared to normal broilers. (Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 2002. Vol 15, No. 12 : 1776-1783)

Key Words : Turken, Naked Neck Broilers, Body Weight, FCR, Carcass Traits, Blood Cholesterol Parameters and Heat Dissipation