Global Advanced Research Journal of Agricultural Science (GARJAS) ISSN: 2315-5094

June 2013 Vol. 2(6): pp. 148-152

Copyright © 2015 Global Advanced Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Laying performance and egg traits of indigenous Tswana chickens under traditional management

Patrick. M. Kgwatalala, Andries M. Bolowe, and Tshepiso Pene


Department of Animal Science and Production, Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana

*Corresponding Author’s E-mail:;

Accepted 02 April, 2013



There is limited information on laying performance and egg characteristics of indigenous Tswana chickens (ITC) under traditional free range system. A structured questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 26 farmers in Oodi, Morwa and Bokaa villages in Kgatleng district. The survey data revealed that on average, 81% of the farmers did not know the age at first egg of ITC and that on average ITC laid 7 eggs per week over an average laying period of 2-3 weeks. The average number of eggs incubated by ITC was found to be 15 eggs/hen and more egg production and more chicks are hatched in winter than in summer. This study also evaluated egg quality characteristics of ITC relative to commercial layer chicken (CLC). A total of 100 eggs obtained from 8 ITC farmers and 108 eggs from two CLC farms were analysed for external and internal egg quality traits. Eggs of ITC had significantly higher (P<0.001) values for egg length (5.68±0.04mm versus 5.58±0.04 mm), yolk weight (16.24±0.37g versus 14.61±0.26 g), yolk % (32.60±0.39% versus 26.53±0.37%) and  albumin pH (9.27±0.04 versus 9.14±0.04) and significantly lower (P<0.001) values for egg weight (49.95±0.64g vs. 55.01±0.62g), egg shape index (74.74±0.51 vs. 79.51±0.49), albumin weight (26.20±0.44g  vs. 31.40±0.42g), albumin % (52.21±0.47 vs. 57.23±0.45) and egg contents weight (42.44±0.60g vs. 46.02±0.57g) compared to eggs of CLC. No significant differences between eggs of ITC and CLC were observed for egg width, shell weight, shell percentage and shell thickness. Eggs of CLC might therefore be healthier than those of ITC because of their higher protein content and their lower yolk content.

Keywords: egg traits, laying performance, Tswana chickens, traditional management.


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