Influence of Season and Day Length on Production and Reproductive Traits and Egg Characteristics of the Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris)

Main Article Content

Korankye Okyere
James Kwame Kagya-Agyemang
Serekye Yaw Annor
Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw
Clement Gyeabour Kyere


Aims: This study was conducted to determine the influence of season and day length on production traits, egg characteristics, fertility and hatchability of laying Guinea fowls (Numida meleagris).

Study Design: Factorial design was used for the study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the Poultry Unit of the Department of Animal Science Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, Mampong campus from September, 2015 to December, 2016.

Methodology: Four (4) hens and one (1) male per replicate and fifteen (15) per treatment were each subjected to 12 hours of artificial light and 12 hours of darkness (12L:12D), 14hours of artificial light and 10 hours of darkness (14L:10D), 16hours of artificial light and 8 hours of darkness (16L:8D) and 18hours of artificial light and 6 hours of darkness (18L:6D). Each group was replicated three times and reared in three seasons (Dry-December-March, Major rains-April-July and Minor rains-August-November) in a 3x4 factorial experiment. Data were analyzed using General Linear Model procedure of SAS.

Results: Results showed that egg weight, hen-day egg production and egg mass increased (P= .05) with increasing day length. Similar results were observed for yolk height, yolk weight and albumin height. Most production traits, egg characteristics, fertility and hatchability attained the highest (P= .05) value in the major rainy season.

Conclusion: It was concluded that day length of 14-16 hours is sufficient for improved laying performance and that breeding cycles should be planned to coincide with the major rainy season.

Seasonal variation, light, fertility, hatchability, egg quality

Article Details

How to Cite
Okyere, K., Kagya-Agyemang, J. K., Annor, S. Y., Asabere-Ameyaw, A., & Kyere, C. G. (2020). Influence of Season and Day Length on Production and Reproductive Traits and Egg Characteristics of the Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris). Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, 3(1), 26-34.
Original Research Article


Williams AG, Audsley E, Sandars DL. Determining the environmental burdens and resource use in the production of agricultural and horticultural commodities. Main Report. Defra Research Project IS0205. Bedford: Cranfield University and Defra; 2006.

Akilarasan S, Rajini AR, Meenakshi SS, Nibedita N, Ramamurthy N. System of rearing and its effect on fertility and hatchability of white breasted Pearl Guinea fowl. IJABR. 2017;7(1):47-5.

Bernacki Z, Kokoszynski D, Bawej M. Laying performance, egg quality and hatching results in two Guinea fowl genotypes. Journal of Arch. Geflugelk. 2013;77(2):109-115.

Annor SY, Apiiga SY, Ahiaba J. Guinea fowl production: A handbook. Qualitytype Limited, Accra; 2013.

Issaka BY, Yeboah RN. Socio-economic attributes of Guinea fowl production in two districts in Northern Ghana. African Journal of Agricultural Research. 2016;11(14): 1209-1217.

Moreki JC, Seabo D. Guinea fowl production in Botswana. Journal of World’s Poultry Research. 2012;2(1):1-4.

Gono RK, Svinurai W, Muzvondiwa JY. Constraints and opportunities to Guinea fowl production in Zimbabwe: A case study of the Midland Province, Zimbabwe. International Journal of science and Research. 2013;2(3):236-239.

Niekerk V. Egg quality published by consortium of low input breeds project. Newcastle Univ UK and Res Inst Org Agric Switzerland; 2014.

Larry TX. Extending laying period of Guinea hens: Guinea fowl forum; 2011.

Konlan SP, Avorny FK. The effect of wetland on Guinea fowl egg productivity and fertility during the dry season in the guinea ecological zone of Ghana. Sky Journal of Agricultural Research. 2013;2(9):126-131.

Odukwei CN, Onunkwu DN. Fertility and hatchability characteristics of two varieties of Guinea fowl fed commercial layers mash. Sci-Afric Journal of Scientific Issues, Research and Essays. 2016;4(5):951-953.

Khairun N, Das SC, Khatun A. Hatching and growth performance of guinea fowl under intensive management systems. Journal of Progressive Agriculture. 2016;27:70-77.

Saina H, Kusina NT, Kusina JF, Bhebbe E, Lebel S. Guyinea fowl Production by indigenous farmers in Zimbabwe. Journal of Livestock Research for Rural Development. 2005;17:9.

Avornyo FK, Karbo N, Munkiaila L Mbii P, Abubakar A, Cudjoe A. Towards reducing Guinea fowl mortality in Northern Ghana: Research and development experiences. Journal of Savanna Farmer, Acdep. 2007;8(2):3-3.

Meteorological Services Department (MSD). Annual Reports. Mampong Municipal Assembly, Mampong-Ashanti, Ashanti Region, Ghana. 2016;9-12.

Haugh RR. The Haugh unit for measuring egg quality. U. S. Egg Poultry Magazine. 1937;43:552-555,572-573.

Statistical Analysis System (SAS). User’s Guide. SAS/STAT® 9.2, Cary, NC:SAS Institute Inc; 2008.

Chukwu AO, Nwochukwu EO, Onu PN, Ahaotu, A. Performance of Guinea fowl on free range in the Ikedwu Local government area. International Journal of Library, Management and Social Sciences. 2013;1(1):1-4.

Ayorinde KL, Ayeni JSO. The reproductive performance of indigenous and exotic varieties of the guinea fowl during different seasons in Nigeria. Journal of Animal Production Research. 1986;6(2):127-140.

Fani AR, Lotfollan H, Ayazi A. Evaluation in economical traits of Iranian native Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). The Joint Agriculture and Natural Resource Symposium, Tabriz-ganja, Iran; 2004.

Konlan SP, Avornyo FK, Karbo N,Sulleyman A. Increasing Guinea eggs availability and hatchability in the dry season. Journal of World’s Poultry Research. 2011;1(1):1-3.

Eleroglu H, Yildrim A, Duman M, Okur N. Effect of eggshell colour on egg characteristics and hatchability of Guinea fowl eggs. Journal of Revista Baseleira de Ciencia Avicola. 2016;18:61-67.

Jacome IMTD, Rosi LA, Borille R. Influence of artificial light on the performance and egg quality of commercial layer: A review. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science. 2014;16(4):337-334.

Cavalchini LG, Cerolini S, Miriani R. Environmental influence on layinghen production. In: Sauver, B. (ed). L’avicultureen Mediterranée. Mantpellier: CIHEAM. 1990;153-172.

Hesham HM. Effect of different photoperiod on some maintenance behavior, external and internal egg quality traits of layers. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research. 2016;64(2):139– 142.

Kennedy AD, Bergen RD, Lawson TJ, Small JA, Veira DM. Effects of evening feeding and extended photoperiod on growth, feed efficiency, live animal carcass traits and plasma prolactin of beef heifers housed outdoors during two Manitoba winters. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 2004;84:491–500.

Mustapha MK, Okafor BU, Olaoti KS, Oyelakin OK. Effects of three different photoperiods on the growth and body coloration of juvenile African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell) – Arch. Pol. Fish. 2012;20:55-59.

King’Ori AM. Review of the factors that influence egg fertility and hatchability in poultry. International Journal of Poultry Science. 2011;10(6):483-492.

Oarad Z, Marder J, Soller M. Effect of gradual acclimatization to temperature up to 44°C on productive performance of the desert Bedouin fowl, the commercial white Leghorn and the two crossbreds. Br. Poult. Sci. 1981;22:511-520.

Rozenboim I, Tako E, Gal-Garber O, Proudman JA, Uni Z. The effect of heat stress on ovarian function of laying hens. Journal of Poultry Science. 2007;86:1760–176.

Sloan DR, Harms RH. The effects of temperature on feed consumption and egg Size in commercial layer houses. Poultry Sci. 1984;63:38.

Talukder S, Islam T, Sarker S, Islam MM. Effect of environment on layer performance. Journal of Bangledesh Agriculture University. 2010;8(2):253-25.

Ayo JO, Obidi JA, Rekwot PI. Seasonal variations in feed consumption, hen-day, mortality and culls of Bovans Black Chickens. Proceedings of 13th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Society of Animal Production. 2010;415-418.

Stevenson IR, Bryant DM. Avian phenology: Climate change and constraints on breeding. Journal of Nature. 2000;406:366-367.

McGee EA, Hsueh AJ. Initial and cyclic recruitment of ovarian follicles. Journal of Endocrine Reviews. 2000;21: 200-214.

Hillier SG. Gonadotropic control of ovarian follicular growth and development. Journal of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 2001;179:39-46.

Oktay K, Newton H, Mullan J, Gosden RG. Development of Human primodial follicle to antral stages in SCID/hpg mice stimulated with FSH. Journal of Human Reproduction. 1998;13:1122-1138.