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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.
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