Morphological characterization within and between populations of two Nigerian chicken ecotypes

  • Gambo, D.
  • Sabuwa, M. A.
  • Guluwa, L. Y.
  • Maichiki, W. P.
  • Baba, M. K.
  • Agbu, C. S.
Keywords: Ecotype, Fulani chicken, location, plumage colour, Tiv chicken


The study was undertaken to investigate morphological variations within and between selected populations of the Nigerian Tiv and Fulani chicken ecotypes. The experiment was carried out in ten randomly selected localities across three states comprising Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau. The locations (1-5) for the Tiv ecotype were Uikpan, Daudu, Kadarko, Yelwata and Cohor while that of Fulani ecotype were Lafia, Akurba, Adogi, Asakio and Namu. One hundred (100) birds per location and a total of one thousand birds (1000) birds (500 each for Tiv and Fulani ecotypes) were used for the experiment. Data were collected on morphological characteristics such as plumage colour, shank colour, beak colour, comb colour, comb type, eye colour, skin colour, eye colour and wattle colour by physical visualization. Data collected were analyzed using simple statistical tools such as percentages. The results indicate that plumage and shank colour were predominantly brown and yellow respectively in both ecotypes. Black beak was predominant in the Tiv ecotype while brown beak dominated in the Fulani ecotype. Single comb-type overwhelmingly dominated in both ecotypes across locations. The comb colour was 100 percent red in both ecotypes across locations. Yellow eye colour dominated in all locations and in both ecotypes. Similarly, red wattle colour followed by dark red dominated in both ecotypes across locations. From the findings of this research, it was concluded that the Tiv and Fulani local chicken ecotypes should each be subjected to selection for uniformity in morphological traits as a necessary step to breed definition.


Download data is not yet available.


Adebambo, O. A. (2005). Indigenous poultry breeds genetic improvement for meat and eggs. Proceedings of the 1st International Poultry Summit, Feb. 2025, Ota, Ogun State, pp: 18.
Crowford, R. D. (1990). Origin and History of poultry species (chapter 1). In: Poultry Breeding and Genetic (Editor: Crawford, R.D). Elservier, New York; Tokyo, 1123 PP.
Eriksson, J., Larson, G., Gunnarsson, U., Bed’hom, B. and Tixier-Boichard, M. (2008). Identification of the Yellow Skin Gene Reveals a Hybrid Origin of the Domestic Chicken. PLOS Genetics 4(2): e1000010.
FAOSTAT (2007). Food and Agricultural Organization statistical databases. CDROM.
Gambo, D., Momoh, O. M., Gwaza, D. S., Osaiyuwu, O. H. and Addas, P. A. (2020). Biochemicaldiversity and genetic distance within and between Tiv and Fulani Local chickens of Nigeria. IOSR journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science. 13(3) Pp 19-26
Gwaza, D. S., Dim, N. I. and Momoh, O. M. (2015). Morphology and genetic resources of Nigerian local chicken, 1st edition. Lap Lambert Academic Publishers, Deutschland, Germany.
Ikeobi, C. O. N., Ozoje, M. O., Adebambo, O. A. and Adenowo, J. A. (2001). Frequencies of Feet Feathering and Comb type genes in the Nigerian Local Chicken. Partanika Journal of Tropical Science, 24 (2): 147-150.
Lesson, A. and Walsh, T. (2004). Feathering in commercial poultry I. Feather growth and composition. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 60 (1): 42-51.
Mancha, Y. P. (2004). Characterization of Local Chickens in Northern part of the Jos Plateau. Ph.D. Thesis, Animal Prodcution Programme, School of Agriculture, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria.
Mbap, S. T. and Zakar, H. (2000). Characterization of local chickens in Yobe state, Nigeria. In: the role of agriculture in poverty alleviation. (Editors: Abubakar, M.M., Adegbola, T.N. and Butswa, I.S.R). Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria (ASN) October 15-19, 2000, Bauchi. PP 126-131.
Meyer, D. B. (1987). The avian eye. In: Avian Physiology (Editor: Sturkie, P., O.) 4th Edition springer verlag, New York.
Mukherjee, T. K. (1990). Breeding and selection programmes in developing countries. In: Poultry Breeding and Genetics (Editors: Crawford, R.D.) Elsevier, New York, U.S.A.
NiMET (2008). Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Lafia Nasarawa state.
Nwosu, C. C., Gowen, F. A., Obioha, F. C., Akpan, I. A. and Onuora, G. I. (1985). A biometrical study of the conformation of the native chicken. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production. 12 (1 &2) 141-146.
Obioha, E. C. (1992). A guide to poultry production in the tropics, Acena publishers, Enugu PP212. October 2006 at University of Nigeria Nsukka.
Odubote, I. K. (1994). Influence of qualitative traits on the performance of West African dwarf goat. Nigeria Journal of Animal Production. 21: 25-28.
Oluyemi, J. A. and Roberts F. A. (2000). Poultry production. Spectrum Books Ltd. Ibadan
Orheruata, M. A., Okpeku, M. and Imumorin, I. G. (2004). Phenotypic and Body linear characterization in native and some exotic chickens in Edo state. In: Sustaining livestock production under changing economic fortunes. Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Nigerian society for Animal Production, March 21-25, 2004, Sokoto 99 17-21.
Saidu, I. A. (2002). Characterization of Local Chickens in Bauchi: PGD Desertion, Animal Production Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Ballewa University Bauchi, Nigeria.
Smith, A. J. (2001). Poultry. Ed. Revised edition. Macmillan Education Limited. Smith, A. J. (Ed)PP 1- 63.
Ssewannyana, E., Onyait, A.O., Ogwal, J. Mukasa, B., Nsamba P. and Masab, T. (2001). Characteristics of Rural Chicken Production in Apal and Kumi Districts of Uganda. Paper presented at NARO Scientific Conference 12th March 2001, Kampala, Uganda. Pages 5-10
How to Cite
Gambo, D., Sabuwa, M. A., Guluwa, L. Y., Maichiki, W. P., Baba, M. K., & Agbu, C. S. (2020). Morphological characterization within and between populations of two Nigerian chicken ecotypes. Nigerian Journal of Animal Science and Technology (NJAST), 3(2), 75 - 84. Retrieved from