Effects of the Interactions of Genetics and nutrition in poultry production
The performance capabilities of Laying hen and broiler chicken and their phenotypic manifestations in commercial and backyard situations is determined by the effects of both genetic and environmental factors. In poultry production, more so than other livestock systems, nutritional progress is intimately linked with genetic developments – correct nutrition gives opportunity for full expression of the genetic potential, and thus complementing genetic selection. The majority of nutritionists confirms the fact that different types of poultry have different nutrient requirements. Diet specifications for boilers and laying hens are purposely separated. Avian species have similar requirements for the essential nutrients, although birds have changed genetically with time, their digestive anatomy and physiological function has remained the same. It is obvious that for layers and broilers there must, of compulsion, be a different selection emphasis in terms of commercially important traits. There is therefore a genetic variance linked to the need for nutrients, this creates an interesting opportunity for selecting birds that can survive and perform well even on lower planes of nutrition, particularly in the context of this part of the world where feed resources are scarce. In order for a farmer to get the optimum genetic potential of birds, it is vital that serious consideration is given to nutrition and good general management of the birds, particularly hygiene and disease minimization. Breeding goals globally are now indivisibly connected to safe food production, and represents an important aspect of the multidisciplinary approach to poultry production. Genetic potential cannot be viewed in separation, but linked to nutrition. The theory of feed intake and growth proposed by Emmans (1989) was based on the premise that birds attempt to grow to meet their genetic potential, which would imply that they would attempt to eat as much of a given feed as necessary to support such growth rates. There has been a tremendous change over several years such that, present-day commercial poultry breeds and strains are more efficient in utilizing nutrients, and with regards to the current commercially prepared feeds being better formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of modern-day genotypes. In terms of the future direction of genetics linked to nutrition, costs of feed will remain a factor in the economics of production, and therefore the optimization of feed utilization by birds will remain a priority to geneticists in making economic decisions (Hoste, 2007). Dawson (2006) has also reported on the future benefit of nutrigenomics, studies which will enable a better understanding of the interaction between genes and nutrition at the molecular level, to evaluate the effects of nutrition on fertility. By way of contrast, in developing countries like Ghana genetic and breeding upgrading in local bird populations continues in a modest and more conventional way. Development initiatives in the past have emphasized genetic improvement, normally through the introduction of exotic genes, arguing that improved feed (nutrition) would have no effect on indigenous birds of low genetic potential. There is a growing awareness of the need to balance the rate of genetic improvement with improvement in feed availability, health care and general management. There is also an increased recognition of the potential of indigenous (Local) breeds and their role in converting locally available feed resources into sustainable production.
Animal Nutrition And Health Products