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Comb: An important reliable visual ornamental trait for selection in chickens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2012

Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, PMAS, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Poultry Research Institute, Shamsabad, Murree Road, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
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Many cues for selection exist in poultry breeding, giving important insights into the future selection of elite progeny. Among these cues, the comb is an important reliable parameter for selection within variety or breed. The development of the comb is associated with hormone levels in the body which affect both productive and reproductive parameters. Comb affects the mating behaviour of birds and may be used as an indicator for selection by examining its impact on performance. Strong selection for increased comb size has been shown not to affect male mortality but is linked to increased female mortality. The production traits of layers have a positive correlation with comb size. The following paper provides a review of the comb as an important ornamental trait, including its morphology, development, use as a selection tool and the effect of comb size on productive and reproductive traits.

Copyright © World's Poultry Science Association 2012

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