A study was conducted to determine and compare the weights and lengths of the gastrointestinal organs and pH values in the digestive tracts of Ross 308 broiler and indigenous Venda chickens. A complete randomized design with two treatments (Ross 308 broiler and indigenous Venda chickens) having five replicates was used in this study. Chickens used in this study were aged 1 to 70 days. Weights, lengths and pH values of different segments of the gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were measured. There were differences (p<0.05) between breeds in live weight, crop, gizzard and large intestine weights. However, proventriculus, small intestine and caecum weights were not influenced (p>0.05) by the breed differences. The gastrointestinal tracts of broiler chickens were longer (p<0.05) than those of indigenous Venda chickens. Proventriculus, large intestine and caecum pH values were not affected by breed differences. However, crop, gizzard and small intestine pH values for indigenous Venda chickens were lower (p>0.05) than those for broiler chickens. It is concluded that differences exist in the body weight, GIT and pH values between the indigenous Venda and broiler chickens. The lower pH values and the larger crops and gizzards observed in the indigenous chickens might be the reasons why this breed has the ability to digest fibrous feed better than the broiler chickens. Broiler chickens have lengthy digestive tracts than indigenous Venda chickens, which indicate a higher surface area for nutrient digestion and absorption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology