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Local Chicken Breeds and Varieties
Conservation of local breeds possessing genetic variations specific to the particular environment is essential for sustainable development. Although they exist as numerically small populations, local breeds are not only highly adapted to the natural environment, but are also an integral part of the lifestyle of the rural people. People, livestock and environment form a delicately balanced but sustainable ecosystem, and thus the potential impact of any intervention to improve production in the traditional system should be predetermined. The situation is less sensitive in periurban, industrial and small-scale intensive poultry production, in which rapid improvements can be achieved through well-designed development programmes. The intensive poultry production sector, however, is generally much smaller than the family poultry sector in virtually all developing countries. The present review evaluates twenty years (2001 to 2021) of the study of growth and performance in local chicken breeds worldwide. The assessment of methodological approaches and their constraints when intending to fit for data derived from often endangered autochthonous populations was performed. The evaluation of conditioning factors on the impact that publications reporting on research progresses in the field have on the scientific community and how such advances are valued suggests the need to seek new methodological alternatives or statistical strategies. Such strategies must meet the requirements of local populations which are characterized by reduced censuses, a lack of data structure, highly skewed sex ratios, and a large interbreed and variety variability. The sustainable conservation of these populations cannot be approached if scientific knowledge on their productive behaviour is not reinforced in a manner that allows distinctive products to be put on the market and be competitive.
2. Growth and Performance in Local Chicken Breeds and Varieties
This entry is adapted from 10.3390/ani11092492
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