Sexing in guinea fowls (Numida meleagris)

Abdul-Rahman, I. I., Awumbila, B., Jeffcoate, I. A., Robinson, J. E. and Obese, F. Y. (2015) Sexing in guinea fowls (Numida meleagris). Poultry Science, 94(2), pp. 311-318. (doi: 10.3382/ps/peu067) (PMID:25595479)

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Despite the potentials and contributions of guinea fowls to economic and social life in Ghana, accurate sex identification in these birds is still a major problem. Three hundred and sixty guinea fowls (180 birds per sex) were used in determining a more accurate and farmer friendly sexing technique. The sexing methods explored were vent, biometric, and molecular techniques. Vent sexing was accomplished by measuring phalli in 28 and 32-week-old birds, while biometric sexing involved the measurement of morphometric traits and data analyzed using discriminant function analysis. Molecular sexing was carried out by DNA extraction and subsequent PCR using the 2550F/2718R primer set. Females had a wider (P < 0.05) pelvic inlet than male birds from first week of age until the end of the study, while the opposite was true for wattle length. However, wattle length differed (P < 0.05) between both sexes after 4 weeks of age. Combining the biometric variables in a discriminant function, males could be distinguished from females with an accuracy of 94%. During molecular sexing, the P2/P8 primer set was not effective in sexing guinea fowls because it amplified a single band in both sexes and in the same manner. The sex of guinea fowls was properly determined using the primer set 2550F/2718R. Females produced 2 bands of 396 bp and 344 bp, while males only produced the larger band. Phallus size in the 2 sexes were distinguishable from 8 weeks of age, with males having longer and thicker (P < 0.05) phalli than their female counterparts. Combining the 2 variables in a discriminate function, males and females could be distinguished with 98.3% accuracy. While the molecular method remains the most accurate sexing technique, the biometric method emerged as the most farmer friendly approach to sexing guinea fowls.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Dr Jane and Jeffcoate, Dr Ian
Authors: Abdul-Rahman, I. I., Awumbila, B., Jeffcoate, I. A., Robinson, J. E., and Obese, F. Y.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Poultry Science
Publisher:Poultry Science Association
ISSN (Online):1525-3171

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