VATHANA SANN1, LOAN CHHUM PHITH2
1Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute for Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Germany
2Royal University of Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Cambodia
Animal genetic diversity may be carrying unidentified genes which could be critical for increasing production or special adaptation. In spite of their numbers and potential, chicken are rarely recognised primary consideration in economic activities. In Cambodia, even the increase of chicken population is found, its share in total meat consumption is reduced from 29% to 13% whereas per capita ownership were dropped from 1.8 to 0.8 in last two decade. This paper is to describe the appearance performance of some chicken breed candidates in Cambodia and attract the need for further investigation. To identify the characteristic of indigenous chicken breed, 150 householders were sampled from various areas. Seven candidate of breeds were recorded. Moanprey (Red jungle fowl), represented 2% of total indigenous chicken, can be distinguished from Sampov (Local bantam), which accounted for 55% of sample, by the largish white rump patch of the male and slate-grey legs of both sexes and relatively small in mature size. Kandong (Slow feather), Skoeuy (Bicolour), Kragnas (Frizzle), Samley (Dwarf) represented 10%, 7%, 5% and 5% respectively in total sample and are the candidate for further investigation in heat stress tolerance, disease resistance and meat quality. Moanchol (Fighting cock), about 16%, has a very high statue in the hobbies of society. Mature body size range from 3-3.5kg of Sampov, similarly to Moanprey, Kandong, Skoeuy, Kragnas and Moanchol to 0.5-0.8kg of Samley. Egg laying are 5-15 egg with mounting period of 1-3 week. The share of specialised broiler and layer breed is increased from 1% to 15% of total chicken population in last two decade. The most rational and sustainable way to conserve chicken genetic resources is to ensure that indigenous breeds remain functional parts of production systems, conservation through use. This is possible only if economically important attributes of indigenous breeds are identified, studied and incorporated in breed improvement programmes. Identification of unique attributes should also increase interest in these genetic resources.
Keywords: Genetic diversity, indigenous chicken, promising economic breed