Inbreeding effects on production traits in pigeons

P. Horn, I. Meleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of inbreeding were measured on hatchability and related traits, on viability and growth of squabs until weaning, in two genetically different pigeon populations. In both experiments the performance of randombred and that of inbred (F = 25%) populations descending from full-sib matings were compared. In one experiment 105 to 105 auto-sexing utility breeding pairs, in the other trial 60 to 60 racing homer pairs produced the inbred and randombred breeding populations. All pigeons were kept in the same environmentally controlled house, and were managed and fed identically. All breeding pairs were maintained in special cages, housing one breeding pair each. All production data were collected for a 12 month production period. Inbreeding reduced all traits measured, most of them significantly (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001). The mean inbreeding depression expressed as a percentage in proportion related to the performance of the outbred population for the traits studied for the auto-sexing utility and the racing homer populations respectively were: hatchability 72.5% and 65.7%, survival rate of squabs till weaning 81.0% and 93.7%, body weight of squabs till weaning: 86.6% and 98.0%. The difference between inbred and outbred populations in traits influencing hatchability for auto-sexing utility and racing homer populations respectively were: infertile eggs %: 3.57 and 3.82, early embryonic mortality %: 7.55 and 4.21, embryo mortality between the 7-14th day of incubation%: 2.42 and 3.36, late embryonic mortality %: 2.79 and 6.02. The magnitude of inbreeding depression showed similarities in both genetically different pigeon populations regarding hatchability. The racing homer population showed less inbreeding depression in survival rate of squabs, and growth of squabs till weaning age compared to the auto-sexing utility meat type population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
JournalArchiv fur Geflugelkunde
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000



  • Body weight
  • Embryonic mortality
  • Hatchability
  • Homing pigeon
  • Inbreeding
  • Meat-type pigeon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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