Agricultural Science Digest

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Agricultural Science Digest, volume 42 issue 3 (june 2022) : 377-381

Physiological Characters and Alimentary Needs of Both Divergent Lines of the Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara, Bonnaterre, 1792) in Algeria

Farid Mezerdi1,*, Kamilia Farhi1
1Laboratory Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture in Arid Regions, Department of Agronomic Science, University of Biskra, Algeria.
Cite article:- Mezerdi Farid, Farhi Kamilia (2022). Physiological Characters and Alimentary Needs of Both Divergent Lines of the Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara, Bonnaterre, 1792) in Algeria . Agricultural Science Digest. 42(3): 377-381. doi: 10.18805/ag.D-367.
Background: The Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara) is a wild endemic species of North-Africa. The lack of information about this species, allows putting research focus in the hunting center of Zeralda, on the selection of a line for an improvement on the zootechnical characteristics of this population.

Methods: Over 13 weeks of follow-up, we have performed weekly measurements on 3 successive generations F12-F14 with daily measurements of food intake. We are interested at the fundamental level of the biological characterization of both divergent lines. The analysis of the effects of selection pressures on the growth to estimate the metabolizable energy of each line.

Result: During 273 days of study period, we noticed that the metabolizable energy has an average divergence between the fast line and the slow one with 0.328 Kcal/day since birth and an average divergence of 8.899 Kcal/day towards the 13th week in favour of the fast line. Significance noticed between males and females with a favour of the males which are more important. In addition to that, the values of weight-based consumption index imply higher indices for the slow line compared to the values of the fast line. Our results highlight the efficiency of the selection scheme. This progress will allow developing the restoration methods and/or the natural restocking populations on scientific bases.
The Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara, Bonnaterre, 1792) is one of the western palearctic birds, of the phasianidae family, order of galliformes (Geroudet, 1978; Cramps and Simmons, 1980; Heinzel et al., 1995). Its range presents a quite extensive distribution in north Africa, delimited by the Mediterranean from the north and the desert from south, including the canary islands and Sardinia (Heim de Balsacand Mayaud, 1962; Etchcopar and Hue, 1964; Geroudet, 1978; Ledant et al., 1981; Alaoui, 2001). It frequents the clear open locations and the steppes of the Saharan Atlas (Maghnouj, 1983; Farhi and Belhamra, 2012; Idouhar, 2012; Aourir et al., 2014; Mezerdi et al., 2017; Mezerdi et al., 2021). The physiological characters of the birth, Fotsa et al., (2001) found that there is no significant effect between both divergent lines of the local hen. The objective of the research is to study the selection effects of both divergent lines on the energetic of the Barbary partridge. That’s why our study is based on the weekly measurements during the breeding phase of 13 weeks and for the 3 successive generations F12-F14. Also, we are interested on the fundamental level of the physiological characterization of both divergent lines. The analysis of the pressures selection effects on the energetic and alimentary needs. In the same way, we will present successively the direct and indirect effects.
The birds origin is from a wild population of Beni-Slimane region (36 14'03.38LN and 319'26.20LE) in the province of Medea. Our research was studied in Zeralda Cynegetique Center where domiciled its first research program. The flight feathers of the partridge chicks of a first day of the fast line are more developed and longer than the feathers of the coverts of the wings, on the other wings as regards the slow line the flight feathers of the chicks were shorter and sometimes they did not appear in front of the wing cover feathers (Fig 1) (Mezerdi, 2011; Mezerdi et al., 2015; Mezerdi, 2015). After this selection of the chicks [fast line (fL) and slow line (sL)], we took N = 80 chicks (N1 = 40 fast and N2 = 40 slow) from the second series in 2012, N = 100 chicks (N1 = 50 fast and N2 = 50 slow) from the second series in 2013 and the same number of chicks from the fourth series in 2014. To monitor energy and foodneeds, wereared the lines separately. We performed 2,982 weight measurements on the birds of bothlines (N=213), over three successive generations F12-F13 and F14, during three years 2012-2013 and 2014.

Fig 1: The feather form of the fast line fL (A) and the slow line sL (B).

Analysis of the results
After the weekly weight measurements, the calculation of metabolizable energy was based on the equation from Nott and Taylor (1993), whichis as follows:
EM (Kcl / day) = 97.88 × (weight (kg)0.723
The statistical processing of metabolizable energy takes into account the genetic effects (lineage). This was followed by comparisons of average, withusing the Fischer PLSD Post-test with a probability (α= 5%).
The genetic effect on the variability of metabolizable energy during the years of: 2012, 2013 and 2014
The genetic effect on the variability of metabolizable energy, are strongly significant during the whole period of 13 weeks of follow-up in 2012, 2013 and 2014 (Table 1). For example, the genetic effect the average gap between the fast line and the slow one (sL-fL = -0.328 Kcal/day) since the birth age (Anova test; F=362.324; P= < 0.0001) and an average gap of (sL-fL = -8.899 Kcal/day) until the 13th week (Anova test; F= 4042.617; P= <0.0001) in favour of the fast line. It is also noted that the metabolizable energy exhibits a variation of the environment which is expressed in the various weeks of follow-up. For example, the generation effect on the variability of metabolizable energy is significant at birth between 2012-2014 with an average difference (-0.071) (Anova test; P = 0.0009). During the 2nd week, the generation effect appears between 2012-2013 with an average difference of (-0.200) (Anova test; P = 0.0115) and between 2012-2014 with an average difference of (-0.243) (Anova test; P = 0.0020). From the 9th week, the generation effect is significant between 2012-2013 and between 2012-2014 until the 13th week, with an average difference of (-0.901) (Anova test; P=<0.0001) between 2012-2013 and an average deviation of (-1.149) (Anova test; P= <0.0001). This generation effect corresponds to the effect of the environment between years.

Table 1: Interline comparison for the energetic needs variability during the years of 2012, 2013 and 2014.


Fig 2: Characteristic variability of the metabolizable energy between the fast (F) and slow (S) line during the first 13 weeks of age in 2012.

We take for example the year 2012, in the interval of 91 days of follow-up, the analysis of variances presents an important multiplicity 12 times (51.297 Kcal/day/4.059 Kcal/day = 12.63) for first day to 91 days of metabolizable energy of both lines of our chicks’ sample. The average of the metabolizable energy of the fast line was evolved from 4.059±0.044 Kcal/day to 51.297±0.933Kcal/day, either a daily average evolution of 0.52 Kcal/day [(51.297 Kcal/day-4.059 Kcal/day)/91 days = 0.52 Kcal/day] and for the slow line 3.537±0.123 Kcal/day to 42.391±1.235 Kcal/day, either a daily average evolution of 0.42 Kcal/day [(42.391 Kcal/day -3.537Kcal/day)/91 days = 0.42 Kcal/day] (Fig 2). The minimum value of the metabolizable energy for the fast line at birth was 3.999 Kcal/day and it achieves a maximum value of 53.915 Kcal/day during the 13th week, with a variation coefficient between 2.9 and 18.1 per cent.
The same case during 2013 and 2014, the interval of 91 days of follow-up, the variance analysis presents an evolution of the metabolizable energy of 12 times for both lines of our sample of chicks. The average of the metabolizable energy for the fast line during 2013 went from 4.073±0.095 Kcal/day to 51.923±0.573 Kcal/day, either a daily average evolution of 0.52Kcal/day and the slow one of 3.606±0.227 Kcal/day to 42.749±1.216 Kcal/day, either a daily average evolution of 0.43 Kcal/day. Also during 2014, the average of the metabolizable energy for the fast line went from 4.109±0.066 Kca/day to 51.847±0.568 Kca/day, either an average daily evolution of 0.52 Kcal/day and for the females from 3.619±0.244 Kcal/day to 43.375±1.169 Kcal/day, an average daily evolution of 0.43Kcal/day.
The active line’s animals we characterised by a low reactivity to a new stimulation (Faure, 1975) and they are not very emotional and not very aggressive (Faure, 1982). The first days of follow-up during 3 years, we have noticed that, all chicks are more associated with each other, which is shown with the experience of El-Abbassi et al., (2007). From the first days to 91 days of follow-up, purely significant differences are raised between the fast line of kk genotype and the slow line with the Kk and KK genotype, always in favour of the fast line. In our experience, the breeding conditions and the protein intake which wasensured by a supply ad libutum. Pardosudov, (2009) considers that the food availability has direct consequences over the weight increase. The controlled intra-specific comparisons of partridges show that the fast line has a significantly fast growth. Also for the energetic needs, we have noted that the metabolizable energy has an average difference between the fast and the slow line of (sL- fL= -0.328Kca/day) since the birth age (Anova test; F=362.324; P=<0.0001) and a medium difference of ( sL-fL = -8.899Kca/day) towards the 13th week (Anova test; F=4042.617; P=<0.0001) in favour of the fast line. Following our experience, during 273 days of follow-up, we had clearly confirmed that the intra-lines comparisons of the genetic effect constantly emphasize that the fast ones were larger than the slow ones. A well selected crossing might ameliorate the growth speed (Coinaud, 1996). A 10 weeks’ age study, on a local chicken population (Galus gallus) in Cameron by Fotsa et al., 2001. Found that there is no gene K significant effect on the growth. Also, the fast line’s weight is less than that of the slow line (Lowe and Merkley, 1986; Fotsa et al., 2009 and Mincheva et al., 2012). On the other hand, the obtained results of our Barbary partridge during 3 years prove to be similar to those of (Mezerdi, 2011). Concerning the physiological characteristics, we demonstrated that the age of chicks and their genotype influence on the energetic needs of birds, which was confirmed by Hassan and Delpech (1986) on chickens and Monika et al., (2020) on Japanese quail. In addition, the food consumption depends on the optimal energetic level of aliment of partridges after 8 weeks of breeding (Özek, 2004) and depends on the environment in nature (Didillon, 1988) and broiler diets significantly improved their performance (Rokade et al., 2018). The ecosystem is being rapidly destroyed due to habitat loss, in addition to many other factors, all of which directly and indirectly affect wildlife (Lokman Aslan et al., 2018) for that we must know and studied the physiological and behaviorism of our animals.
During our experience, we highlighted, for the energetic needs, significant medium differences, in favour of the fast line. The environmental factor played an important role on the studied characteristic. It was expressed in the different weeks of follow-up. So the results highlighted the value of the selection’s representation, the physiological and behaviour requirements of this group of birds had been optimized. This amelioration on the scientific basis of our bird, allowed us to use well studied methods to restore and preserve this bird.

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