Research Article Open Access
A Comparative Study of Productive Performance and Immune Responses for Some Developed Egyptian Chicken Strains
Abuoghaba AA1*, Ezzat W2, Rizk AM2, Qurtam AA3 and El-Sayed OA2
1Poultry Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Sohag University, Sohag, 82524, Egypt
2Poultry Breeding Res. Dep., Animal Prod. Res. Inst, Agric. Res. Center, Ministry of Agric. Giza, Egypt
3Biology Departments, College of Science, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh 11623, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding author: Ahmed Abdel-Kareem Abuoghaba, Poultry Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Sohag University, Sohag, 82524, Egypt, Email: @
Received: 02 May, 2019; Accepted: 22 May, 2019; Published: 7 June, 2019
Citation: Abuoghaba AA, Ezzat W, Rizk AM, El-Sayed OA, Qurtam AA, (2019) A Comparative Study of Productive Performance and Immune Responses for Some Developed Egyptian Chicken Strains. SOJ Vet Sci 5(1): 1-7. DOI: 10.15226/2381-2907/5/1/00167
This experiment aimed to compare and evaluate the productive performance and immunological responses of some developed Egyptian chicken strains. Eight hundred- of Matrouh, Silver Montazah, Mandarah and Inshas, one day old, unsexed-chicks, from hatch up to 12th week of age were equally divided into four groups, 200 chick strain per each. The obtained findings indicated that Inshas chicks had significantly (P ≤ 0.01) the highest live body weight (at hatch, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of age) and body weight gain from 0-4, 4-8 and 0-12 weeks of age as compared with Mandarah strain. There were no significant strain differences in feed intake and feed conversion allover experimental period. Mandarah chickens showed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) higher antibody titer against Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) H5N1 vaccine, both primary and secondary antibody titers against Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC’s) compared with Inshas strain. From these findings, could be concluded that Mandarah chicks have the highest immune responses, while the other developed chickens showed better growth performance.

Keywords: Chicken Strains; Productive Performance; Immune Responses;
Local chicken breeds contain genetic system with high level of heterozygosity which may provide the chance for proper genetic selection with enhanced adaptability and productivity [1]. A cross reproducing was made between White Leghorn × Dokki-4 to give Matrouh strain, while Silver Montazah was created from a crossing between Rhode Island × Dokki-4. Mandarah strain was produced from a crossing between Alexandria × Dokki-4, while Inshas strain was created by crossing between Sinai and White Plymouth Rock breeds. Enhancing poultry modern have made many quick strides extraordinarily most recent 50 years. Although there are many questions needed to be research, the most interest one is the relationship between poultry immune tolerance and its performance and production [2]. The occurrence of disease is minimized by the use of chicken strains with established disease resistance and suitable control of the immune system by vaccination [3]. However, few researches reported the negative connection between both high growth rate and disease protection [4].

Many researchers found a negative correlation between immune response and body mass increments [5]. In another study comparing the high and low lines of white leghorn selected to respond to antibodies against SRBC, this study showed that low antibody selection had higher hen\day egg production than those from high antibody selection lines [3]. The rise in immune response is known to be very stressful, so the cost of immunity is produced by converting energy away from reproductive and / or physical functions [6]. The broiler chickens were predominant in body weight and feed conversion ratio as compared to native chickens. On the other hand, the superiority in immunological abilities such as phagocytes movement and Heterophil/ Lymphocyte ratio as a stress measure were obtained by Libyan native chicken [7]. The Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC’s) were a complex, multi-determinant natural antigen provoking a T-B cell dependent antibody response [8].
Therefore the present work was carried out to characterize and compare some productive, physiological and immunological traits of some developed Egyptian chickens.
Materials and Methods
Ethical Approval
Chicks were used in this experiment has been approved by Inshas Poultry Research Station, Animal Production Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt, from February to April, 2017.
Experimental Design
Eight hundred-one day old of mixed sexes local Egyptian chicken strains (Matrouh, Silver Montazah, Mandarah, and Inshas) during the growing period were equally divided into four groups (200 chicks each) in a completely randomized design. All chicks in each group was housed in the floor pens under the same environmental conditions, they divided into four replicates, 50 chicks each.

At day 1 of age, all birds were wing-banded and daily exposed to 24 lighting hours’ during the initial two days of age, 16 hours’ light at 3-6 days of age and steady 14-hour light from 2 to 12 weeks of age.

The basal experimental diet was formulated according to composition tables for Animal And Poultry Feedstuffs used in Egypt to meet the nutrition requirements of chickens during the experimental period (from one-day old to 12 weeks of age) as shown in table 1 [9]. Birds were kept under similar management and hygienic conditions. Birds were examined against diseases and treated with antibiotics and vaccines to keep them healthy table 2.
Table 1: Ingredient and chemical composition of the basal diets


Starter diet (%) (0-8 weeks)

Grower diet (%) (8-12 weeks)

Yellow corn



Soya bean 44%



Wheat bran



Corn gluten 60%



Dicalcium phosphate









*Vitamin & mineral premix



L Methionine






Calculated analysis:

Crude protein (%)



Metabolizable energy (M.E./kg)



Ether extract



Crude fiber (%)






Av. Phosphorous









*Premix added to the 1 kg of diet including Vit. A 10000 I.U; vit. D3 2000 I.U; Vit. E 15 mg; Vit. K3 1 mg; vit B1 1mg; vit. B2 5 mg; Vit. B12 10 μg; Vit B6 1.5mg; Niacin 30mg; Pantothenic acid 10mg; Folic acid 1mg; Biotin 50 μg; Choline 300 mg; Zinc 50mg; Copper 4mg; Iodine 0.3 mg; Iron 30mg; Selenium 0.1mg; Manganese 60mg; Cobalt 0.1mg and carrier CaCo3 up to 1kg.
** Calculated analysis according to Feed Composition Tables for animal and poultry feedstuffs used in Egypt (2001).
Table 2: Vaccination program of chicks

Age (days)

Type of vaccine

Route of vaccination



K, Subcutaneous injection



L, Spray



K, Subcutaneous


AIV (H9N2)

K, Subcutaneous injection


Gumboro (d78)

L, Drinking water


AIV (H5N1)

K, Subcutaneous injection



L, Drinking water



L, Spray



L, Drinking water


MA5 + CLONE 30

L, Drinking water


AIV (H5N1)

K, Subcutaneous injection


Avian Encephalomyelitis




L, Drinking water



L, Eye drop


MA5 + CLONE 30

L, Drinking water

Studied Traits
Productive Performance
All chicks were weighed on individual basis at day 1 posthatch, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of age. Body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion ratio were recorded every four week intervals up to 12 weeks of age. Feed conversion was calculated as g feed/g gain, as well as the mortality rate was calculated.
Immune Responses Evaluation
Humoral Antibody Titers against NDV and AIV virus
All chicks were vaccinated against Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) at 7, 18, 28 and 70 days of age. While they were injected to vaccinate against Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) of the subtype (H5N1) at 12 and 37 days of age. At 84 days of age, blood samples (1 ml/bird) were drawn from wing vein at random from 20 birds from each strain. Non-heparinized tubes were used to collected blood samples, then they centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 15 minutes. Blood serum was separated and stored at -20°C until analyses were carried out. Serum antibody titer against NDV was determined using Log2 of the hemagglutination inhibition test [10]. Moreover, antibody titers against avian influenza virus by haemagglutination inhibition assays were done [11]. The type of antigens used to test HI against NDV and AI of the H5N1 subtype was purchased from Egy. Flow company. All vaccines were purchased from the Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt.
Evaluation of Primary and Secondary Humeral Immune Response against SRBCs
Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC’s) are used as T-dependent antigens to quantify the primary and secondary humeral antibody titer. With regard to primary antibody titer (1ry Ab) 40 birds from each strain were injected intramuscularly with 0.5 ml of 10% SRBC’s suspension at 4 weeks of age. Then the blood samples were collected twice at 7 and 14 days post-injection. Regarding secondary antibody titer (2ry Ab), booster injection of SRBC’s suspension was induced using the same 40 birds/strain. Similarly the blood samples were drawn at 7 and 14 days postbooster injection. Approximately 2 ml of blood sample was drawn from the wing vein of each bird to be placed in non-heparinized tubes and allowed to clot. Then the samples were centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 15 minutes to separate serum. Antibodies against SRBC’s were measured by the micro hemagglutination test [12]. Titers were expressed as the log2 of the reciprocal of the highest dilution giving complete agglutination.
Statistical Analysis
Data were statistically analyzed using the least square analysis of variance according to Snedecor and Chochran [13] using the General Linear Model Procedure (SAS) [14] at the 5% level of significance as the following model:

Yij = μ + Ni + eij

Where: Yij = any observation, μ = Overall mean, Ni = Effect of strains (i = 1….4), eij = Experimental random error.

All percentages, data were transferred to percentage angle using arcsine equation before subject to statistical analysis. Mortality rate was analyzed using the chi-square test to access the significance between different strains using SAS [14]. Significant differences among means were tested using Duncan Multiple New Range Test (Duncan) [15].
Results and Discussion
Productive Performance
Body weight, body weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion from hatch up to 12 weeks of age were summarized in table 3.

a,b,cMeans having different letters in the same row differ significantly. ** = (P < 0.01), NS= No significant
Table 3: Productive performance of some developed Egyptian chicken strains from hatch up to 12 weeks of age



Silver Montazah




Body weight (g)

At hatched

29.35 ± 0.11b

28.67 ± 0.09c

28.27 ± 0.04c

30.40 ± 0.05a


4 weeks

217.07 ± 2.82b

210.18 ± 3.05bc

205.46 ± 2.62c

232.79 ± 2.89a


8 weeks

527.56 ± 6.36b

537.31 ± 5.42b

504.28 ± 4.15c

563.30 ± 5.86a


12 weeks

832.32 ± 5.67a

829.52 ± 8.03a

780.06 ± 7.14b

843.16 ± 5.67a


Body weight gain (g)

0-4 weeks

187.72 ± 2.81b

181.51 ± 3.07bc

177.19 ± 2.62c

202.39 ± 2.9a


4-8 weeks

310.49 ± 6.49b

327.13 ± 6.19a

298.82 ± 5.12b

330.51 ± 6.03a


8-12 weeks

304.76 ± 8.06a

292.20 ± 9.47ab

275.78 ± 7.69bc

279.85 ± 7.80c


0-12 weeks

802.97 ± 5.67a

800.84 ± 8.03a

751.79 ± 7.14b

812.75 ± 5.67a


Feed intake (g)

0-4 weeks

432.48a ± 11.88

430.39a ± 11.65

419.61a ± 13.83

455.58a ± 13.57


4-8 weeks

1003.16a ± 22.22

992.58a ± 24.37

975.37a ± 18.84

1040.06a ± 22.42


8-12 weeks

1502.70a ± 38.79

1474.91a ± 25.14

1516.93a ± 36.52

1485.43a ± 27.78


0-12 weeks

2898.33a ± 21.95

2857.87a ± 55.52

2911.89a ± 67.12

2981.06a ± 26.05


Feed conversion (g feed/ g meat)


0-4 weeks

2.31a ± 0.06

2.38a ± 0.07

2.38a ± 0.15

2.26a ± 0.08


4-8 weeks

3.24a ± 0.07

3.04a ± 0.08

3.27a ± 0.03

3.15a ± 0.09


8-12 weeks

4.94a ± 0.14

5.06a ± 0.16

5.51a ± 0.17

5.31a ± 0.09


0-12 weeks

3.66a ± 0.04

3.62a ± 0.10

3.88a ± 0.10

3.67a ± 0.05


The obtained results showed that highest (P ≤ 0.01) live body weight (at hatch, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of age) were recorded for Inshas, Matrouh, Silver Montazah chickens, while the lowest values were recorded in Mandarah chicken strains. The increase in body weight may be due to differences between different breeds, which reflect the differences between chicks, especially when hatching, where the results show that the superiority of Inshas, Matrouh, Silver Montazah chicks when hatching compared to Mandarah. Referring to body weight gain allover experimental period (0- 12), the results illustrated that highest body weight gain were recorded in Inshas chickens, While the lowest one was recorded in Matrouh chicken strains in table 3. This could be attributed to genetic effect, which reflects the differences among different chicken strains. These findings agreed with [16], who found no significant differences in body weight for Golden Montazah and Matrouh chickens at 12 weeks of age. Also, the findings of [17] showed no significant differences between Matrouh and Golden- Montazah chickens at different ages.

However, there were no significant strain differences in feed intake and feed conversion thorough experimental period. Similar results showed no significant strain differences between Silver Montazah and Matruoh in feed conversion during all studied periods except, within the period from 8 -12 weeks of age [18]. It is well established the negative relationship between the powerful immunity of chicken and their feed intake as well as their growth rates [2]. Since the avian’s immune system mild stimulation like those associated with vaccination can change greatly nutrient dynamics causing reduced feed intake and development [6]. Immune defenses are energetically expensive by multiple mechanisms. However, the most important one is protein turnover that is used to resist pathogen through lymphocyte proliferation, antibody production and cytokine release, in addition to repair of damaged cells and tissues. The accelerated protein catabolism leads to protein malnutrition and wasting of body tissue with subsequent loss of body weight [18,19].

All the previous maneuvers could confirm our results concerning superiority of Mandarah strain regarding immune response and trade off their productive performance. On the contrary, Inshas strain expressed superior Feed Intake (FI) and Body Weight Gain (BWG) with inferior immune responses. Similarly, the selection of chicken’s strains having high body weight exhausted the energy needed for many vital traits including immune response [20].

The mortality rate of the testing strains along for the whole time of the experiment is expressed in figure 1. Mandarah strain showed the lowest (P ≤ 0.05) mortality rate followed by Matrouh and Silver Montazah. Inshas strain had the highest (P ≤ 0.05) mortality rate. These results may be attributed to the genetic make-up of Mandarah that demonstrated the superiority of both humoral and cell-mediated acquired immune responses. In this context, Egyptian Fayoumi breeds possess strong innate immune barriers that interfere with the entry of pathogens to target cells and proliferation within them and hence reducing occurrence of infection [21].
Figure 1:Mortality rate for chick’s allover experimental period (12 weeks)
Humoral Immune Response
Primary and Secondary Antibody Titers against SRBC’s
Figures 2 and 3 revealed the primary and secondary antibody titer against Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC’s). The results showed that both primary and secondary antibody titers against SRBC’s were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in Mandarah strain, while Inshas strain recorded the lower (P ≤ 0.05) value. The best showed humoral immune response against SRBC’s of Mandarah strain was attributed to its pedigree that results from crossing between Dokki-4 and Alexandria. The grandparents of both Dokki-4 and Alexandria originate from El-Fayoumi strain. As known, the disease resistance and immune responses in chicken were controlled by the genetic effect [3], therefore, both of primary and secondary responses against SRBC’s are regulated by the quantitative of the genetic [8]. Moreover, it is well established that Fayoumi breed shows the best immunological response among local native chickens, which has superiority in antibody production, due to better handling of antigen by macrophages [22] and high activity of lymphocytes [4]. Additionally, the results of [22] reported that Fayoumi chickens recorded the highest primary and secondary immune responses against SRBC’s. On the contrary the worst antibody titers of Inshas strain are realistic, as Inshas is produced by crossing between Sinai strain and White Plymouth Rock breeds that are foreign strains having a genetically low immune response.
Figure 2:Primary antibody titers against Sheep Red Blood Cells (SRBC’s) at different days post immunization*
Figure 3:Secondary antibody titers against sheep red blood cells (SRBC’s) at different days post immunization*
Antibody Titers against NDV and AIV
Antibody titers against NDV and AIV are presented in figure 4. The obtained results indicated that highest level (P ≤ 0.05) of antibody titers was estimated in Mandarah chicken strain, while the lowest (P ≤ 0.05) value was recorded in Inshas chicken strain. Also, Matrouh and Silver Montazah chicken strains were significantly less than Mandarah with NDV values, while they were significantly similar to Mandarah concerning AIV. The highest value could be attributed to improved immune responses of chickens. The selection for enhanced humoral immune response to SRBC’s resulted in better response to antigenic components of several vaccines that are currently important in poultry husbandry [23]. These vaccines included NDV, Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) and Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV). This could explained the superiority of Mandarah strain against NDV and AIV. It is worthy to mention that Fayoumi strain is involved in both sides of grandparents of Mandarah. The challenged four native Egyptian breeds (Gimmizah, Sina, Dandrawi and Mandarah) with very virulent IBV and virulent NDV, found that Mandarah chickens recorded higher genetic resistance to both viral infections, which indicated that the genetic constitution of Fayoumi strain provided better resistance against challenge with La-Sota NDV strain at 21 days of age than that of White Leghorn chickens [24].
Figure 4:Antibody titers (log2) against Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) and Avian Influenza Virus (AIV)
The obtained results concluded that Mandarah chicks have the highest immune responses, which can be used for immune selection, while Inshas chicks can be selection for best strain in the production performance. Finally, it may be recommended to crossing between Mandarah and Inshas strains to produce new strain having both high immune response and great growth performance.
The authors would like to thank Animal Production Research Institute, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt.
Competing Interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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