Long live the long-limbed African chicken

phys.org | 11/3/2016 | Staff
moni (Posted by) Level 3
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Pick your chicken wisely. The choice could make or break your marriage.

For generations, household farmers in the Horn of Africa have selectively chosen chickens with certain traits that make them more appealing. Some choices are driven by the farmers' traditional courtship rituals; others are guided by more mundane concerns, such as taste and disease resistance.

Result - Development - African - Chicken—one - Legs

The result is the development of a genetically distinct African chicken—one with longer, meatier legs, according to new Washington University in St. Louis research published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. But that 3,000-year-old local breed type is threatened by the introduction of commercial cluckers.

This study contains the first metrical baselines of chickens with known history in the region, and it reveals much about the history of the selection process and African poultry development, said Helina S. Woldekiros, assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.

Work - Collaboration - Researchers - Universities - Exeter

For this new work conducted in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Exeter, Leicester, Nottingham, Oxford and Roehampton in England, Woldekiros returned to a community in northern Ethiopia near where she previously discovered some of the oldest known physical evidence for the introduction of domesticated chickens to the continent of Africa.

"I'm a bone person, so I'm mostly interested in how much change there was between the archaeological chickens and the modern ones," Woldekiros said. She already had measurements from the ancient chickens in her original find. So she approached 20 families in the small village of Mesert to ask if she could survey their chickens before a Christmas celebration—then processed all the bones after the chickens were eaten.

Addition - Chickens - Africa - Today - African

In addition to the earliest domestic chickens in Africa and today's African local chicken breeds, the study includes the red junglefowl—a wild chicken found only in Asia—using bones...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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