[en] Nowadays, Belgian poultry breeding is characterized by a strong biodiversity that is nevertheless greatly endangered. The present work aims at evaluating the zootechnical potential of an ancient poultry breed originating from the Franco-Belgian Ardennes region, the Ardennaise. This breed shows an important phenotypic variation, with 10 different varieties being recognized. This study evaluates the Ardennaise production performances and is divided into three parts: (1) the analysis of the growth and the consumption indices over a twelve weeks period, (2) the comparison of the growth over seventeen weeks in four varieties, (3) the study of eggs number and eggs weight over 70 weeks laying. The results indicate that the Ardennaise breed constitutes a good dual purpose breed that could be interestingly submitted to selection. Its use in industrial crosses for egg composition amelioration is also proposed. Lastly, this works shows the importance of extending the here developed evaluation protocol to other Belgian endangered poultry breeds to motivate the necessary conservation programs.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public ; Others