drakes, phenotype, biometry, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis


While there are studies that describe the biometric traits and phenotypic variations in Muscovy ducks in Nigeria, there are limited studies that employ a multivariate approach to depict the phenotypic variability of Muscovy ducks in Nigeria. Therefore, this study aimed to explicate genetic variabilities within C. moschata using qualitative and biometric traits. This study used a multivariate statistical method to phenotypically characterise locally adapted Muscovy duck populations from seven ecogeographical locations in Ibadan, Nigeria. Four qualitative traits (eye colour, bill colour, bean colour and shank colour) and eleven biometric traits (head length, neck length, body length, wings length, shank length, toe length, thigh length, bill length, breast length, breast width and bodyweight) were evaluated in 201 ducks (109 males and 92 females). To study the possible effects of geographical locations on selected phenotypes, frequency distribution, univariate analysis, stepwise and canonical discriminant analyses and cluster analysis were performed. The association between body weight (BWT) and other biometric traits was assessed using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Male ducks (drakes) were generally more abundant than female ducks (hens). The most prevalent colour traits of locally adapted Muscovy ducks were brown eye colour (70.65 %), black bean colour (62.69 %), pinkish white bill colour (45.27 %) and grey shank colour (56.22 %). Overall, ecogeographical location did not significantly affect (p < 0.05) the measured biometric traits. However, across all locations, the sexual dimorphism was favourable in male ducks, with respect to biometric traits. Stepwise-canonical discriminant analysis revealed a substantial intermixing of biometric traits, especially in Molete, Oje, Adogba and Ajibode ducks. Similarly, the cluster analysis, although it separated the birds into different clusters, showed some level of admixture. The small Mahalanobis distance (0.61 − 3.88) suggested that, with respect to location, there was more morphological similarity than dissimilarity between ducks. The correlation analysis revealed that the body weight of ducks can be fairly estimated from other biometric traits due to their positive, statistically significant correlation. In general, the ducks from all seven ecogeographical locations were rather homogeneous than heterogeneous.

Author Biographies

Opeyemi ADEYINKA, University of Ibadan

Animal Breeding and Genetics Unit,

Department of Animal Science

Oluwakayode COKER, University of Ibadan


Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management

Marvellous OYEBANJO, University of Ibadan

Animal Breeding and Genetics Unit,

Department of Animal Science

Mabel AKINYEMI, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Department of Biological Sciences,

Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences, 

New Jersey


Arias-Sosa, L. A. & Rojas, A. L. (2021): A review on the productive potential of the Muscovy Duck. World's Poultry Science Journal, 77(3), 565−588. DOI: 10.1080/00439339.2021.1921668

Benton, T. G., Bieg, C., Harwatt, H., Pudasaini, R. & Wellesley, L. (2021). Food system impacts on biodiversity loss: Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, UK.

Birteeb, P. T. & Boakye, T. (2020). Variant forms of qualitative traits of indigenous chickens reared under extensive system in Tolon District, Ghana. Animal Production Science, 60, 705−712.

Brito, N. V., Lopes, J. C., Ribeiro, V., Dantas, R. & Leite, J. V. (2021). Biometric Characterization of the Portuguese Autochthonous Hens Breeds. Animals (Basel), 11(2), 498.

Brock, K. M., Baeckens, S., Donihue, C. M., Martín, J., Pafilis, P. & Edwards, D. L. (2020). Trait differences among discrete morphs of a color polymorphic lizard. Podarcis erhardii. PeerJ, 8, e10284.

Chia, S. S. & Momoh, O. (2012). Some physical and reproductive characteristics of Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) under free-range management system in two locations in Benue state of Nigeria. In: Proceedings 37th Annual Conference of Nigerian Society for Animal Production, pp. 20−22.

Dobrzański, J., Calik, J., Krawczyk, J. & Szwaczkowski, T. (2019). Conservation of goose genetic resources in Poland - past and present status. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 75, 387−400.

FAO (2009). Characterization of domestic duck production systems in Cambodia. [E-book].

FAO (2012). Phenotypic characterization of animal genetic resources. [E-book].

Ganbold, O., Reading, R. P., Wingard, G. J., Paek, W. K., Tsolmonjav, P., Jargalsaikhan, A., Khuderchuluun, O. & Azua, J. (2019). Reversed sexual size dimorphism: body size patterns in sexes of lesser kestrels (Falco naumanni) in the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity, 12(3), 363−368.

Getachew, K. F., Hans, K., Tadelle, D., Worku, A. S., Olivier, H. & Bastiaansen John, W. M. (2021). Species and phenotypic distribution models reveal population differentiation in Ethiopian indigenous chickens. Frontiers in Genetics, 12, 1692.

Habimana, R., Ngeno, K., Mahoro, J., Ntawubizi, M., Shumbusho, F., Manzi, M., Hirwa, C. A. & Okeno, T. O. (2020). Morphobiometrical characteristics of indigenous chicken ecotype populations in Rwanda. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 53(1), 24.

Hassan, W. A. & Mohammed, M. S. (2003). Ecotypes of the Muscovy duck in the Northwest of Nigeria: variation in body weight and beak length. In: Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference of Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN), 16th-18th September, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, pp. 23−24.

Ikani, I. E. (2003). Duck production in Nigeria. Poultry Series No. 7. National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, pp. 31.

Kadurumba, O. E., Agu, C. I., Ikpamezie, L. C., Ahiwe, E. U., Iloeje, M. U., Ogundu, U. E., Okoli, I. C., Okoro, V. M. O. & Kadurumba, C. (2021). Morphological and morphometric characterization of local duck population in South-east ecological zone in Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Animal Science, 23(1), 8−17.

Kadurumba, O. E., Okoli, I. C., Okere, P. C., Ikpamezie, L. C., Nwogu, C. M., Egenuka, F. C. & Ngezelonye, I. F. (2015). Rural production and phenotypic variations among indigenous ducks in Imo State Nigeria. International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 18(2), 2287−2291.

Kowalski, A. (2019). A status of guinea fowl (Numida mele-agris) and pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) population transferred from wildlife to the breeding assessed based on the histone H1.c’ polymorphic variation.Avian Biology Research, 12(4), 145−151.

Morales, M., Gigena, D. J., Benitez-Vieyra, S. M. & Valdez, D. J. (2020) Subtle sexual plumage color dimorphism and size dimorphism in a South American colonial breeder, the Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). Avian Research, 11(18).

Mushi, J. R., Chiwanga, G. H., Amuzu-Aweh, E. N., Walugembe, M., Max, R. A., Lamont, S. J., Kelly, T. R., Mollel, E. L., Msoffe, P. L., Dekkers, J., Gallardo, R., Zhou, H. & Muhairwa, A. P. (2020). Phenotypic variability and population structure analysis of Tanzanian free-range local chickens. BMC Veterinary Research, 16(1), 360.

Ogah, D. M. & Kabir, M. (2013). Variability in size and shape in Muscovy duck with age: Principal component Analysis. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry, 29(3), 493−504.

Oguntunji, A. O. & Ayorinde, K. L. (2014). Sexual size dimorphism and sex determination by morphometric measurements in locally adapted Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) in Nigeria. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, vol. 104(1), 15−24.

Oguntunji, A. O. & Ayorinde, K. L. (2015). Phenotypic characterization of the Nigerian Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata). Animal Genetic Resources, 56, 37−45.

Oguntunji, A. O. (2017). Regression tree analysis for predicting body weight of Nigerian Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata). Genetika, 49(2), 743−753.

Panyako, P. M., Imboma, T., Kariuki, D. W., Makanda, M., Oyier, P. A., Malaki, P., Ndiema, E. K., Obanda, V., Agwanda, B., Ngeiywa, K. J., Lichoti, J. & Ommeh, S. C. (2016). Phenotypic characterization of domesticated and wild helmeted Guinea fowl of Kenya. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 28(158).

Ramos, M. A. (2009). Evaluación de algunos parámetros productivos del pato real (Cairina moschata) en un sistema de cría semintensiva. Maracay, Universidad Central de Venezuela, 36 p.

Rodenburg, T. B. Bracke, M. B. M., Berk, J., Cooper, J., Faure, J. M., Guemene, D., Guy, G., Harlander, A., Jones, T., Knierim, U., Kuhnt, K., Pingel, H., Reiter, K. Serviere, J. & Ruis, M. A. W. (2005). Welfare of ducks in European duck husbandry systems. World's Poultry Science Journal, 61, 633−646.

Salgado-Ubeda, M. & J. López-Mendonza, J. C. (2012). Crianza de patos domésticos (Cairina moschata) en la comunidad piedra colorada, Matagalpa. Estudio de Caso. Managua, Nicaragua: Universidad Nacional agraria. Managua-Nicaragua.

SAS. (2002). Statistical Analysis System User's guide: Statistics. SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC 27513, USA.

Sheriff, O., Alemayehu, K. & Haile, A. (2021). Phenotypic ranking experiments in identifying breeding objective traits of smallholder farmers in northwestern Ethiopia. PloS One, 16(3), e0248779.

Shi, L., Li, Y., Bai, H., Li, D., Wang, P., Jiang, L., Fan, J., Ge, P., Ni, A., Wang, Y., Bian, S., Zong, Y., Isa, A. M., Tesfay, H. H., Ma, H., Gong, Y., Sun, Y. & Chen, J. (2020). Phenotype characterization of crossed beaks in Beijing-You chickens based on morphological observation. Poultry Science, 99(11), 5197−5205.

Smith, D. P. (2022). Breed Profile: Muscovy Duck. Last accessed: 22/12/22

Sonaiya, E. B. & Swan, S. E. J. (2004). Small-scale Poultry Production, Technical Guide Manual. FAO Animal Production and Health 1. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Rome, Italy.

Sztandarski, P., Marchewka, J., Wojciechowski, F., Riber, A. B., Gunnarsson, S. & Horbańczuk, J. O. (2021). Associations between neck plumage and beak darkness, as well as comb size measurements and scores with ranging frequency of Sasso and Green-legged Partridge chickens. Poultry Science, 100(9), 101340.

Teguia, A., Mafouo Ngandjou, H., Defang, H. & Tchoumboue, J. (2007). Study of the live body weight and body characteristics of the African Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata). Tropical Animal Health and Production, 40(1), 5−10.

Teguia, A., Ngandjou, H. M., Defang, H. & Tchoumboue, J. (2008). Study of the live body weight and body characteristics of the African Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata). Tropical Animal Health Production, 40, 5−10.

Traore, G. F., Traore, A., Bayala, B., Dayo,G. K., Tapsoba, A. S., Soudre, A., Sanou, M., Tindano, K. & Tamboura, H. H. (2018). Characterization and typology of Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) farming systems in Burkina Faso. International Journal of Advanced Research, 6, 6−21.

Yakubu, A. (2009). An assessment of sexual dimorphism in African Muscovy ducks using morphological measurements and discriminant analysis. Proceedings of the 4th Waterfowl Conference, November 11-13, 2009, Kerala, India, pp. 69−75.

Yakubu, A. (2011). Discriminant analysis of sexual dimorphism in morphological traits of African Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata). Archivos de Zootecnia, 60, 1115−1123.

Yakubu, A. (2013). Characterisation of the local Muscovy duck in Nigeria and its potential for egg and meat production. World's Poultry Science Journal, 69, 931−938. DOI:10.1017/S0043933913000937

Yakubu, A. & Ari, M. M. (2018). Principal component and discriminant analyses of body weight and conformation traits of Sasso, Kuroiler and indigenous Fulani chickens in Nigeria. Journal of Animal Plant Science, 28, 46−55.