Categorías: Canarias

Canarias.- El ICIA trabaja en la caracterización morfológica y genética de la gallina canaria

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the Canarian Institute of Agrarian Research (ICIA), studies and assesses the morphological and genetic characterization of the poultry population of the Archipelago through the project ‘The Canarian hen: livestock heritage of the islands, history, genetics and sustainability’, financed by the Fundación CajaCanarias, Obra Social La Caixa and the Deputy Ministry of the Primary Sector.

This scientific study on the local population will provide new data that will allow us to know if these animals make up a new breed, in addition to highlighting their productions in the economic and social sphere of the island’s rural sector. The project includes a series of objectives, among which are the assessment of the morphological characteristics of roosters and hens, which can serve as the basis for a selection and improvement process considering productivity and homogeneity; and the evaluation of the productive parameters of its main products, which will help, in the case of meat, to a greater presence in the local market, to the benefit of the gastronomy of the islands, and in the case of eggs, to a standardization to guarantee its quality.

Another key aspect in the research work refers to the genetic characterization of the different local populations grouped by the Association of Canarian Chicken Breeders through the use of molecular markers recommended by the FAO. Its purpose is based on obtaining scientific data on its origin, variability and distance from other breeds. In addition, within this section the analysis of the mitochondrial DNA of the paleontological vestiges corresponding to gallinaceous birds that were found in aboriginal settlements in Gran Canaria, La Palma and El Hierro is considered.

From the historical point of view, an in-depth bibliographical review on the historical background of poultry in the Canary Islands is addressed and that have been compiled in different publications, ordinances and books during the last 500 years. It is essential to provide knowledge and a vision of the role of poultry farming in the Canarian society and economy during the different historical periods.

Currently, ICIA has an experimental chicken coop and access to the open air at Finca El Pico located in Tejina (Tenerife), where it carries out the corresponding tests to, soon, present the first results of this project on the genetic characterization of animals.


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