Inheritance of wing feather development rate in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris).
The rate of primary feather development of 2099 newly hatched keets, from 24 sires and 34 dams, was studied. Keets were from 4 lines, Lavender, Pearl and White which had all undergone selection for 12-week body weight for 5 generations, and an unselected line. Rapid and slow feathering phenotypes were found. The phenotypic distribution was characteristic for a trait controlled by a single pair of sex-linked alleles, with the allele for slow feathering (K) being dominant over that for rapid feathering (k+). Sexing the keets at 10 days of age by their wing feathering phenotype was 94% accurate. In the selected lines the overall frequency of k+ was higher (P<0.01) than that in the unselected line (0.684, 0.716 and 0.778 vs. 0.496, for White, Lavender and Pearl vs. unselected lines).