||Muscovy ducks reared in Benin have a good growth performance and are very rustic animals. However, these birds’ carcass traits are littleknown.
four age classes. The age 1 was for ducks of 4 to 6 months old, the age 2 for ducks of 6 to 8 months old, the age 3 for birds of 8 to 10 months old
and the age 4 for animals older than 10 months. The collected data was analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System, 2013). Means, standard
deviations and coefficients of variation were calculated by the procedure Proc meansand the frequenciesby the procedure Procfreq.The live
weight at slaughter, the hot carcass weight, the cold carcass weight, the body components weight of males were higher (p<0.001) than those of
females. The hot carcass yield, the cold carcass yield and the percentages of carcass components and of the fifth quarter had this same trend. On
the contrary, the abdominal fat weight of males was lower than that of females (p<0.01). This study also revealed that the live weight at the
slaughter, the hot carcass weight, the cold carcass weight and the carcass components weight increased gradually with age (p<0.001). However,
age has no effect on the thighs, liver and head percentages (p>0.05). The principal components analysis revealed three groups of traits: the group
1 concerns quantitative traits, the group 2, organ percentages considering carcass weights, and the group 3, carcass yields at slaughter. The
animal age at slaughter, the animal live weight at slaughter, the hot carcass weight, the cold carcass weight, the carcass cuts weight and the fifth
quarter components weight were positively correlated with each other and negatively correlated with the percentages of the carcass cuts and of
viscera. In sum, the body composition of Muscovy ducks varies according to the sex and animal age at slaughter.