The Effects of Restricted Feeding and Feed Form on Growth, Carcass Characteristics and Days to First Egg of Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica)

  • Ocak, N. (Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science) ;
  • Erener, G. (Ondokuz Mayis University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science)
  • Received : 2004.10.11
  • Accepted : 2005.05.06
  • Published : 2005.10.01


A study was conducted to determine the effects of restricted feeding and feed form on the growth performance, characteristics of carcass and digestive tract, and days to first egg of Japanese quail (JQ, Coturnix coturnix japonica). A total of 240 oneweek-old JQ chicks were allocated randomly into 4 experimental groups that consisted of 3 replicates according to a 2${\times}$2 factorial arrangement for two feeding methods (ad libitum, AF and restricted feeding, RF) and two diet forms (mash, MD and crumble, CD). The JQ chicks were placed in a room with floor battery brooders and fed a commercial starter diet from 7 to 14 d of age. According to the experimental design, four treatments (1: ad libitum MD, 2: restricted MD, 3: ad libitum CD, and 4: restricted CD) were applied. Feed restriction was applied by 30% reduction of ad libitum feed intake for both MD and CD from 15 to 28 d of age. All birds were fed ad libitum with treatment diets from 29 d of age until the first laid egg seen (45 d of age). The commercial starter diet, MD and CD were in the same nutrient content (240 g crude protein with 13.4 MJ ME per kg diet). The body weight and overall feed conversion ratio (g feed/g gain) were higher (p<0.05) for the AF quails than the RF at 42 d of age. Carcass weights, dressing percentage and percentage yields of breast and back were similar for AF and RF groups at 42 d of age. The RF delayed (p<0.05) onset of egg production 2 days compared to the AF. Quail fed with the CD showed higher value (p<0.05) for carcass weight and dressing percentage at 42 d of age compared to birds fed with the MD. The interaction effect of feeding method${\times}$feed form on any of the studied parameters was not significant. The results suggest that feed restriction as in the present study can achieve a better feed conversion without reduction in carcass weight, and a significant benefit of feeding the crumble diet over the mash diet was obtained in terms of carcass weight in the JQ.


Quail;Growth Performance;Feed Restriction;Diet Form;Sexual Maturity


Supported by : Ondokuz Mayis University


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