Effects of Sex and Stocking Density on Growth Performance and Some Physiological Traits of Japanese Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
Ayoola, A. A., Adeyemi*, O. A., Egbeyale, L. T., Sogunle, O. M and Ekunseitan, D. A.
Department of Animal Production and Health, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Malaysian J. Anim. Sci. 2014 17(2): 43-53
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The performance and some physiological traits of male and female Japanese quails stocked at three different stocking densities were examined in a 21-day trial. A total of 216 three weeks old quail birds comprising 108 males and 108 females were used. Each sex was divided into three groups and randomly allotted to three stocking density groups of 40, 50 and 60 birds/m2 achieved by altering floor spaces. Thus, making six treatment groups of 36 birds each with each group comprising of three replicates of 12 birds each. Data were collected on performance indices (feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio and mortality), some physiological indices (respiration rate and rectal temperature) and litter moisture content. Stocking density had no significant (P>0.05) effect on the growth performance indices (feed intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio and mortality) of the birds. Female quails had significantly higher (P<0.05) feed intake (3.33 vs 2.60 g/bird/day) and weight gain (69.93 vs 54.60 g/bird) with better feed conversion ratio (6.26 vs 7.79) than male quails. Significant (P<0.05) differences observed in weight gain and FCR as sex and stocking density interaction revealed that sex was majorly responsible as each sex shared similar (P>0.05) values regardless of the stocking density groupings with females showing the best weight gains (71.53, 70.30 and 67.97 g at 60, 50 and 40 birds/m2 groups, respectively) and FCR (6.33, 6.24 and 6.24 at 60, 50 and 40 birds/m2 stocking densities, respectively). Rectal temperature (range of 41.63 to 41.77 oC) and respiration rate (from 65.67 to 68.83 per min) did not differ significantly among the various stocking densities. Litter moisture (27.48, 30.52 and 31.13% across the group) increased numerically (P>0.05) with increased stocking density. Litter moisture was higher (P<0.05) in females (37.12%) than in males (22.30%). In conclusion, growing male and female quails can be stocked as high as 60 birds/m2 without any resultant poor performance. Female quails are heavier with better feed conversion ratio than the males.
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