Quail performance and egg quality at the end of production fed with varying levels of calcium

Daniele Santos de Souza, Lígia Fátima Lima Calixto, Marina Jorge Lemos, Carlos Alberto da Silva Filho, Thiers Pascoal Pinho, Cleriston Andrade Machado, Izaura Andrade de Melo, Cristina Kimie Togashi


The goal of the present study was to evaluate the influence of increasing levels of dietary calcium on performance, egg quality, and the amount of calcium retained in the meat and excreted by Japanese quails at the final production. Four hundred 46-58-week-old Japanese quails were distributed in a completely randomized design consisting of five calcium level treatments: T1 = 2.95%, T2 = 3.25%, T3 = 3.55%, T4 = 3.85% and T5 = 4.15% calcium. The performance variables included feed intake (g bird-1 day-1), egg production (%), feed conversion by egg mass and per dozen eggs, egg mass (g), and viability. For egg quality, we assessed egg weight, percentage of albumen, yolk weight, percentage of shell, and shell thickness. We also evaluated the amount of calcium present in the meat and the amount of calcium excreted by quails. Increasing levels of calcium linearly influenced feed conversion, weight of yolk, and percentage of eggshell. Shell thickness increased up to the 3.85% calcium treatment. Calcium content of the meat differed among the quails; the quails fed the lowest level of calcium (2.95%) showed higher calcium content in meat, whereas calcium excretion increased with increasing levels of calcium in the diet. In conclusion, the addition of 3.85% of calcium in quail feed at the end of production improved eggshell quality, and maintained internal quality and performance within the recommended standards for the production phase tested in quails. Levels higher than 3.85% calcium negatively influenced the parameters analyzed.


Coturnix coturnix japonica; Digestibility; Eggshell thickness.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2016v37n4Supl1p2395

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
E-mail: semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional