Comparison of Growth Rate, Body Weight, and Feed Conversion Between Coturnix D1 Quail and Bobwhite Quail1

Comparison of Growth Rate, Body Weight, and Feed Conversion Between Coturnix D1 Quail and Bobwhite Quail1

Comparison of Growth Rate, Body Weight, and Feed Conversion Between Coturnix Dj Quail and Bobwhite Quail1 J. E. JONES and B. L. HUGHES Clemson Univers...

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Comparison of Growth Rate, Body Weight, and Feed Conversion Between Coturnix Dj Quail and Bobwhite Quail1 J. E. JONES and B. L. HUGHES Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631 (Received for publication January 10, 1978) ABSTRACT Coturnix Dj quail reached mature body size (162 g) in six weeks. Bobwhite quail required 12 weeks to reach comparable body size. The D, were sexually mature at this age while the Bobwhite were not sexually mature until after 16 weeks of age. The Bobwhite quail exhibited better feed efficiency; however, twice as many D, quail could be reared in the same period as Bobwhite making the D, more economical to produce.

B o b w h i t e quail are reared for b o t h h u n t i n g preserves and t h e processed quail m a r k e t . In a m a n a g e m e n t study, Smith and Briggs ( 1 9 7 4 ) r e p o r t e d t h a t Bobwhite quail b o d y weight ranged b e t w e e n 7 1 and 73 g at four weeks of age. With birds reared for hunting, it was found t h a t B o b w h i t e quail c o n t i n u e d t o gain in b o d y weight through 2 0 weeks of age (Moore and Cain, 1975). C o t u r n i x quail have been used for research for a n u m b e r of years d u e t o their rapid sexual m a t u r i t y and small size. Godfrey ( 1 9 6 8 ) selected from three lines of C o t u r n i x quail for ten generations. T h e c o n t r o l line was from a random-bred flock t h a t averaged 6 7 . 5 7 ± 8.43 g b o d y weight at four weeks of age and t h e line selected for growth rate averaged 82.16 ± 7.6 g. Marks ( 1 9 7 1 ) selected C o t u r n i x quail for fourweek b o d y weight u n d e r t w o nutritional regimes. B o d y weight u n d e r o n e regime ranged from 90.5 g t o 130.0 g. Body weight u n d e r t h e o t h e r regime ranged b e t w e e n 6 7 . 2 t o 110.5 g. Recently a fast growing line of C o t u r n i x ( D t ) was developed b y Marsh Farms, Garden Grove, CA. These quail were developed for t h e processed bird m a r k e t . The purpose of this s t u d y was t o compare t h e growth r a t e of C o t u r n i x D t quail with B o b w h i t e quail for t h e processed quail m a r k e t .

MATERIALS AND METHODS Day-old

random

bred

Bobwhite

quail,

'Technical Contribution No. 1550. Published with the approval of the Director, South Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station. 1978 Poultry Sci 57:1471-1472

Colinus virginianus, and Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica (designated Di b y Marsh Farms, Garden Grove, CA), were h o u s e d nine birds per pen in 16 b a t t e r y b r o o d e r p e n s providing eight pens of each t y p e of quail. A t housing, t h e birds were debeaked a n d bod,y weights were recorded. Body weight and feed c o n s u m p t i o n were measured w e e k l y for periods of six and sixteen weeks, respectively, for Cot u r n i x D t and B o b w h i t e quail. D j g r o w t h d a t a collection was discontinued at six w e e k s of age d u e t o onset of egg p r o d u c t i o n . D a t a collection was c o n t i n u e d o n t h e B o b w h i t e since t h e y were n o t laying a n d had n o t reached m a r k e t weight. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. Mortality was r e c o r d e d daily. Each b a t t e r y pen contained a 25 w incandescent bulb providing 2 4 hr of light at an intensity of 82 lux. Since t h e s t u d y was c o n d u c t e d during t h e summer, air m o v e m e n t was provided for 2 min of each 10 min period. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION T h e growth rate of t h e Di was m u c h m o r e rapid t h a n t h a t of t h e Bobwhite quail t o six weeks of age. Average b o d y weights for t h e D j and B o b w h i t e were 161.7 g and 117 g respectively, at six weeks of age (Fig. 1). F o u r week b o d y weights o b t a i n e d in this s t u d y c o m p a r e d favorably t o those reported b y Marks ( 1 9 7 1 ) for C o t u r n i x and by Smith and Briggs ( 1 9 7 4 ) for B o b w h i t e quail. D x average daily gain reached a m a x i m u m (4.8 g) during t h e third week of g r o w t h and declined during t h e remainder of t h e six weeks. T h e B o b w h i t e reached a m a x i m u m daily gain (3.8 g) during t h e fourth week and declined in daily gain t h r o u g h 16 weeks of age (Fig. 1). T h e D j ate less t h a n 3 g of feed for each

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INTRODUCTION

1472

JONES AND HUGHES

5

6 7 8 9 Av. Daily Gain (g)

10

II

12

13

14 15

gram of gain during the first three weeks with a subsequent decrease in feed efficiency partially attributed to the onset of egg production. During the sixth week of age, more than 15 g of feed was required for each gram of gain. The Bobwhite quail exhibited a more efficient feed/gain ratio than the Di to six weeks of age. The D ( reached market size of 162 g at six weeks of age and consumed 663 g of feed for a feed/gain ratio of 4.09. Comparable size of the

REFERENCES Godfrey, Edward F., 1968. The ten generations of selection for lysine utilization in Japanese quail. Poultry Sci. 47:1559-1566. Marks, H. L., 1971. Selection for four-week body weight in Japanese quail under two nutritional environments. Poultry Sci. 50:931-937. Moore, P. E., and J. R. Cain, 1975. Characterization of Bobwhite quail reared for hunting. Poultry Sci. 54:1798. Smith, L. T., and D. M. Briggs, 1974. Feed and water placement for starting Bobwhite quail in batteries. Poultry Sci. 53:1625-1627.

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FIG. 1. Average body weight and average daily gain comparisons between Bobwhite and Coturnix D, quail.

Bobwhite quail (166 g) required 609 g of feed at 12 weeks of age for a feed/gain ratio of 3.67 and 966 g of feed at 16 weeks of age which is considered their mature age. The rapid weight gain of the Coturnix D! would be beneficial in rearing quail for the processed bird market. Although Bobwhite quail exhibited better feed efficiency, more quail could be produced over a shorter period of time with more efficient utilization of equipment, making the Dj more economical to produce.