Effects of Varying Protein and Energy Levels in Diets on the Performance of Japanese Quails .

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Abstract:

A 70-day study was conducted to evaluate the performance of Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) fed diets with varying protein and energy levels. The experiment utilized 576 Japanese quails aged two weeks, housed in battery cages with 48 compartments. The quails were randomly divided into 16 treatments, with each treatment replicated three times, consisting of 12 quails per replicate. The diets comprised four levels of energy (2600, 2800, 3000, and 3200 Kcal ME/kg) and four levels of protein (20, 22, 24, and 26 % CP) during the growth and laying phases. The study assessed growth performance, nutrient digestibility, carcass characteristics, egg production, and quality.

Data analysis using a two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed that the growth performance of Japanese quails was not significantly affected by the varying protein and energy levels, nor were their interactions. However, the digestibility results showed significant effects (p<0.05) on dry matter, crude protein, crude fiber, ether extract, ash, and nitrogen-free extract digestibility due to the dietary protein and energy treatments.

Egg production parameters were not significantly influenced by the different protein and energy levels. Nevertheless, external egg characteristics were affected (P<0.05). Specifically, birds on a low protein diet (22% CP) with low energy (2600 Kcal ME/kg) showed better external characteristics, such as egg length (2.67 cm), egg width (2.18 cm), and egg shape index (0.82). On the internal egg parameters, birds fed with 2800 Kcal ME/kg demonstrated better yolk weight (2.21 g), albumen weight (4.80 g), yolk height (0.70 cm), albumen height (0.79 cm), and yolk index (0.40).

The interaction results indicated that different dietary protein and energy treatments did not significantly impact all the growth and egg production performance parameters measured. Additionally, birds fed with high protein (26% CP) and low energy (2600 Kcal ME/kg) exhibited better results in terms of crude fiber, ether extract, and ash.

Regarding internal egg interactions, birds on a diet with low energy (2600 and 2800 Kcal) and medium CP levels (22 and 24% CP) demonstrated improved egg length, egg width, and egg shape index. Similarly, birds fed with low protein-low energy diets (22% CP & 2800 Kcal) showed better results in internal egg yolk weight, yolk height, yolk diameter, and yolk index interaction.

In conclusion, for enhanced nutrient digestibility, a diet containing low protein (22% CP) with low energy (2600 kcal) is recommended. However, for improved external and internal egg characteristics, a range of 20-22% CP and 2600-2800 kcal energy levels is suggested.

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