Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia
Print version ISSN 0102-0935
COSTA, C.H.R. et al. Levels of calcium in diets for Japanese quails in the third end of posture (45 - 57 weeks of age). Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. [online]. 2010, vol.62, n.5, pp. 1225-1231. ISSN 0102-0935. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-09352010000500027.
The effect of calcium (Ca) levels in the diet on performance and egg quality of Japanese quail during the final third of the production cycle was evaluated. A total of 350 313-day-old quails was used. They were distributed in 35 experimental units of 10 birds. The design was completely randomized, composed of five levels of Ca (2.2, 2.6, 3.0, 3.4 and 3.8%), with seven replications. The increase of Ca in the diet linearly improved the feed conversion per dozen eggs, improved the shell thickness, and influenced the weight of yolk and egg shell as well the percentage of shell. There was reduction in levels of P, Ca, and Mg in the shell with increasing levels of Ca in the diet. For other parameters, no effect of calcium levels in the diet was recorded. Considering the importance of feed conversion in economic terms and performance, the level of 3.8% Ca in diet showed satisfactory to meet the other variables related to egg quality. Diet containing 3.8% Ca, corresponding to a daily intake of 982mg per bird, improves feed conversion and egg shell quality of Japanese quails in the final third of the production cycle (45-57 weeks old).
Keywords : quail; feed conversion; performance; nutritional requirement; shell thickness; egg quality; egg mass.