Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia
Print version ISSN 0102-0935
NORDI, W.M. et al. Quail (Coturnixcoturnix japonica) welfare in two confinement systems. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.64, n.4, pp.1001-1008. ISSN 0102-0935. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-09352012000400029.
The intensification of animal production systems presents a potential impact on the welfare of animals. The objective of this work was to assess the welfare of quail Coturnixcoturnix japonicain two maintenance systems: battery cages (BC),and enriched aviary (EA),with saw-dust bedding, sand-bathing area and nests. The experiment procedure involved eight animals per holding area and four repetitions per treatment, an overall of 64 quails. Welfare was assessed through behavioral freedom, sanitary freedom (feather condition and injuries), blood analyses and glicocorticoid metabolites measurement in droppings. Results are presented in the BC order, followed by EA. Water drinking behavior and agonistic behavior were different between treatments (P<0.05). Feather condition was adequate in both treatments, except for the head in BC quails. Blood data were statistically different forred blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin, blood proteins, eosinophils, heterophils, lymphocytes and heterophil: lymphocyte ratio. Glicocorticoid metabolites levels were significantly different between maintenance systems. The behavioral and physiological welfare indicators showed higher welfare degree for quails in enriched aviary as compared to battery cages system.
Keywords : quail; behavioral freedom; corticosterone; hemogram; sanitary freedom.