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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
BARRETO, Sergio Luiz de Toledo et al. Effects of energy nutritional levels on performance and egg quality of European quails in the initial laying phase. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2007, vol.36, n.1, pp. 86-93. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982007000100011.
The effects of increasing dietary ME levels on performance and egg quality of 240 laying European quails from 56 to 168 days of age were evaluated in this experiment. The experiment was analyzed as a complete randomized design with five treatments (2,650, 2,750, 2,850, 2,950, and 3,050 kcal ME/kg), six replicates and eight birds per experimental unit. The corn, soybean meal-based diets were formulated to contain 20% of CP, 2.5% of Ca, 1.17% of lysine and 0.802% of methionine + cystine. Feed intake (g/bird/day), energy intake (kcal ME/bird/day), total egg production (%/bird/day), commercial egg production (%/bird/day), egg weight (g), egg mass (g/bird/day), feed conversion (kg/kg of egg and kg/egg dozen), body weight gain (g), energy efficiency utilization (kcal ME/ egg dozen and kcal ME/ egg mass), weights of yolk (g), albumen (g) and shell (g) and yolk cholesterol concentration (mg/g) were analyzed. Increasing dietary ME levels decreased linearly feed intake and weights of egg, yolk and albumen and increased feed conversion (feed:egg mass and feed:egg dozen ratios) and energy efficiency utilization per egg dozen. It was observed quadratic effect on egg production; the birds fed diet with 2,900 ME/kg showed the best production. No treatment effect on the other parameters was observed. It was concluded that diets for European quails in the initial laying phase must contain 3,050 kcal ME/kg (intake of 82.4 kcal ME/bird/day), for better feed:egg mass and feed:egg dozen ratio, or 2,900 kcal ME/kg (intake of 87.1 kcal ME/bird/day) for better egg production.
Keywords : Coturnix coturnix coturnix; egg production; egg quality; energy.