Incubation parameters and physical quality of neonate Japanese quails hatched from eggs that were subject to different storage conditions were evaluated. The treatments consisted of a combination of temperatures and storage periods of hatching eggs from breeder quails. The experiments were conducted in a randomized block design in a factorial arrangement 2x5, with two storage temperatures (ambient temperature ± 28°C and refrigerated temperature 14°C) and five storage periods (one, three, six, nine and twelve days), totaling 10 treatments with 105 repetitions, each egg considered to be an experimental unit. The eggs were incubated at 37.9°C with 60% of relative humidity (RH). There was a positive linear effect between egg weight loss and storage period. Higher rates of hatching/fertile eggs were observed for eggs stored in refrigerated conditions. A negative linear effect was observed between storage period and hatching rate when the eggs where stored at a temperature of 28ºC. There was a negative effect for neonate quail weight, independent of storage temperatures. The intestine length was influenced by storage period and 12 days of storage showed the shortest intestine length. Lower scores of physical quality were observed in quails that hatched from eggs stored in ambient temperatures during 12 days. In this context, to improve hatching rates and physical quality of neonate quails the eggs should be stored up to nine days at a temperature of 14°C.
Coturnix coturnix japonica; eggs storage; incubation; newly hatched quail