The objective of this study was to estimate the digestible lysine requirement of Japanese quails in the egg-laying phase. A total of 336 female Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) of average initial age of 207 days were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design, composed of 6 treatments (lysine levels) with 7 replicates and 8 birds per experimental unit, with duration of 84 days. Experimental diets were formulated from a basal diet, with corn and soybean meal, with 2.800 kcal ME/kg and 203.70 g/kg crude protein, showing levels of 9.50; 10.00; 10.50; 11.00; 11.50; and 12.00 g/kg digestible lysine; diets remained isoprotein and isocaloric. The following variables were studied: feed intake (FI); lysine intake (LI); egg production per bird per day (EPBD); egg production per bird housed (EPBH); production of marketable eggs (PME); egg weight (EW); egg mass (EM); utilization efficiency of lysine for egg mass production (UELEM); feed conversion per mass (FCEM); feed conversion per dozen eggs (FCDZ); bird availability (BA); percentages of yolk (Y), albumen (A) and shell (S); specific egg weight (SW); nitrogen ingested (NI); nitrogen excreted (NE); and nitrogen balance (NB). Significant effect was only observed for LI, EW, EM, UELEM, FCEM, Y, A and SW. The digestible lysine level estimated in diets for laying Japanese quails is 11.20 g digestible lysine/kg diet, corresponding to an average daily intake of 272.23 mg lysine.
Coturnix coturnix japonica; digestible amino acids; egg production; performance variables