SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.18 special issueEvaluation of Meat and Egg Traits of Beijing-you Chickens Rotationally Grazing on Chicory Pasture in a Chestnut ForestThe Effect of Eggshell Thickness on Hatching Traits of Partridges author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science

Print version ISSN 1516-635XOn-line version ISSN 1806-9061

Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. vol.18 no.spe Campinas July/Sept. 2016 


Bovine meat and Bone Meal as an Economically Viable Alternative in Quail Feeding in the Final Phase

CC PizzolanteI 

JE MoraesI 

SK KakimotoII 

FEL BudiñoI 

C MóriIII 

DF SoaresIV 

APO SaccomaniIV 

IResearchers, Institute of Animal Science/APTA/SAA-SP, rua Heitor Penteado, 56, caixa postal 60, CEP 13460-000, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil.

IIDVM, M.Sc. in Production Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos; owner of Kakimoto Poultry Farm, Bastos, Road Section Cascade, km 7, Zip 17690-000, Bastos, SP, Brazil.

IIIAnimal Sciencist, Ph.D., Rod. Regis Bitencourt, km 460, post office box 122, Zip 11900-000, Registro, SP, Brazil.

IVM. Sc. student in the Sustainable Animal Production, Institute of Animal Science/APTA/SAA- Street Heitor Penteado, 56, ZIP 13460000, Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil.


Bovine meat and bone meal (MBM) has been used as a low-cost protein source in corn- and soybean meal-based poultry diets. However, to date, no studies investigating the effect of the dietary inclusion of MBM on the performance of Japanese quails and on egg production costs were found in literature. In this study, 600 Japanese quails in lay were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design consisting of six treatments (replacement levels of soybean meal by MBM:0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5%) with five replicates of 20 birds each to investigate if MBM is a viable alternative to maintain or to improve the live and economic performances of these birds. Treatments consisted of a control diet, based on corn and soybean meal, with no inclusion of MBM, and diets formulated with increasing levels (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5%) of MBM inclusion at the expense of soybean meal. The studied parameters were evaluated in four periods of 28 days each. Live performance parameters (egg weight, g; average egg production, %; egg weight, g; feed intake, g; feed conversion ratio per egg mass, kg/kg and per dozen eggs, dz/kg; and livability, %); egg quality parameters (proportion of egg components, yolk, albumen, eggshell %; egg specific weight, g/cm3); and economic parameter (bio-economic nutritional index) were determined. Only egg weight, egg specific weight, and eggshell percentage were affected (p<0.05) by the treatments.

Our results show that inclusion of bovine meat and bone meal can be added to the diet of Japanese quails in lay, causing no performance losses and promoting feed cost savings up to 5.24%.

Keywords: Alternative feedstuff; performance; costs; levels; egg quality


The commercial production of Japanese quail eggs has greatly developed as an alternative to chicken eggs, as that species presents rapid growth rate, early maturity, high egg production, and low feed intake, and the wide acceptance of their products by consumers created a niche market (Murakami and Ariki, 1998).

Nutrition is the main factor influencing poultry production, and therefore, nutritional management needs to ensure good bird performance and high product quality (Costa, Romanelli & Trabuco, 2010). In addition, feed accounts for approximately 70% of the total production costs, making the research on alternative feedstuffs that reduce feed costs, while ensuring good final product quality essential (Embrapa, 2007).

Meat and bone meal is used as an alternative protein source in the diet of broilers and laying chickens; however, its inclusion depends on the knowledge of their quality, price, and effect on animal performance, including feed intake, feed conversion ratio, weight gain, etc. (Faria Filho et al., 2002). In addition of reducing production costs, the dietary inclusion of MBM allows the utilization of rendered products, which otherwise need to be disposed and may cause environmental pollution (Nascimento et al., 2005, Nunes et al., 2005, Generoso et al., 2008; Araújo et al., 2011). Other advantages of the dietary inclusion of bovine MBM, in addition to its nutritional content, are the improvement of feed odor, flavor, and texture, increasing feed palatability, as well as their safety, as it does not contain allergens or antinutritional factors, allowing its use for a wide range of livestock diets (Pereira-Da-Silva and Pezzato, 2000). This suggests that the partial replacement of soybean meal by bovine MBM in laying Japanese quail diets may be an alternative to ensure proper nutrition at a lower cost. Similar to broilers and laying chickens, Japanese quails are able to utilize corn and soybean meal energy. However, because their nutritional requirements are different (Silva et al., 2002), research on the replacement of those feedstuffs in Japanese quail diets is required.

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility of including bovine meat and bone meal in partial replacement of soybean meal (SBM) as an alternative to maintain or to improve the live and economic performances of laying Japanese quails.


The experiment was carried out at the facilities of the Research and Development Unit of Brotas, Dept. of Development Decentralization, Agribusiness Technology Agency of the state of São Paulo (APTA), Brotas, São Paulo, Brazil.

In this study, 600 42-d-old Japanese quails were housed in a conventional egg-production masonry house (3.0 x 12.0 m) and distributed in cages (100 x 34 x 16 cm) with four internal divisions of 25-cm each, at a density of 20 birds per cage. Each cage was equipped with two nipple drinkers and trough feeders. Feed and water were supplied ad libitum. A daily lighting program of 16 hours of light (natural + artificial), from 5h00 to 21h00 was adopted. Birds were vaccinated against Newcastle disease and infectious bronchitis via spray every 60 days.

A completely randomized experimental design was adopted, consisting of six treatments (soybean meal replacement levels by bovine meat and bone meal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5%) with five replicates of 20 birds per experimental unit.

The evaluated MBM was chemically analyzed, and contained 93.75% dry matter (DM), 45.75% crude protein (CP), 8.43% ether extract (EE), and 48.17% ash content (A).

The experimental diets were based on corn and soybean meal, and formulated according to the recommendations of Silva et al. (2007) and the chemical composition of the feedstuffs included in the formulation were obtained from the Brazilian Tables of Rostagno et al. (2005). Digestible amino acid levels were calculated based on the coefficients of digestibility of individual amino acids determined for a typical diet for Japanese quails in lay fed diets containing 20-23% crude protein and including 52% of corn and up to 38% of soybean meal (Ribeiro et al., 2003; Rostagno et al., 2005 cited by Silva et al., 2007).

The ingredients and the calculated nutritional composition of the experimental diets is shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Ingredients and calculated nutritional levels of the experimental diets fed to Japanese quails in lay. 

Experimental diets
Ingredients (%) T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6
Ground corn 52.58 53.14 53.73 54.27 54.87 55.47
Soybean meal (45.5% CP) 36.10 35.11 34.12 33.13 32.12 31.11
Bovine meat and bone meal 0.00 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 5.00
Soybean oil 1.45 1.30 1.13 0.99 0.82 0.65
Calcitic limestone (38.4% Ca) 6.98 6.90 6.80 6.66 6.55 6.44
Dicalcium phosphate 1.94 1.60 1.27 1.00 0.69 0.38
Salt 0.35 0.35 0.35 0.35 0.35 0.35
Mineral and vitamin supplement1 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60
Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Calculated nutritional levels
Metabolizable energy (kcal/kg) 2750 2750 2750 2750 2750 2750
Crude protein (%) 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.0 21.0
Crude fiber (%) 3.27 3.23 3.19 3.15 3.11 3.07
Calcium (%) 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2
Available phosphorus (%) 0.46 0.46 0.46 0.46 0.46 0.46
Dig. methionine (%) 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45 0.45
Dig. Methionine + cystine(%) 0.80 0.79 0.79 0.78 0.78 0.79
Dig. Lysine (%) 1.16 1.15 1.14 1.13 1.12 1.11

1Content per kg of feed:pantothenic acid 5,000 mg; choline 43,400 mg; niacin 6,680 mg; Vit. A 1,666,000 IU; Vit. B1 500,000 mg; Vit. B12 1,680 mcg; Vit B2 1,000 mg; Vit. B6 666.700 mg; Vit. D3 208,400 IU; Vit. E 3,360 mg; Vit. K3 500 mg; Cu 1,333.300 mg; Fe 8,333.300 mg; I 200 mg; Mn 11,666.600 mg; Zn. 8,333.300 mg; Se 33,330 mg; growth promoter 1,166.670 mg; antioxidant 16,680 mg, carrier q.s.p. 1,000 g.000.000 g.

The duration of the experiment was 112 days, divided four 28-d cycles. Feed intake was calculated as feed supply minus feed residues in each experimental period, corrected for mortality. Egg production was determined as the number of eggs laid per day (n. of eggs/d) and egg production percentage (%), dividing the number of eggs laid by the number of birds per experimental unit and multiplying the result by 100. Eggs were individually weight to determine egg weight (g). Egg mass (g/bird/d) was calculated as the ratio between total egg production and average egg weight. Feed conversion ratio was calculated as the ratio between feed intake and egg mass (kg feed/kg egg mass) and between feed intake and dozen eggs produced (kg feed/dz eggs). Mortality was recorded and livability was determined as the percentage of live birds (%).

Eggs were collected during the last three days of each 28-d cycle for egg quality assessment. The parameters evaluated were egg component weight (yolk, albumen, and eggshell) relative to total egg weight and expressed as a percentage, and egg specific gravity (g/cm3).Eggs were individually weighed using a digital scale (0.001-g precision). Egg specific gravity was determined immersing the eggs in graded saline solutions (1.065 to 1.100³, at³ intervals), according to Moreng & Avens (1990). Eggs were then broken, their components (yolk, albumen, and eggshell) were individually weighed, and their weight relative to total egg weight was calculated and expressed as a percentage.

The economic analysis considered only feed cost, as all the other production costs of the experimental treatments were identical. The feed cost to produce one kg egg was calculated based on feed intake and cost per kg of feed.

The bio-economic nutritional index (BENI) was used to analyze economic viability of the inclusion of MBM in replacement of SBM in laying Japanese quails. This index was proposed by Guidoni, Godoi, & Bellaver (1994), as mentioned by Roll et al. (1999), and was calculated for a box with 20 cartons of 30 eggs each, and took into consideration both feed cost and live performance, as shown in the equation:

BENI = n. of boxes with 20 cartons of 30 eggs each - [(feed cost/price of one box with 20 cartons of 30 eggs each) x feed intake].

The prices of the feedstuffs included in the experimental diets and the price of a box with 20 cartons of 30 eggs (USD 84.10) were obtained in September, 2014, from the websites and of the Instituto de Economia Agrícola (IEA) for the state of São Paulo.

The data of the evaluated parameters were submitted to analysis of variance, and means were compared by the test of Tukey at 5% probability level, using Sisvar statistical software (Ferreira, 2011).


The minimum and maximum temperatures (15.42 and 25.04 °C) recorded inside the experimental house are within thermalneutral zone for Japanese quails, and therefore, did not influence the performance results.

Live performance and egg quality parameters are shown in Tables 2 and 3, respectively. There were adverse effects of the dietary inclusion of the animal protein source (p>0.05)on performance and egg quality parameters. However, egg weight decreased and eggshell percentage and egg specific gravity increased with the inclusion of MBM (Table 2).

Table 2 Effect of the dietary replacement of soybean meal by meat and bone meal (MBM) on live performance parameters of laying Japanese quails. 

Treatments Egg weight(g) Average egg production (%/hen/d) Egg mass(g) Feed intake(g/hen/d) FCR/dz1 (kg/dz) FCR/kg2 (kg/kg) Livability (%)
0% MBM 12.32a 0.97 9.82 28.86 0.356 2.938 0.998
1% MBM 12.21ab 0.96 9.76 28.59 0.356 2.930 0.996
2% MBM 12.19ab 0.96 9.72 28.56 0.358 2.938 0.996
3% MBM 11.99ab 0.96 9.71 28.42 0.356 2.930 0.996
4% MBM 11.94ab 0.96 9.69 27.98 0.352 2.904 0.100
5% MBM 11.78b 0.96 9.61 27.88 0.350 2.888 0.996
P-value 0.021 0.262 0.299 0.202 0.700 0.895 0.700
Effect L* ns ns ns ns ns ns
CV (%) 2.04 1.06 1.44 2.35 2.52 2.80 0.48

1 feed conversion ratio per dozen eggs; 2 feed conversion ratio per egg mass Means in the same column followed by different letters are different by the test of Tukey (p<0.01).

L = linear effect; ns = not significant

*(p<0.05); **(p<0.01)

Egg weight (Yˆ = 12.30 - 0.094 X; r2 = 0.78) was negatively affected by the replacement of soybean meal by MBM in the diet. The heaviest eggs were obtained with the corn-soybean meal diet that did not contain MBM. This result may be attributed to the higher inclusion of soybean oil in this treatment (Table 1), in agreement with previous reports on the positive effects of dietary linoleic-rich fats on egg weight (Keshavarz & Nakajima, 1995, Grobas et al., 1999a, b). The lowest egg weight was observed with the dietary inclusion of 5% MBM, which eggs were 0.54g lighter than those of the control treatment. Our results differ from those of Almeida Paz et al. (2010), who obtained heavier eggs from brown layers fed MBM compared with those fed a control diet free from MBM, irrespective MBM inclusion level. This may be attributed to the fact that the control diet used by those authors did not contain oil.

The experimental treatments significantly influenced egg quality parameters presented in Table 3, particularly egg weight, egg specific gravity, and eggshell percentage (Figures 1, 2, and 3, respectively), as well as feed cost and bio-economic nutritional index (BENI; Yˆ = 1.1107 + 0.00343 X; r2 = 0.97). The dietary inclusion of MBM did not affect yolk and albumen percentages.

Table 3 Egg quality, feed cost, and bio-economic nutritional index of laying Japanese quails fed different MBM levels. 

Treatments Egg weight ESG Yolk Albumen Eggshell Feed cost
(g) (g/cm3) (%) (%) (%) USD/kg INBE
0% MBM 11.98ª 1.070b 30.22 61.49 8.00b 0.267 1.111c
1% MBM 11.82ab 1.072ab 30.53 61.56 8.30ab 0.265 1.114bc
2% MBM 11.76ab 1.073ab 30.11 61.65 8.33ª 0.262 1.116bc
3% MBM 11.75ab 1.073ab 30.71 60.84 8.38ª 0.259 1.119abc
4% MBM 11.70ab 1.073ab 30.12 61.55 8.38ª 0.256 1.125ab
5% MBM 11.51b 1.075ª 30.35 61.31 8.44ª 0.253 1.129a
P-value 0.014 0.006 0.530 0.347 0.002 0.0005
Effect L* L** ns ns L** L**
CV (%) 2.99 0.25 3.01 1.54 3.05

Means in the same column followed by different letters are different by the test of Tukey (p<0.01).

L = linear effect; ns = not significant

*(p<0.05); **(p<0.01)

Egg weight linearly decreased as the dietary inclusion level of MBM, whereas eggshell percentage and egg specific gravity (g/cm3), indicating that the dietary inclusion of MBM improved eggshell characteristics (Table 3; Figures 2 and 3).

Figure 1 Egg weight of laying Japanese quails fed different MBM levels in replacement of soybean meal. 

Figure 2 Egg specific gravity of laying Japanese quails fed different MBM levels in replacement of soybean meal. 

Figure 3 Eggshell percentage in the eggs of laying Japanese quails fed different MBM levels in replacement of soybean meal. 

The eggshell percentage and egg specific gravity results obtained in the present study are consistent with the findings of Almeida Paz et al. (2010) with brown layers fed MBM.

The high linoleic acid level present in soybean oil in addition of increasing egg size, hinders dietary calcium absorption, which may explain the worse eggshell percentage and egg specific gravity results obtained with the control diet in the present study (Keshavarz & Nakajima, 1995; Brugalli et al., 1999).On the other hand, the organic form of phosphorus in the MBM may have been more efficiently used for eggshell calcification than the inorganic phosphorus derived from dicalcium phosphate, and thereby improved eggshell quality of the eggs laid by the birds fed MBM.

The replacement of SBM by increasing MBM levels improved the bio-economic nutritional index (BENI), as shown in Table 3.Therefore, the addition to 5% of bovine MBM to the diet of Japanese quails in lay did not cause any performance or economic losses,and resulted in an average reduction of up to 5.24% in feed cost.


Bovine meat and bone meal can partially replace soybean meal in the diet of Japanese quails in lay, causing no performance losses and promoting feed cost savings up to 5.24%.


The authors thank Mr. Osvaldo Esperança Rocha, from VICAMI, for donating the birds, Kakimoto farm for donating the feedstuffs and manufacturing the experimental feeds, Dr. Milton Mizuma, from Nutribastos, for donating the vaccines, and José Roberto Medina Garcia and Eduardo Piber Neto, from BRNova, for aiding in the laboratory analyses.


Almeida Paz ICL, Silva, FL, Garcia RG, Caldara FR, Ferreira VMOS, Seno LO, et al. Qualidade e produção de ovos de poedeiras vermelhas alimentadas com diferentes níveis de farinha de carne e suplementadas com manjericão. Revista Agrarian 2010;3(7):71-77. [ Links ]

Araújo M S de, Barreto SLT, Gomes PC, Donzele JL, Oliveira WP, Valeriano MH. Composição química e valor energético de alimentos de origem animal utilizados na alimentação de codornas japonesas. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 2011;40(2):331-335. 2011. [ Links ]

Brugalli I, Silva DJ, Albino LFT, Gomes PC, Rostagno HS, et el. Exigência de fósforo disponível e efeito da granulometria na biodisponibilidade de fósforo da farinha de carne e ossos para pintos de corte. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia , 28(6):1288-1296, 1999. [ Links ]

Costa DPS, Romanelli PF, Trabuco E. Aproveitamento de vísceras não comestíveis de aves para elaboração de farinha de carne. Ciência Tecnologia Alimentos 2008;28(3):746-752. [ Links ]

Embrapa Meio-Norte. Sistemas de produção [cited 2015 Mar 3]. Teresina; 2007. Available from: <Available from: >. [ Links ]

Faria Filho DE, Faria DE, Junqueira OM, Rizzo MF, Araújo LF, Avaliação da farinha de carne e ossos na alimentação de frangos de corte. Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola 2002;4(1):1-9. [ Links ]

Ferreira DF. Sisvar: a computer statistical analysis system. Ciência e Agrotecnologia 2011;35(6):1039-1042.. [ Links ]

Generoso RAR, Gomes PC, Rostagno HS, Albino LFT, Barreto SLT, Brumano G. Composição química e energética de alguns alimentos para frangos de corte em duas idades. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 2008;37(7):1251-1256. [ Links ]

Grobas S, Mendez J, De Blas C, Mateos GG. Influence of dietary energy, supplemental fat and linoleic acid concentration on performance of laying hens at two ages. British Poultry Science 1999b;40(5):681-687. [ Links ]

Grobas S, Mendez J, De Blas C, Mateos GG. Laying hen productivity as affected by energy, supplemental fat, and linoleic acid concentration of the diet. Poultry Science 1999a;78(11):1542-1551. [ Links ]

Keshavarz k, Nakajima A. The effect of dietary manipulation of energy, protein and fat during the growing and laying period on early egg weight and egg components. Poultry Science 1996;74(1):50-61. [ Links ]

Moreng RE, Avens JS. Ciência e produção de aves. São Paulo: Roca; 1990. p.227-249. [ Links ]

Murakami AE, Ariki J. Produção de codornas japonesas. Jaboticabal: Funep; 1998. 507p. [ Links ]

Nascimento GAJ, Costa FGP, Amarante Junior VS, Barros LR. Efeitos da substituição do milho pela raspa de mandioca na alimentação de frangos de corte, durante as fases de engorda e final. Revista Ciência e Agrotecnologia 2005;29(1):200-207. [ Links ]

Nunes RV, Pozza PC, Nunes CGV, Campestrini E, Kühl R, Rocha LD, et al. Valores energéticos de subprodutos de origem animal para aves. Revista Brasileira Zootecnia 2005;34(4):1217-1224. [ Links ]

Pereira da Silva, EM, Pezzato LE . Respostas da tilápia do Nilo (Oreochromis niloticus) à atratividade e palatabilidade de ingredientes utilizados na alimentação de peixes. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 2000;29(5):1273-1280. [ Links ]

Ribeiro MLG, Silva JHV, Dantas MO, Costa FGP, Oliveira SF, Jordão Filho J, et al. Exigências nutricionais de lisina para codornas durante a fase de produção em função do nível de proteína da ração. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 2003;32(1):156-161. [ Links ]

Roll, V. F. B. de et al.Efeito da forma física da ração em frangos de corte durante o verão. Revista Brasileira de Agrociência 1999;5(1):54-59. [ Links ]

Rostagno HS, Albino LFT, Donzele JL, Gomes PC, Oliveira RF, Lopes DC, et al. Tabelas brasileiras para aves e suínos. Composição de alimentos e exigências nutricionais. 2ª ed. Viçosa (MG): UFV; 2005. 186p. [ Links ]

Silva JHV, Jordão Filho J, Costa FGP, Lacerda PB, Vargas DGV. Exigências nutricionais de codornas. Anais do 3º Simpósio Internacional; 2º Congresso Brasileiro de Coturnicultura; 2007; Lavras, Minas Gerais. Brasil: UFLA/NECTA; 2007. p.44-64. [ Links ]

Silva JHV, Oliveira JNC, Silva EL, Jordão Filho J, Ribeira MLG. Uso da farinha integral da vagem de algaroba (Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) D.C.) na alimentação de codornas japonesas. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia 2002;31(4):1789-1794. [ Links ]

Received: July 2015; Accepted: September 2015

Corresponding author e-mail address Carla Cachoni Pizzolante Researchers, Institute of Animal Science/APTA/SAA-SP Rua Heitor Penteado, 56, caixa postal 60 13460-000. Nova Odessa, SP, Brazil. Phone: (5519) 3466-9437

Creative Commons License This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License