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EFFECT OF DIFFERENT FEED RESTRICTION REGIMES ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE AND ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY OF JAPANESE QUAILS.

Byline: Y. Abbas, A. W. Sahota, M. Akram, S. Mehmood, J. Hussain, M. Younus, M. M. Awais and A. R. Sial

ABSTRACT

The present study was executed to examine the growth performance and economic efficiency of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) at Avian Research and Training (ART) Centre, UVAS, Lahore. For this purpose a total of 3200 quail chicks were allocated to four different feed restriction regimes comprising four close-bred stocks (Imported, Local-1, Local -2 and Local-3) at the age of 10 days. The experimental quails in group 1 were fed ad-libitum (20.30% CP, 1.3% Lysine) diet throughout the experimental period to serve as control while groups 2, 3 and 4 were provided with 1 hour feed- 3-hour off, 2-hour feed- 2hour off and 3-hour feed-1hour off feeding regimes, respectively. Weekly data on growth parameters were recorded. Maximum feed intake was observed in ad-libitum fed group whereas the highest body weight gain was observed in ad-libitum and 3 hour fed quails. The best FCR leading to maximum profit margin was observed in 3 hour-fed group.

However, different close-bred stocks could not express any significant difference in growth parameters.

Key words: Feed restriction regimes, Growth performance, Economic efficiency, Japanese quails

INTRODUCTION

The shortage of animal protein intake among the ever increasing human population in developing and under developed countries is a matter of utmost apprehension today. Developing countries including Pakistan are greatly scarce in protein supply where per capita meat availability is 5.5kg and egg consumption is 55 eggs per annum, almost five times less than advanced countries, while, against per capita daily requirement of animal protein of about 27 gram only 17 gram is available (Pakistan Poultry Industry Statistics,2012-13).

One way of enhancing protein supply is to expand poultry production along with increasing production of other micro livestock such as Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) having low maintenance cost, short generation intervals, early sexual maturity and better resistance to diseases. Quail attains 160-170g market weight at the age of four weeks (Akram et al., 2012) and its meat is rich in high quality protein having high biological value with low caloric content (Olubamiwa et al., 1999).

Insufficiency and discrepancy of feed supply is a foremost bottle neck to proficient animal production in tropical farming system (Melaku and Peters, 2002). Nji et al. (1999) attributed the short fall in feed supply to paucity and high cost of conventional protein and energy feed stuffs and profit can be optimized by minimizing feed cost that accounts for 60-70 % of the total production cost (Wilson and Beyer,2000). Any effort to improve commercial poultry production and enhance its efficiency needs to emphasize on better utilization of existing resources (DZARC, 1997).

Different feeding schemes used in poultry industry are feeding time period, sequential feeding, choice feeding, restricted feeding and among all modifying growth pattern by quantitative feed restriction and stimulating compensatory growth is a successful approach in managing the scarcity of feed stuffs (Shariatmadari, 2012). The use of feed restriction program in broilers may elicit compensatory growth, improved feed efficiency and birds are not exposed to sub optimal level of nutrients but the efficiency of utilization of these nutrients may be changed. Researchers proposed that physical feed restriction at early age of birds for a short period may elicit compensatory growth, improved feed efficiency, reduced abdominal fat pad, and at market age restricted birds performed similar to full fed birds (Ibrahimet al., 2002;Najiet al., 2003). Buragohain (2013) also observed equal body weight gain between ad libitum and 10% feed restricted groups of Japanese quails.

In another report 75 % restriction of ad-libitum feeding exhibited an economic advantage over ad libitum feeding by enhancing feed utilization (Noveli, 2008, 2009).

Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of feed restriction on performance of broilers and turkeys, however, very few studies have focused on the aspect of quantitative feed restriction in terms of time period and ideal age of restriction in quails. Keeping this in sight, research work needs to be undertaken in Japanese quails on the similar pattern as adopted in broiler industry to enhance their growth performance by manipulating feeding strategies that predictably will have a profound effect on profitability. Considering these points in view, the present study was planned to assess the optimum time of restriction, compensatory growth period and effects of time restriction and different feed restriction regimes on nutrient digestibility and economics in terms of feed efficiency, profitability and growth performance in 4 close-bred stocks of Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) maintained under local environmental conditions of Pakistan during hot season.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The present study of 4 week duration was executed at Avian Research and Training (ART) Centre, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore- Pakistan. In this experiment, comparative performance of four close-bred stocks viz., Imported, Local-1, Local -2 and Local-3 allocated four different feed restriction regimes were studied. A total number of three thousand two hundred (3200) day old quail chicks, procured from ART Centre hatchery and, were fed ad-libitum for the first 10 days as adaptation period and then subjected to a 28 days experimental trial. The each treatment was replicated five times. The experimental quails in group 1 were fed ad-libitum throughout the experimental period and considered as control group. The group 2, 3 and 4 were provided with 1 hour feed-3-hour off, 2 hour feed-2- hour off and 3-hour feed-1hour off feeding regimes, respectively. The experimental birds were maintained under optimum husbandry practices of temperature, humidity and ventilation.

All the experimental bids were provided the quail starter feed containing 20.30 percent crude protein with 1.3 percent lysine level as recommended by (NRC, 1994) throughout the experimental period. Data regarding feed intake, body weight and mortality was recorded for a period of 4 weeks. The body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, feed efficiency, and economics were calculated. The data thus obtained were analyzed according to Completely Randomized Design (CRD) under factorial arrangements using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) technique (Steel et al., 1997). The means were compared by using Duncan's Multiple Range test (DMR) (Duncan, 1955) through SAS (Statistical Analysis System) 9.1 for windows.

Table 1. Ingredients and chemical composition of experimental quail diet.

###Ingredients###Inclusion level (%)###Nutrients###Availability

###Maize###54.56###Metabolize energy###2735

###(k calories/kg)

Sunflower Meal (25%)###16.44###Crude protein (%)###20.30

Soybean Meal (45.5%)###13.93###Fat (%)###3.38

###Rapeseed Meal###3.00###Fibre (%)###6.72

###Fish Meal (52%)###3.00###Calcium (%)###0.95

Poultry byproduct meal###3.00###Available Phosphorus(%)###0.40

###Molasses###3.00###Chloride(%)###0.32

###Limestone###1.11###Sodium(%)###0.19

###Lysine sulphate###0.69###L.Acid(%)###1.29

###MCP###0.46###Lysine(%)###1.30

###Supplement###0.27###Methionine(%)###0.62

###Salt###0.20###Methionine+Cystine(%)###0.97

###Alimet###0.18###Arginine digestible(%)###1.30

###BetaineHCl###0.07###Tryptophan digestible(%)###0.22

###Threonine###0.05###Threonine digestible(%)###0.87

###Phytase###0.005###D.Lysine(%)###1.14

###D.Therionine###0.73###D.Methionine(%)###0.56

###D.Tryptophan###0.20###D.Methionine +Cyst(%)###0.87

###D.Argnine(%)###1.18

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Feed intake (g): Significantly higher (Pless than 0.05) feed intake was recorded in ad-libitum and 3-hour fed quails than those of 1-hour or 2-hour access to feed (Table 3). This could be attributed to sufficient time available for feeding that resulted in higher feed consumption as compared to restricted access. Similarly, significantly higher feed intake in full fed as compared to restricted fed birds was observed in broiler chickens (Ewa et al., 2006; Mahmood et al., 2007) and quail (Ocak and Erener, 2005). Feed restriction when applied on various close- bred stocks (CBS), significantly (Pless than 0.05) higher feed intake was observed in ad-libitum feeding, while, the lowest was recorded in with 1 hour fed quails that may be due to the effect of treatments. However, non-significant effect of CBS on feed intake was observed.

Table 2. Feed intake (g), body weight gain (g), FCR, feed efficiency and mortality (%) in 4 close-bred stocks (CBS) of Japanese quails maintained under 4 feed restriction regimes for 4 weeks.

###Parameters###Feed Intake###Body weight###Feed

###FCR###Mortality %

Treatments###(g)###gain (g)###Efficiency

###Feed Restriction Regimes

Ad-libitum###629.79 1.75a###156.920.99a###4.020.02a###0.240.06d###6.54 0.08c

1 hr-fed- 3hr off###543.57 1.08d###142.420.37c###3.810.01b###0.260.07c###7.950.06a

2hr fed-2 hr-off###553.321.60c###150.700.78b###3.670.02c###0.270.01b###6.890.04b

3hr fed-1hr-off###562.361.61b###156.52 0.62a###3.590.02d###0.280.01a###6.520.03c

###Close-Bred Stocks

Imported###572.88 8.10###151.691.51###3.780.04###0.260.09###6.950.14

Local-1###573.54 7.87###151.611.56###3.780.04###0.260.02###6.890.14

Local -2###570.91 7.92###151.761.54###3.760.04###0.260.02###6.97 0.15

Local-3###571.70 7.77###151.501.51###3.770.04###0.260.02###7.090.13

###Feed Restriction Regimes A- Close-Bred Stocks

###Imported###631.98 4.60a###157.022.01a###4.020.06a###0.240.03e###6.420.11e

Ad-###Local-1###630.48 3.45a###157.182.70a###4.010.17a###0.240.04e###6.360.12e

libitum###Local -2###628.24 3.44a###156.852.47a###4.010.14a###0.240.04e###6.570.19bcde

###Local-3###628.45 3.28a###156.641.19a###4.000.09a###0.240.01e###6.810.13bcd

###Imported###545.20 2.73efg###142.780.36c###4.570.09b###0.260.01cd###7.920.12a

1 hr-fed-###Local-1###543.951.74gf###142.141.10c###4.490.08b###0.260.01d###7.840.13a

3hr off###Local -2###541.362.68g###142.530.96c###4.530.05b###0.260.01bcd###7.990.11a

###Local-3###543.771.69fg###142.210.54c###4.490.06b###0.260.01d###8.04 0.10a

###Imported###552.673.97cdef###150.741.66b###4.720.09cd###0.270.02 ab###6.900.09 b

2hr fed-2###Local-1###555.413.52bcde###150.660.76b###4.700.06bcd###0.270.02abc###6.870.09bc

hr-off###Local -2###551.473.58defg###151.091.82b###4.760.11d###0.270.03a###6.900.05b

###Local-3###553.702.40cdef###150.292.22b###4.660.11bcd###0.270.04abc###6.920.06b

###Imported###561.682.10bcd###156.24 2.02a###4.89 0.11d###0.270.04a###6.55 0.07cde

3hr fed-###Local-1###564.314.15b###156.45 1.04a###4.89 0.07d###0.270.04a###6.51 0.07de

1hr-off###Local -2###562.583.12bc###156.56 1.04a###4.89 0.06d###0.270.02a###6.40 0.05e

###Local-3###560.874.09bcd###156.85 1.04a###4.91 0.05d###0.270.02a###6.62 0.07bcde

Body weight gain (g): Significantly (Pless than 0.05) higher body weight gain was observed in ad-libitum and 3- hour fed quails followed by 2- hour and one- hour fed quails (Table 3). This could be due to optimum time for feeding which resulted in the highest body weight. Buragohain (2013) also observed equal body weight gain between ad libitum and 10% feed restricted groups of Japanese quails. Vadivukkarasi et al. (2007) also experienced better weight gain in groups of Japanese quails receiving maximum time of feeding. Feed restriction when applied on various CBS showed significantly (Pless than 0.05) higher body weight in all four CBS fed ad-libitum and 3- hours fed, while, the lowest was observed in all four CBS of 1- hour fed quails that might be the effect of treatments. However, non-significant differences in body weight gain was observed among four close-bred stocks.

Feed conversion ratio: Feed conversion ratio was better in 3- hour fed quails followed by 2, 1 and ad-libitum fed quails (Table 3). Improved feed conversion ratio in 3- hour fed and one- hour off group of quails could be attributed to the availability of proper time (1-hour) for utilization of nutrients in the feed more efficiently by the feed restricted birds leading to better FCR than in full-fed quails. Better FCR in feed restricted broiler chicken also have been reported by Lee and Leeson (2001) and Mehmood et al. (2012). Feed restriction can result in better feed conversion without reduction in carcass weight in Japanese quail (Ocak and Erener, 2005). Feed restriction when applied on various CBS showed significantly (Pless than 0.05) best feed conversion ratio in all with 3- hour feeding in quails, while, the significantly (Pless than 0.05) poor in ad-libitum fed quails that may be due to the effect of treatment.

Mortality: Significantly (Pless than 0.05) higher mortality was observed in one hour fed followed by 2 and then 3- hour and ad-libitum fed quails (Table 3). This increase in mortality in one hour fed quails might be due to severity of feed restriction at 1st week of treatment during which small quails could not tolerate longer span of hunger but later on adult quails adjusted with the situation. Mortality rate was twice in feed restricted birds than those of ad- libitum fed birds (Gebhart-Henrich and Marks, 1995). Feed restriction when applied on various close-bred stocks showed significantly (Pless than 0.05) highest mortality in 1-hour fed quails, the lowest mortality was observed in local-1 quails fed ad-libitum. However, non-significant effect of CBS on mortality was also observed in present study.

Economic Impact of feed restriction: The highest profit was recorded in 3-hour fed quails followed by 2-hour (22.82%), ad-libitum (18.53%) and 1 hour fed (18.14%) quails, respectively (Table 2). Among different treatment groups the highest feed cost of 23.83 Rs/quail was observed in ad-libitum fed followed by Rs 21.28, 20.94and 20.57 /quail in 3, 2 and one- hour fed quails, respectively. Maximum profit per quail in 3-hour feeding may be due to the best feed efficiency having optimum time for feed consumption and reasonable interval for digestion resulting in maximum gain turning into the highest profit as suggested by the earlier studies that 10% feed restriction is possible without any adverse effect on growth in Japanese quails (Buragohain, 2013). Ewa et al. (2006) also reported reduced feed cost/Kg weight gain, the highest profits and the least cost-benefit ratio from birds under feed restriction.

Table 2. Economics of quail raising under different feed restriction regimes.

###Feed Restriction Regimes

Parameters

###Ad-libitum###1 hr-fed- 3hr off###2hr fed-2 hr-off###3hr fed-1hr-off

Feed consumed (gm)###629.79###543.57###553.31###562.36

Cost of chick Rs.###8###8###8###8

Total feed cost (Rs)###23.83###20.57###20.94###21.28

Miscellaneous cost (Rs)###10###10###10###10

Total cost/quail (Rs)###41.83###38.57###38.94###39.28

Total live weight/quail (gm)###197.68###182.89###191.33###196.74

Sale price/ Kg live wt. (Rs)###250###250###250###250

Total sale price / quail (Rs)###49.42###45.72###47.83###49.18

Net Profit/ quail (Rs)###7.59###7.15###8.89###9.9

Profit (%)###18.14###18.53###22.82###25.20

Conclusions: It can be concluded that three hour fed and one- hour off quails exhibited maximum profit due to better body weight gain, optimum feed intake with better feed conversion ratio and reduced mortality. However, close bred stocks had similar growth and economic efficiency in Japanese quails. It is suggested that Japanese quails may be subjected to feed restriction of 1- hour after 2nd week followed by feed restriction of 2- hour after 3rd weeks of age.

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