Effects of Housing and Sex on Growth Performance of Coturnix Quails in the Derived Savannah Zone of Nigeria
This study focused on the effect of housing and sex on the growth traits of coturnix quails. A total number of 200 day-old mixed sexes quail chicks were procured for the study. The birds were separated into deep litter and cage from 3rd week of age. Sex separation was also carried out at the same time. The experiment lasted for 8 weeks and the growth traits measured on weekly basis were body weight, wing length, thigh length and breast girth. Analyzed data showed that female quails had significantly (P<0.01) superior growth rates than males across the two housing systems, that is, the former recorded higher mean values in body weight and other linear body parameters than the latter. The former also had broader breast, longer thigh and wing. These attributes could be employed in distinguishing between sexes during any breeding and selection programmes. In addition, the findings of this work reveal the superiority of cage system over that of deep litter in all the production traits evaluated. There were higher mean values in body weight of cage birds when compared with those on deep litter. It was observed that all the birds irrespective of their sexes grew in size with advancing age, although the rate of growth decreased from 7th week onwards. For increased quail meat production and regular supply of animal proteins for human consumption, female quails should be reared in large quantities and cage system of rearing should be adopted.
Coturnix Quail, Sex, Cage, Deep Litter, Chick
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