The Relationships of Egg Quality Traits and Age in Small Sized Japanese Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) in Nigeria Region
The effects of layers’ age in lay on egg quality traits and there relationships among the traits in small sized Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were investigated. One hundred female quails reared in an improvised deep litter cage constructed to give adequate space and ventilation for normal growth and laying of the birds were used for the production of the eggs used in this study. For the entire duration of the experiment (40weeks), a total of 480 eggs were examined. Egg weight increased from 9.26±0.31g at the 6th week when the birds started to lay to 10.18±0.31g at 46th week of age when the experiment was terminated with similar (p>0.05) values from 10-46 weeks of age. Egg shell weight increased significantly with age, peaked at week 26 and decreased thereafter. Albumen weight increased with the age of birds from 5.32±0.23 g in week 6 to the peak at week 42 (5.88±0.20g). Yolk weight increased progressively as the birds aged ranging from 2.76±0.07 g in week 6 to 2.98±0.60 g in week 34 from where it plateaus till week 46. The egg shape index was not significantly (p>0.05) influenced by age, whereas the albumin index decreased while yolk index decreased from week 6 to week 22, increased from week 26 to the highest value of 51.90±0.29 in week 30 and declined to 44.15±0.29 in week 46. The Haugh unit peaked at the 10th week of age and declined significantly (p<0.05) to 83.09±0.51 at the 46th week of age. Egg weight was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with yolk weight (r=58), albumin weight (r=0.90) and egg shell weight (r=0.58). The albumin index, albumin weight, Haugh units and egg shell weight decreased with increasing age but the egg shape index was not affected. These characteristics of quails’ eggs should encourage the programs for diversification of sources of eggs that are needed if future economical challenges are to be taken up.
Albumin Weight, Egg Weight, Shell Weight, Yolk Weight
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