Nutritional Quality of Quail Feeds Used in Urban and Peri-Urban Areas of Uganda: Chemical and Energy Composition

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 Department of Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Resources, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

2 Department of Livestock and Industrial Resources, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

3 Department of Agricultural Production, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

Quail production is steadily gaining importance in developing countries like Uganda, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas. However, inappropriate feeding practices such as using the same feed classes across different growth stagesor beyond the recommended growth stageshave been reported among quail farmers. This study evaluated the nutritional properties of quail diets used in urban and peri-urban areas of Uganda. Samples of three classes of quail feeds(starter, grower, and layer diets) were collected from quail farmers and poultry feed suppliers in Mukono, Kampala, and Wakiso districts. The samples were analyzed for crude protein (CP), ether extract, crude fiber (CF), ash, calcium, phosphorus, and gross energy contents and then metabolizable energy (ME) contents of the samples were calculated. The data were compared with the minimum dietary specifications recommended for quails in the tropics. Results revealed a high variation in the nutritional quality and that the diets did not conform to the recommended specifications.The average CPcontents of starter and grower diets from farmers (17% and 15.9%, respectively) and feed suppliers (15.7% and 16.8%, respectively) were far lower (P< 0.05) than the minimum specifications for low-protein diets (24% and 20%, respectively). The average ME contents for all the feed classes were also lower (P< 0.05) than the minimum specifications. The diets were characterized by high ash and CF contents (averages ranged between 17.1-20.2% for ash and 5.5-6.3% for CF). The chemical and energy values obtained were in the range reported for chicken diets (in Uganda), which points to the use of diets formulated for chickens in quail feeding. In conclusion, it is necessaryto train and sensitize quail farmers and feed suppliersabout the benefits of using quail diets with adequate protein content, preferably produced based on protein sources that attract less or no competition from humans. Future research should identify such protein sources, their nutritional properties, and their potential use in quail diets.

Keywords


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