Effect of Fattening Period Duration on Meat Productivity of Domestic Quails from Different Productive Types

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Department of Animal Science - monogastric and other animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

2 Department of General livestock breeding, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of age and productive type on meat production in domestic quail. A total of 240 male and female quail of meat type (n=80), heavy dual-purpose (n=80) and light dual-purpose (n=80) type, sexed at 14 days of age, were fattened to 28, 35, and 42 days of age. Mortality (%), live weight (g), growth (g), feed consumption (g), feed conversion (kg/kg gain) were monitored during the fattening period. At 28-, 35-, and 42-days of age 9 male and 9 female birds from each productive type were slaughtered and the carcasses were analyzed. Live weight and carcass weight were seriously affected by the productive type and sex of the quail, especially at the end of the test period (P < 0.001). The amount of hand-boned meat from the most valuable parts of the carcass were affected by productive type P < 0.001) with statistically significant gender differences at the end of the test period (P < 0.05). The sex and productive type affected the meat yield which increased with slaughter age from 28 to 42 days (P < 0.001). With an increase in the slaughter age from 28 to 42 days, the inter-sex differences in slaughter yield increased (P < 0.001). Increased production costs (up to 75%) and lower efficiency of feed transformation (especially after 35 days of age) into finished products were observed with increasing fattening age in all three productive types. Meat production from a specialized meat-producing line is considered the most efficient and the least efficient - from the light egg-laying line. The study demonstrated that age and productive type have a serious impact on the fattening and meat-producing characteristics of quail and on the efficiency of quail meat production.


Abou-Kassem  DE, El-Kholy MS, Alagawany M, Laudadio V & Tufarelli V. 2019. Age and sex-related differences in performance, carcass traits, hemato–biochemical parameters, and meat quality in Japanese quail. Poultry Science, 98(4): 1684-1691. DOI: 10.3382/ps/pey543
Afanasyev GD, Popova LA, Shehu SS & Komarchev AS. 2015. A Comparative Evaluation of Meat Productivity in Japanese quail of Different Origins. Pticevodstvo, 4: 31-35. (Ru)
Bertechini AG.  2012. The quail production. Area: Poultry Welfare and Environment. Proceedings of the 24th World's Poultry Congress, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, 1-4.
Bughio E, Jatoi AS, Jaspal HJ, Mehmood MH, Ishaq S, Bughio HMR & Mahmud A. 2020. Comparative study of carcass traits in four strains of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) at 3 to 6 weeks of age. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, 36(3):  979-984. DOI: 10.17582/journal.sja/2020/36.3.979.984
Caron N, Minvielle F, Desmarais M & Poste LM. 1990. Mass selection for 45-day body weight in Japanese quail: selection response, carcass composition, cooking properties, and sensory characteristics. Poultry Science, 69(7): 1037-1045. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0691037
Chambers JR. 1990. Quantitative genetics and selection: Genetics of growth and meat production in chickens. In Poultry Breeding and Genetics. (R. D. Crawford, ed.). Elsevier, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 599–643.
Chang GB, Chang H, Liu XP, Zhao WM, Ji DJ, Mao YJ, Song GM & Shi XK. 2007. Genetic diversity of wild quail in China ascertained with microsatellite DNA markers. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 20: 1783-1790. DOI: 10.5713/ajas.2007.1783
Genchev A. 2012. Comparative investigation of the egg production in two Japanese quail breeds – Pharaoh and Manchurian golden. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 10(1): 48-56.
Genchev A. 2014. Japanese quail feeding. In Poultry Science (M. Kabakchiev & V. Gerzilov, eds.). Academic Publishing House - Agricultural University, Plovdiv. 317-319. (Bg)
Genchev A, Mihaylova G, Ribarski S, Pavlov A & Kabakchiev M. 2008. Meat quality and composition in Japanese quail. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 6(4), 72-82.
Genchev A & Mihaylov R. 2008. Slaughter analysis protocol in experiments using Japanese quail (Coturnix Japonica). Trakia Journal of Sciences, 6 (4): 66-71.
Gogaev OK, Bideev BA, Demurova AR & Gutieva LN. 2016. Comparative characteristics of quail' meat productivity. Journal of Proceedings of the Gorsky SAU, 53(1): 25-30. (Ru)
Ioniță L, Popescu-Micloșanu E, Pană CO, Tudorache M & Custură I. 2020. Study on the Influence of Lysine and Methionine Essential Amino Acid Supplementation of Compound Feed Recipes on Growth and Slaughter Performance in Jumbo Meat quail Between 1 and 56 Days. Scientific Papers: Animal Science and Biotechnologies, 53 (2): 8-16.
Jahan M, Maghsoudi A, Rokouei M & Faraji-Arough H. 2020. Prediction and optimization of slaughter weight in meat-type quail using artificial neural network modeling. Poultry Science, 99(3): 1363-1368. DOI: 10.1016/j.psj.2019.10.072
Lukanov  H & Pavlova I. 2020a. Domestication changes in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica): a review. World's Poultry Science Journal, 76(4): 787-801. DOI: 10.1080/00439339.2020.1823303
Lukanov  H & Pavlova I. 2020b. Economic analysis of meat production from two types of Domestic quail. Agricultural Science and Technology, 12(2): 148-152. DOI: 10.15547/ast.2020.02.025
Lukanov  H. 2019. Domestic quail (Coturnix japonica domestica), is there such farm animal? World's Poultry Science Journal, 75 (4) 547-558. DOI: 10.1017/S0043933919000631
Lukanov  H. 2022. Growth performance and carcass characteristics of dual-purpose and heavy Japanese quail. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 1: 18-30. DOI: 10.15547/tjs.2022.01.003
Lukanov  H & Genchev A. 2018. Fattening performance and slaughter traits in male Pharaoh Japanese quail. Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science, 24 (3) 2018, 476–479.
Lukanov  H, Pavlova I & Genchev A. 2021. Effect of different fattening period duration on meat productivity of domestic quail. Agricultural Science and Technology, 13(4), 370-377. DOI: 10.15547/ast.2021.04.060
Mahaparta S, Thanabal C, Manoj AB, Bala Murugan P, Kavitha K & Keerthy AJ. 2016. Analysis of carcass traits and intestinal parts in three varieties of Japanese quail. Indian Veterinary Journal, 93 (5): 14-16. 
Marks HL. 1990. Abdominal fat and testes weights in diverse genetic lines of Japanese quail. Poultry Science, 69(10): 1627-1633. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0691627
Merkurieva EK. 1970. Biometrics in selection and genetics of agricultural animals. “Kolos”, Moskow, 137-215; 270-328. (Ru)
Minvielle F. 1998. Genetic and Breeding of Japanese quail for production around the World. Proceedings of 6th Asian Poultry Congress, Nagoya, 122-127.
Minvielle F. 2004. The future of Japanese quail for research and production. World's Poultry Science Journal, 60: 500-507. DOI: 10.1079/WPS200433
Nanda S, Mallin BK, Panda PK, Nayak I, Samal SK & Das M. 2015. Effect of season on mortality of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) in different age groups. International Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 4(7): 29-33.
Narinc D, Karaman E & Aksoy T. 2014. Effects of slaughter age and mass selection on slaughter and carcass characteristics in 2 lines of Japanese quail. Poultry Science, 93(3): 762-769. DOI: 10.3382/ps.2013-03506
Nasr MAF, El-Shimaa MR Ali & Hussein MA. 2017. Performance, carcass traits, meat quality and amino acid profile of different Japanese quail strains. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 54(13):4189–4196. DOI 10.1007/s13197-017-2881-4
Oğuz I, Altan O, Kirkpinar F & Settar P. 1996. Body weights, carcase characteristics, organ weights, abdominal fat, and lipid content of liver and carcase in two lines of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), unselected and selected for four week body weight. British Poultry Science, 37(3): 579-588. DOI: 10.1080/00071669608417888
Raji AO, Girgiri AY, Alade NK & Jauro SA. 2015. Characteristics and proximate composition of Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) carcass in a SEMi-arid area of Nigeria. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 2: 159-165. DOI: 10.15547/tjs.2015.02.008
Sadjadi M & Becker WA. 1980. Heritability and genetic correlations of body weight and surgically removed abdominal fat in Coturnix quail. Poultry Science, 59(9): 1977-1984. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0591977
Şeker I, Bayraktar M, Kul S & Ozmen O. 2007. Effect of Slaughter Age on Fattening Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Journal of Applied Animal Research, 31(2): 193-195. DOI: 10.1080/09712119.2007.9706662
Sengul T & Tas N. 1997. Influence on growth performance and carcass characteristics of different cage densities in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Journal of Poultry Research, 2(1): 33-39.
Tavaniello S, Maiorano G, Siwek M, Knaga S, Witkowski A, Di Memmo D & Bednarczyk M. 2014. Growth performance, meat quality traits, and genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci in 3 generations of Japanese quail populations (Coturnix japonica). Poultry Science, 93(8): 2129-2140. DOI: 10.3382/ps.2014-03920
Toelle VD, Havenstein GB, Nestor KE & Harvey WR. 1991. Genetic and phenotypic relationships in Japanese quail. 1. Body weight, carcass, and organ measurements. Poultry Science, 70(8):1679-88. DOI: 10.3382/ps.0701679
Tufan T & Bolacali M. 2017. Effects of dietary addition of synbiotic on the performance, carcass traits, and serum parameters of Japanese quail. Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia, 46(10): 805-8013. DOI: 10.1590/S1806-92902017001000003
Wilkanowska A & Kokoszynski D. 2011. Comparison of slaughter value in Pharaoh quail of different ages. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 12(1): 145-154. DOI: 10.5513/jcea.v12i1.943