Effects of Vitamin C Supplementation on Egg Production Traits and Eggshell Quality in Japanese Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) Reared under High Ambient Temperature


Abstract: This study was carried out to investigate the effects of dietary vitamin C supplementation on some egg production traits and eggshell quality in Japanese quails reared under high ambient temperature. One hundred fifty-eight 11-week-old female Japanese quails were used. The birds were divided into 4 dietary treatment groups according to vitamin C levels as follows: control (basal ration), treatment I (basal ration + 150 ppm vitamin C), treatment II (basal ration + 250 ppm vitamin C) and treatment III (basal ration + 500 ppm vitamin C). The quails were housed for 9 weeks at high ambient temperature (34 ± 2 °C). No statistically significant difference (P > 0.05) among the treatment groups for livability was observed. The mean egg production of the control and treatments I, II and III groups were 83.13%, 82.54%, 83.29% and 86.43%, respectively. Treatment III's average was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that of the other groups. Vitamin C supplementation had no effect on feed consumption, feed conversion ratio or eggshell thickness. The average egg and eggshell weights (g) of the control and treatments I, II and III groups were 9.77, 9.66, 9.89 and 9.63 g and 0.82, 0.80, 0.83 and 0.80 g, respectively. In conclusion, adding vitamin C to the quail ration under heat stress had no significant effect on production traits with the exception of egg production in laying Japanese quails.

Keywords: Japanese quails, vitamin C, heat stress, egg production

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