Growth, reproduction and survival of quail in savannah ecological zone of Ghana
This research was undertaken to ascertain the growth performance, reproduction, and survival of quails given optimal feeding and management conditions in the savannah ecological zone of Ghana. The research was designed to cover both wet and dry seasons experienced in the region. In both seasons, 50 day-old chicks were used for the experiment and growth, survival and reproductive parameters were recorded. The results showed that there was no significant difference in weekly body weights (average body weight for weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively were 6.38g, 16.00g, 39g, and 70.00g). It was observed that feed intake in both seasons increased as birds advanced in age. Overall mean age at first egg was 58.00 days and 55.50 days in wet and dry seasons, respectively. In the wet and dry seasons, hen-day egg production was 88.33 and 87.63% respectively, in the 2nd month of lay. The mean for egg number per bird for the first three months of lay was 24.46 and 24.13 in wet and dry seasons, respectively. All external egg traits studied showed no significant difference in wet and dry seasons. It was also observed that mortality rate (between hatch day and 1 week was 26% and 32%; in wet and dry seasons respectively: between week 1-2 was 2.90% and 5.88% in wet and dry seasons respectively) obtained in this present study between day one (hatch) and 1 week of age) decreased with age. In conclusion, the climate and natural conditions of the Northern Region of Ghana (guinea savanna ecological zone) are very suitable for quail rearing. It is therefore recommended that local poultry farmers should go into quail farming in this part of the country as the climatic factors support their growth.
Keywords: Egg quality traits, Feed conversion, Japanese quail, Reproductive performance, Wet and dry seasons