Variation in quality of newly hatched chicks from Japanese breeder quail fed guava extract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of guava extract as a dietary supplement for Japanese quail hens on incubation parameters, intestinal development, and the quality of newly hatched chicks. Six hundred and forty-eight eggs were collected from Japanese quail hens fed diets with 0.0, 3.0, 6.0, and 9.0 g/kg of guava extract. The study consisted of four treatments, six replicates, and 27 eggs per replicate. The guava extract contained 2% ellagic acid. The eggs were incubated at 37.5 °C and 65% relative air humidity. The hatch window, hatchability, embryo development in unhatched eggs, quality of newly hatched quails, and intestinal histomorphometry of a duodenum segment were evaluated. Differences among the treatments in hatchability and the hatch window were not significant. The guava extract did not affect mortality rate, live pecking, dead pecking, and contaminated and inverted eggs. The number of infertile eggs was lower in the groups that received 3.0 and 9.0 g/kg of extract in their diets. Use of up to 3.0 g/kg of guava extract in the diet increased the weight of both eggs and newly hatched chicks. The quality score of newly hatched quail was similar across treatments. The inclusion of 3.0 g/kg of guava extract in the diet of Japanese quail breeder hens increased the hatchling weight of the chicks and improved the villus to crypt ratio of their duodenum.
Keywords: embryology, embryo metabolism, hatchery, incubation, breeder nutrition