The effect of long-term feeding of conjugated linoleic acid on fertility in Japanese quail
AbstractThe objective of this study was to determine the effects of the long-term feeding of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on laying hen performance, egg fertility and hatchability of fertile eggs of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). One hundred and sixty 7-day old Japanese quail chicks were randomly assigned to four groups (40 birds per group) and fed for five weeks on a commercial diet supplemented with either 0.5% hazelnut (Group A), 0.5% sunflower oil (Group B), 0.25% CLA (Group C) or 0.5% CLA (Group D). The birds received water and feed ad libitum during the study. At the end of the five weeks the birds were sexed, and 21 females and seven males from each group were selected. For a further six weeks these selected birds were fed a layer diet supplemented with their respective sources of oil. Eggs were collected daily and incubated weekly. The fertility rate was determined by visual inspection at the end of the incubation period. Dietary CLA at the inclusion level of 0.5%, but not at 0.25%, caused a significant decrease in percentage hatchability of the fertile eggs compared to Groups A and B. Hatchability of fertile eggs from Groups A, B, C and D was 74, 80, 72 and 70, respectively. Fertility rates between Groups A, B, C and D did not differ significantly, and were 64.4, 56.4, 66.0 and 62.8%, respectively. Hen-day egg production of Groups A, C and D were similar, but in weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6, hens in Group B had a significantly lower hen-day egg production (%) compared to Group A. Also, in weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6, egg size in Group B was significantly lower than that in the other groups. From this study it is concluded that dietary CLA at inclusion levels of 0.25% or 0.5% did not influence egg fertility, egg weight and egg production in Japanese quail.
South African Journal of Animal Science Vol. 36(2) 2006: 99-104