Repeatability estimates of body weight and shank length in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix Japonica)
Weekly body weight and shank length records of 2,591 quails were used to estimate the repeatability of body weight and shank length in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). Variance components between individual quails, error variance among the quails and standard error were computed using Microsoft Excel computer package. The results showed that average body weight of quail ranged from 7.482g at hatching to 203.508g (Seventh week) while the shank length ranged from 1.424cm at hatch to 3.619cm (Seventh week). The result showed that Japanese quails had high repeatability estimate at all weeks of age for the body weight ranging from 0.929 to 0.989. Similarly, the repeatability of body weight gain ranged from 0.753 to 0.883. Also, the repeatability estimates for shank length at all weeks of age were also high ranging from 0.879 to 0.997. The repeatability estimates for shank length increment ranged from low estimate value of 0.0968 at the 2nd week of age to high value of 0.713 at the 7th week of age. In conclusion, the result showed that fewer records are required to characterize body weight and shank length growth performance potential of Japanese quail and that Japanese quails can be selected for these growth performance traits at early stages of their life.
Keywords: Japanese quail, Repeatability, Body weight, Shank Length.
Copy right of all published material rests with the Nigerian Journal of Animal Science.