Effect of slaughter age on quail (Coturnix japonica) growth, meat quality, and feed efficiency in Puerto Rico

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Torres Burgos, Yahaira Ivette
Embargoed Until
Domenech Pérez, Katherine I.
College of Agricultural Sciences
Department of Animal Science
Degree Level
This study evaluated the growth and economic efficiency of raising quail in Puerto Rico while considering changes in meat quality due to age and sex to identify an optimal slaughter age. Carcass yield and composition, breast meat color, pH, tenderness, cost, and feed efficiency were measured. A total of 135 Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) were use in a 5x2 factorial, where the main effects of slaughter age (28, 35, 42, 49, or 56d), gender (male or female), and their interaction were tested. Greatest carcass yield (67.24%) was obtained at 35d of age for both sexes. Abdominal fat increased in both sexes beginning at 42d. Age was the most influential factor affecting meat quality, where greater variability and decreased tenderness occurred as age increased. Greatest feed efficiency also occurred at 35d of age, with a feeding cost of $0.2720/quail. Considering all variables and our production conditions, optimal slaughter age was 35d.

El objetivo del estudio fue determinar la edad óptima de sacrificio de codornices en Puerto Rico considerando cambios en calidad de carne afectados por edad y sexo. Se evaluó el rendimiento, composición de canal, color, pH, terneza, costo y eficiencia alimenticia. Se utilizaron 135 codornices (Coturnix japonica) en un arreglo factorial 5x2, donde se evaluó el efecto de edad (28, 35, 42, 49 y 56d), sexo (hembra y macho) y su interacción. El mayor rendimiento (67.24%) fue a los 35d en ambos sexos. La grasa abdominal aumentó a partir de 42d. La edad fue el factor más influyente sobre la calidad, donde hubo mayor variabilidad y una disminución en terneza a medida aumentaba la edad. El punto de mayor eficiencia alimenticia ocurrió a los 35d representando un costo total de alimentación de $0.2720/codorniz. Según las variables evaluadas y nuestras condiciones de producción, la edad óptima de matanza fue de 35d.
Japanese quail,
Meat quality,
Slaughter age,
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Torres Burgos, Y. I. (2021). Effect of slaughter age on quail (Coturnix japonica) growth, meat quality, and feed efficiency in Puerto Rico [Thesis]. Retrieved from