Effect of different fattening period duration on meat productivity of domestic quails

H. Lukanov1*, I. Pavlova2, A. Genchev1

1Department of Animal Science – monogastric and other animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2Department of General livestock breeding, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 11 June 2021; accepted for publication 14 October 2021)

Abstract. The study was conducted with 224 domestic quails from the specialized meat-type WG line. The duration of fattening period and sex on productive traits, slaughter traits and meat quality of quails was evaluated. The study has shown that the longer duration of the fattening period in quails from the meat-type line WG was associated with lower production efficiency, with more reduction after the 35th day of life. The production efficiency in male quails was lower compared to that in females. The dispersion analysis demonstrated that the determination of 72.2% and 69.6% of dressed carcass weight and deboned meat weight, respectively, depended on fattening period duration (p<0.001). When fattening increased from 28 to 42 days, the amount of feed necessary for one bird increased by 73% and 87%, corresponding to increased costs by 64.5% and 77%. For production of 1 kg dressed quail carcasses, the necessary feed increased by 42.3-45.8% on a weight basis and by 35-37.7% on a cost basis. For production of 1 kg deboned quail meat, corresponding increases are by 42.1-49.5% and 34.8-41.2%, respectively. The period between 28 and 35 days of age was the most appropriate for planning slaughter of WG quails. During that period, the economic efficiency, although already declining, was still within acceptable limits and the increase in quantitative traits in both sexes – still relevant, making the produce more attractive for consumers. With age, the changes in colour characteristics of M. pectoralis superficialis result in darkening of meat (p<0.001). Thus, it assumes nuances specific rather for game meat. This effect is desirable, as it improves the commercial presentation of domestic quail meat in line with consumers’ attitudes.