Effect of mating ratio on the laying performance, hatching characteristics, feeding and housing cost of Japanese quails

Ayoola, A Adeyemi, L Sobayo, Yusuf
A total of 438 4-wk old Japanese quails (288 females and 150 males) grouped at different mating ratios were used to evaluate the laying performance. The birds were divided into 4 mating groups: 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 and 1:4. Each group comprised of 72 females while males were varied according to the mating ratios, i.e., 72, 36, 24 and 18 males, respectively. Birds were replicated thrice (24 female birds each) in a Completely Randomized Design and raised in colonies. A total of 50 eggs were collected
more » ... incubation from the respective mating ratio groups. Data were collected on laying performance, hatching characteristics and feeding and housing cost. Results revealed that the age at first lay of the birds, weight of the birds at first lay, egg weight at first lay, average number of eggs laid per bird, hen day production, average weight of eggs and feed : egg ratio were not significantly influenced by the mating ratios. Total feed intake per mating ratio group, total feed cost (N9025.13, N7136.30, N6104.62 and N5753.83), floor space per mating ratio group and housing cost per group (N4500, N3375, N3000 and N2812.50) increased as the mating ratio increased. Incubation weight loss and fertility were similar (P>0.05) among the mating ratios. However, hatchability was better in 1:1 (73.43%) and 1:2 (74.26%) than others. It can be concluded that mating ratio did not influence laying performance and egg fertility, however, hatchability declined as male to female ratio reduced beyond 1: 2.