Welfare indicators for laying Japanese quails caged at different densities


Abstract In the way to reduce costs in the poultry production, high densities of birds are adopted in the production systems. Such high densities can lead to an inappropriate environment, compromising the welfare and decreasing the animal performance. In this work we aimed to evaluate the effects of different densities on the productive yield, egg quality and immunological aspects of Japanese quails. It was used 816 Japanese quails, during egg production phase, in a random design, with four treatments (121.43 cm2/bird; 106.25 cm2/bird; 94.44 cm2/bird and 85.00 cm2/bird) with six repetitions each. Results indicate density did not interfere on egg quality and all treatments can be considered excellent, once the Haugh Unit was 88.03. Therefore, higher densities decline the yield, decreasing the eggs weight (10.35 g), the laying percentage (88%), egg mass (9.16 g) and the week average feed consumption (157.35 g). IgY values were higher at smaller cage density, suggesting birds in this condition presented better immunological condition, related to welfare and stress factors, all linked to immunoglobulins IgY.



immunity, IgY, egg quality, Haugh Unit