R. Bras. Zootec.01/Jan/2016;45(1):8-15.
Comparison of growth performance and carcass traits of Japanese quails reared in conventional, pasture, and organic conditions
ABSTRACT – This study was conducted to compare live weight, feed intake, feed conversion, mortality rate, and some carcass characteristics of Japanese quails reared under organic and conventional conditions. A total of 180 one-day-old quail chicks were randomly divided into six groups ― Conventional, consuming conventional feed ad libitum; Control (C), consuming organic feed ad libitum; C+P, consuming organic feed ad libitum + pasture; 80C+P, consuming 80% of control + pasture; 70C+P, consuming 70% of control + pasture; and 50C+P, consuming 50% of control + pasture ― with three replicates. The conventional group was kept for 6 weeks, while the control, C+P, 80C+P, 70C+P, and 50C+P groups were reared until the end of 10 weeks of age. Raising systems significantly affected live weight, feed intake, and feed conversion. The analysis showed that the meat yield of quail raised in organic conditions had better results than those raised in conventional conditions in terms of appearance, color, aroma, and flavor. The group consuming 50% of control plus pasture was more advantageous than the other organic groups and the conventional group at the end of the 10-week fattening period. The organic production system can be a good system to meet the demand of consumers who seek more natural products.