R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Sep/2017;46(9):731-9.
Effect of breeder age and storage conditions of Japanese quail eggs on hatchability, quail neonate quality, and Bursa of Fabricius characteristics
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate combinations of different storage periods and temperature of hatching eggs of breeder quails in two stages of the production cycle (24 and 43 weeks) on hatchability, quail neonate quality, and Bursa of Fabricius characteristics. In each experiment, a total of 1.050 Japanese quail eggs were incubated in a randomized block design in a factorial arrangement of 2 × 5 × 2, with two breeder ages (24 and 43 weeks), five storage periods (one, three, six, nine, and twelve days), and two storage temperatures (28 and 14 °C), totaling 20 treatments with 52 eggs each. Quantitative data were subjected to ANOVA and means were compared by Tukey’s test. Qualitative data were subjected to Friedman’s test. Polynomial regression analysis was performed in relation to the storage period of the eggs. Hatchability of 43-week-old breeders worsened as the storage period increased at 28 °C, while at 14 °C, hatchability was not affected. Yolk-free body weight was influenced only by storage period; therefore, the group stored for 12 days had the lowest yolk-free body weight. Twelve days of storage reduced the absorption of yolk residue and physical quality score and also affected neonate quail immunity. Fertile eggs from Japanese quails that are destined for incubation should be stored at 14 °C to maintain physical and immunological quality of the progeny. Moreover, eggs from older breeders originate lower-quality quails when eggs are not stored in a refrigerated environment.