Comparison of fattening performance, carcass characteristics, and egg quality characteristics of Japanese quails with different feather colors
1. A total of 1200 eggs were obtained from two pure line stocks of 'wild' and 'recessive white' quail of the Pharaoh strain (Coturnix coturnix Pharaoh), with two different breeder ages (17 or 34 weeks). The recessive white line was derived from mutant birds, which appeared spontaneously within the wild-type quail colony. 2. The analysis included plumage colour and breeder age as main effects together with their interaction. There were no significant effects for apparent fertility but hatchability of total and fertile eggs was affected by plumage colour variant and breeder age. 3. Body weight was affected by plumage colour throughout the growing period, whereas the differences attributable to breeder age were significant from 21 to 42 d only. 4. Main effects and their interaction were significant for feed conversion ratio until the end of the growing period, except at the age of 7 d for the effect of breeder age. 5. It was concluded that the hatchability and growth performance of the recessive white-type was not as good as the wild-type. The young breeders (17 weeks old) had the best hatchability and subsequent growth performance.