LAHORE - Although chicken is the major source of meat and eggs in the country, yet efforts are underway for exploiting other suitable and cheap sources for the production of meat and eggs. Towards this end, quail farming seems to be the most promising and one of the best alternate sources for production of meat and eggs.

This was revealed in a research paper, conducted by a scholar, Sohail Ahmad for his MPhil thesis, who hopes the new research would bring a great revolution. He said that Quail (batair) is one of the smallest game birds found in Asia, also being commercially raised for meat and egg production. The most common meat type breed is Japanese quail “Coturnixcoturnix Japonica”. Japanese quail, because of its easy maintenance, short generation interval, higher growth rate and better egg production potentials, considered as a complete research model in the field of avian sciences.

It was revealed in a research that after several years of continuous selection for economical traits; carcass parameters improved almost double, productive and reproductive performance also increased 2-3 times. The researchers believe that this research will make a strong impact in the commercial quail farming sector of Pakistan. This research was supervised by Jibran Hussain, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram and Dr. Khalid Javed at University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore.

Sohail Ahmad who is a researcher at Avian Research and Training Centre, told The Nation that he conducted a research on improvement in body weight through different techniques of selective breeding along with considering the impact of chronological age in Japanese quail as it is considered that with the advancement in age there happens significant change in productive and reproductive performance of birds. His research further revealed that overall growth performance (Feed intake, body weight gain, FCR) of quail birds was found to be superior in the birds subjected to pedigree based selection as compared to mass selection and random bred control. While talking about carcass characteristic they observed that dressing improved as the body weight increased and giblet weight decreases proportionately. He further said that while comparing overall performance on progeny on the basis of parental age, non-significant differences were observed. It might be due to minor differences in the age of parents.

 In his concluding remarks he said that the birds selected through fully pedigreed information showed significantly better performance regarding subsequent progeny growth and carcass characteristics.