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ABSTRACT

The study was conducted to determine the effect of water restriction and
ascorbic acid supplementation on body weight, cloacal temperature and
hematological parameters of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
during the early dry season (November to December). Temperature and
relative humidity during the first, second and third weeks of the experiment
were 37.7 0C and 19 %, 28.9 0C and 33 % and 25.5 0C and 78 % respectively.
One hundred and fifty (n=150) three-week old male (30) and female (120).
The birds were assigned to groups A, B and C comprising of fifty birds per
group. Fifty percent water restriction was tested on groups B and C while
group C was supplemented with 250mg Ascorbic acid (AA). The results of
the study demonstrated significant (P < 0.05) increase in body temperature in
the group supplemented with vitamin C compared with the non-supplemented
groups in the first week. While, a significant (P < 0.05) increase in body
temperature between the control and the water deprived and also water
deprived and supplemented with vitamin C was recorded in the second week.
However, no corresponding increase in body temperature between all the
groups was observed in the third week. There was also no significant
difference between any of the groups in red blood cell (RBC) count,
hemoglobin (Hb) concentration, packed cell volume (PCV), total white blood
cell count and differential cell count. There was significant (P < 0.05)
increase in serum glucose level in group C compared to the other groups.
Significant (P < 0.05) increase in urea and creatinine were recorded in groups
B and C, but there was no significant difference in total protein, albumin,
sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and uric acid. Histopathology of
the liver and kidney tissues indicated varying level of necrosis in groups B
and C. Base on the findings of this research, it is concluded that, the quail
appeared not to be affected by water restriction and 250mg AA
supplementation was not beneficial in quail subjected to water restriction. We
recommend that other researches should be conducted at different season of
the year using different doses of AA.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title i
Dedication ii
Certification iii
Acknowledgements iv
Table of contents vi
List of Tables x
List of Figures xi
List of Plates xii
Abstract xiii
CHAPTER ONE
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 7
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 7
vii
1.4 JUSTIFICATION 8
CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 9
2.1 WATER 9
2.1.1 Functions of Water 11
2.1.2 Water Supply 15
2.1.3 Water Quality Parameters for Poultry 18
2.1.4 Potential Problems Associated With Water Contaminants in
Poultry 21
2.1.5 The Use of Water to Combat Heat Stress 24
2.2 TEMPERATURE 24
2.2.1 Thermoregulation 28
2.2.2 Thermoneutral Zone 31
2.2.3 Heterothermy 32
2.3 AVIAN HEMATOLOGY 34
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2.4 DYNAMICS OF BODY WEIGHT CHANGES IN POULTRY 36
2.5 VITAMIN C 37
2.5.1 Physiological Function of Ascorbic Acid in Mammals 38
2.5.2 Antioxidant 40
2.5.3 Pro-oxidant 41
2.5.4 Immune System 42
2.5.5 Antihistamine 42
2.6 WATER RESTRICTION / DEPRIVATION 42
CHAPTER THREE
3.0 MATERIALS AND METHODS 51
3.1 EXPERIMENTAL SITE 51
3.2 EXPERIMENTAL CONDITION 51
3.2.1 Housing of birds 52
3.2.2 Grouping of quails 52
3.3 ANIMAL TREATMENT 53
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3.4 METEOROLOGICAL DATA AND CLOACAL
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT 53
3.5 SAMPLE COLLECTION 54
3.6 HEMATOLOGICAL ANALYSIS 54
3.7 BIOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS 55
3.8 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS 56
CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 RESULTS 57
4.1 CLOACAL TEMPERATURE 57
4.2 BODY WEIGHT CHANGES IN QUAILS 60
4.3 HAEMATOLOGY 65
4.4 SERUM BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS 67
4.5 HISTOLOGICAL STUDIES 69
CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 DISCUSSION 75
5.1 CLOACAL TEMPERATURE 75
5.2 BODY WEIGHT 76

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The Japanese quail also known as corturnix quail, (Corturnix cortunix
japonica) belongs to the kingdom animalia, phylum chordate, class Aves,
order Galliformes, family phasianidae, sub-family perdicinae, genus corturnix
and species japonica. The bird is a species of old world quail found in East
Asia. They are migratory, species, breeding in Manchuria, southern Siberia,
northern Japan and the Korean peninsula and dwell in grass land and
cultivated field. Adults are approximately 20 centimeters in length. The bird
is used mainly for table and egg production (Sam, 2010).
The Japanese quail, also known as Coturnix quail, pharaoh’s quail, stubble
quail and eastern quail differs considerably from the North American
Bobwhite quail. The Bobwhite is larger than the Japanese quail, however the
Coturnix produces larger eggs. The incubation time needed for fertile eggs is
shorter (14-17 days) compared to Bobwhite quail eggs (23 days). Coturnix
may start laying eggs as early as 6 weeks of age compared to 16 weeks for the
Bobwhite (Sam, 2010).
xvi
Japanese quail have been widely distributed in Europe and Asia. Egyptians
used to trap large quantities from their farm lands for meat. In Japan, these
birds were kept as pets beginning in the eleventh century. By 1910 however,
Japanese quail became popular in Japan for egg and meat production. They
were introduced in the United States by bird fanciers around 1870 (Sam,
2010).
It has been reported that wild Coturnix lay eggs in small clutches of 5-12 eggs
and incubate them naturally. Certain mutants of Japanese quail have been
developed for their color of plumage, color of egg shell and body size (Sam,
2010).
Japanese quail can be sexed as early as three weeks of age, based on the
feather color which is distinct for the male and female of the species. When
matured, the Japanese males weigh in the range of 100-140 grams and they
reach sexual maturity at 5 to 6 weeks of age. The plumage color on the throat
and breast will be cinnamon or rusty brown. When males are sexually
matured, a large glandular or bulbous structure appears above the cloacal
opening. If this gland is pressed, it will produce a foamy secretion. Males
generally live longer than females. Male crow and the sound has been
described as “Ko-turn-neex”. Adult Japanese quail females are generally
xvii
larger than the males and weigh in the range of 120-160 grams. Through
proper selection, heavier birds can be produced for meat. The females can be
easily differentiated from the males by characteristically black stippled
feathers of the male. The feathers of the female quail are longer and more
pointed than those of the male birds (Sam, 2010).
The female Japanese quial may start laying eggs as early as 35 days of age
under proper conditions, laying approximately 200-300 eggs a year. Fertility
in breeder flocks is high between 2-8 months of age although after that, it is
considerably less. To obtain better fertility, a ratio of one male to one or two
females should be considered when mating (Sam, 2010).
A Coturnix egg weighs approximately 10 grams, which is estimated to be
about 8 percent of the female body weight. The basic shell color is white or
buff with patches of brown, black or blue. Individual hens characteristically
lay eggs with a particular color pattern, shape and size. Certain recessive
strains of Japanese quail lay almost white-shelled eggs (Sam, 2010).
In recent times, a new genus of poultry, Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix
japonica) was introduced into Nigeria by the National Veterinary Research
Institute (NVRI) Vom to expand the poultry subsector and help supplement
the domestic chicken production through meat and eggs (Edache et al., 2007;
xviii
Ane et al., 2009). The quails have unique characteristics and advantages over
other species of poultry which include early attainment of sexual maturity,
short generation interval making it possible to have many generations in a
year (Anon, 1991), high rate of egg production between 200-300 eggs in 360
days and are very resistant to common epidemics of poultry (NRC, 1991).
The quail are hardy birds that can adapt to many different environments
(Haruna et al., 1997b). Their meat and eggs are renowned for their high
quality protein, high biological value and low caloric content, making it a
choice product for hypertensive patient (Haruna et al., 1997a, Olubamiwa et
al., 1999).
Japanese quail is reared by many farmers in different parts of the country and
accepted by the populace especially because of their prolific nature, less
susceptibility to diseases, lean meat and low level of cholesterol in both meat
and egg (Musa et al., 2007). Quail production is becoming fast growing in
most parts of the country particularly in the northern part. Several factors
affect the physiology of birds creating discomfort sometimes death. These
factors include air temperature changes, high ambient temperature and
relative humidity, and restricted access to food and water (Bedenova et al.,
2006; Vecerek et al., 2006).
xix
It has been observed that temperature and moisture of air are two major
environmental factors controlling the heat-stress of livestock (Bouraovi et al.,
2002 and ST-Pierre et al., 2003). Heat stress to different extent adversely
affects egg size, laying percentage, mortality, body weight gain and egg shell
durability (Franco-Jiminez and Beck, 2007).
Much research has shown that metabolic rate is alterable and may be affected
by numerous variables such as old age in rats (Kleiber et al., 1961). So also
metabolic rate per unit of body weight and surface area (Davis, 1937). Old
age rats may have difficulties with temperature regulation and as a result have
lower body temperature (Kleiber et al., 1961). Metabolic rate has been shown
to increase in response to various other factors such as stress (Gournay et al.,
1999).
Water form an integral part of body mass and it plays a role in maintaining
homeostasis. Water plays a role in temperature regulation, acid-base status
regulation, hydrolysis, energy generation, digestion and joint lubrication e.t.c.
Water forms largest part of individual cells, as extracellular fluid (ECF),
intacellular (ICF) and intracellular fluid (IF), enhancing transportation of
materials and facilitating biochemical reactions within individual cells. Water
deprivation affects metabolic processes as well as reproductive activities.
xx
Water deprivation is a form of stress that affects normal physiological
functions (Silanikove, 1994).
Water deprivation induces hypothermia (Herbert et al., 1998). Research on
effect of dehydration and heat exposure in quail revealed reduced evaporation
cooling resulting in hyperthermia (Itsaki-Gluklich, 1992). Water restriction
results in increase oxygen consumption leading to an increase in metabolic
rate (Mathew et al., 2006). Ascorbic acid has been used widely as a
supplement in managing all forms of stress, such as negative effect of high
environmental temperature. Report on Vitamin C supplementation revealed
beneficial effect on growth rate, egg production, egg shell and thickness.
Vitamin C and folic acid supplementation increase live weight and feed intake
and improve feed efficiency in heat-stressed animals (Salim et al., 2002).
Dietary supplementation of Vitamin C and E was found to alleviate the
adverse effect of heat stress in Shika Brown layer chickens transported during
dry season (Joachim et al., 2009).
Co-administration of Vitamin E and C is found to be important in protecting
and preserving erythrocyte membrane integrity, prolonging the life span of
erythrocyte, improving PCV, Hb, erythrocyte count, regulating white cell
xxi
population and reducing haemolysis in animals subjected to heat stress in the
Northern Guinea Savanna zone of Nigeria (Alhassan et al., 2009).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
I. Quail production is becoming a lucrative business in this part of
the country with little information on their ability to withstand
water deprivation.
II. High ambient temperature affects production in poultry and
Ascorbic Acid (AA) has been used to alleviate such problems but
there is little information on its role in water restricted quails in
Sahel Savanna region of Nigeria
III. Scarcity of information on the effect of water restriction on
haematological parameters in quails
IV. Need for more information on body temperature of water
restricted quail.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
I. To determine the effect of water restriction on body temperature
in quails.
xxii
II. To establish if 50% water restriction affects body weight in quail
raised in the Sahel Savanna region of Nigeria.
III. To determine the effect of water restriction on haematological
parameters of quail.
IV. To evaluate the effect of AA supplementation on body
temperature, weight gain and haematological parameters of
quails subjected to water restriction.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION
For quail farming to be commercially profitable in this hot (tropical)
environment measures to alleviate the effects of high ambient temperatures on
production of the birds must be found.
quail farming is gaining more recognition in this part of Nigeria with little
information on effect of the intense environmental temperature on their
survivability and reproduction.
This research will provide basic information on the physiologic response of
quails to water restriction and hence will provide a guide on their water
requirement and management in the Sahel Savanna region of Nothern
Nigeria.
xxiii
The research will also provide an insight on the normal physiology of Quail in
Sokoto

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