- A series of 17 experiments was conducted to investigate the minimum
vitamin requirement and vitamin interrelationship for growth of
Coturnix coturnix japonica to two weeks of age using a glucose
monohydrate-isolated soybean protein diet.
The first phase involved two preliminary trials. The first trial
consisted of four treatments with the positive control group receiving
the basal ration supplemented with high levels of all the vitamins. The
results of the first experiment indicated that minimum requirement
levels determined by earlier workers were inadequate in the absence
of high levels of non-required vitamins.
In order to determine the effect of higher levels of each of the
required vitamins on growth, a second trial was conducted. Ten
experimental diets containing the minimum levels of required vitamins
supplemented with fractions of minimum levels of each of the required
vitamin were used. The findings suggested that higher requirements
of required vitamins were necessary for normal growth of Coturnix
In the second phase, nine experiments were conducted to
establish the higher minimum levels of the required vitamins that
were required using growth, mortality and feathering as the primary
criteria. The requirements per kg of diet for vitamins A, D, thiamine,
riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, niacin and choline are as
follows: vitamin A (I. U. ) > 550 but ≤ 825, vitamin D₃ (I. C. U. ) > 500
but -S 750, thiamine HC1 (mg) > 5 but ≤ 6 (5. 4 total thiamine), riboflavin
(mg) > 7 but ≤ 8 (8. 4 total riboflavin), d-Ca-pantothenate (mg)
> 20 but ≤ 25- 25 (24. 3 total pantothenic acid), pyridoxine (mg) > 5 but S 6
(6. 74 total pyridoxine), niacin (mg) > 30 but ≤ 40 (42 total niacin),
choline (mg) > 868 but ≤ 1302 (1302. 7 total choline).
Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency observed were ataxia, ruffled
feathers, lacrimation of eyes, high blood uric acid level, damage to
the epithelial tissues of the intestine without any change in the length
and weight of the small intestine. Vitamin D deficient Coturnix chicks
showed symptoms of rickets as evidenced by rubbery beaks, beady
ribs, disinclination to walk and low toe ash values. In the case of the
thiamine deficiency the symptoms were anorexia, leg weakness and
high mortality. The characteristic symptoms of riboflavin deficiency
were slow growth, high mortality, and slight effect on carriage and posture. The most distinctive symptoms of birds on very low levels
of riboflavin were the absence of plumage other than down at the end of
two weeks. Curled-toe paralysis was never observed.
Pantothenic acid deficiency was characterized by poor growth,
high mortality, poor feathering and absence of barbules on the feathers.
Poor growth and high mortality were the only effects of niacin deficiency
in Coturnix chicks. The choline deficient chicks showed slow growth,
the livers of these birds were smaller than the controls and of bright
yellow color and a tendency for the distention of the gall bladder.
Six experiments were conducted to determine the possible interrelationship
between the required and the non-required vitamins. Each
trial consisted of nine variables which were the previously determined
levels of the required vitamins in combination with maximum levels of
a non-required vitamin vs. recently determined minimum levels of
required vitamins. It was found that supplementation with 20 mg per
kg of ascorbic acid gave a definite although small increase in growth
when supplemented with thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and
pyridoxine, thus exerting a marked sparing effect on minimum requirements
for these vitamins. Feeding of 100 mcg per kg of vitamin B₁₂
likewise promoted growth when supplemented with these vitamins.
Ten mg per kg of folic acid and 100 mcg per kg of vitamin B₁₂
improved growth of quail chicks fed the minimum level of choline.
Supplementation of niacin with each non-required vitamin had no effect
on growth of Coturnix chicks to two weeks of age.