Minimum vitamin requirements and vitamin interrelationships for growth in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) Public Deposited

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  • 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 chicks. 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.
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