An extensive study was conducted on Japanese quail birds (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
to evaluate the effect of magmeal supplementation on intestinal physiology and morphological changes and hematobiochemical changes during the period 2015-16. Economic evaluation of magmeal at various levels of inclusion in Japanese quail diet was also calculated. A total of 240 birds from day old to 6 weeks of age were maintained in equicaloric and equinitrogenous dietary regime at Poultry Research Station, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai. The birds were fed with quail brooder and finisher mash with varying proportion of fishmeal and magmeal prepared at Central Feed Technology Unit, Kattupakkam.
Preparation of magmeal
Maggots were cultured in the Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai by the floatation method of harvesting of housefly larvae from manure of laying chickens. It involved flooding of the manure with excess water, thus making the larvae float for their easy removal, washing them in clean water three times until there was no remnant of manure, after which they were dewatered (Akpodiete et al., 1997).
Magmeal was prepared by incubating (60°C for 24 hours in hot air oven) and powdering of the incubated maggots in the Department of Veterinary Physiology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai (Fig 1 and 2). The proximate analysis of the prepared magmeal was analyzed by Animal Feed Analytical and Quality Assurance Laboratory, Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu (Table 1). The magmeal was incorporated into the quail diet.
Fig 1: A handful of maggots.
Fig 2: Magmeal
Table 1: Proximate analysis of magmeal.
The amino acid composition of magmeal was determined by high pressure liquid chromatography in Sri Nathella Sampathu Chetty Clinical Laboratory (Unit of Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation), Chennai. The amino acid level (nmoles/ml) in magmeal is presented in Table 2a and 2b. The analysis by high pressure liquid chromatography revealed that the highest essential amino acid levels in magmeal were of threonine (55 nmoles/ml) and arginine (49 nmoles/ml) followed by valine (47 nmoles/ml) whereas glycine (80 nmoles/ml), glutamic acid (78 nmoles/ml) and serine (53 nmoles/ml) had the highest non - essential amino acid level in magmeal (Fig 3).
Table 2a: Essential amino acid level in magmeal.
Table 2b: Non-essential amino acid level in magmeal.
Fig 3: Amino acid composition of magmeal.
A total of 240 birds maintained at Poultry Research Station, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai were divided into four groups as follows:
Group 1 (Control group)
Japanese quail basal diet (with 7% fish meal).
Japanese quail basal diet replacing 50% fish meal with magmeal.
Japanese quail basal diet replacing 75% fish meal with magmeal.
Japanese quail basal diet replacing 100% fish meal with magmeal were given to 60 birds (20 birds in 3 replicates) in each group and were fed up to 6 weeks.
Feed formulation for Japanese quails
The birds were fed with quail brooder (Table 3) and finisher mash (Table 4) with different combination of fishmeal and magmeal which was prepared at Central Feed Technology Unit, Kattupakkam.
Table 3: Quail brooder mash (in kg).
Table 4: Quail finisher mash (in kg).