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Balancing Carcass Yield, Quality in Japanese Quail

14 April 2014

TURKEY - Carcass quality of Japanese quail declines with age, according to Turkish scientists.

Researchers at Namik Kemal University and Akdeniz University have studied the effects of slaughter age and mass selection on slaughter and carcass characteristics in two lines of Japanese quail, reporting their results in Poultry Science.

The study showed that carcass quality deteriorated with slaughter age, according to Dogan Narinc and co-authors.

Furthermore, selection for higher bodyweight over just four generations resulted in differences of up to 22 per cent in carcass weight.

In the experiment, one of the lines had been subjected to mass selection to increase bodyweight for four generations and this was compared with a control flock that randomly mated for four generations.

Birds of both lines were slaughtered at four, five, six, seven and eight weeks of age. Weights of carcass, breast, leg, wing, edible inner organs and abdominal fat, and their percentages in bodyweight were measured.

Short-term mass selection for increased bodyweight resulted in an increase for all slaughter and carcass traits, except edible inner organ percentage.

Slaughter age had a significant effect on the studied traits, indicating that the bodyweight and weight of carcass, carcass parts, abdominal fat, edible inner organs and percentage of abdominal fat increased with increased slaughter age. Carcass yield and percentages of carcass parts and edible inner organs decreased with an increase in slaughter age.

The researchers concluded that there was a deterioration in carcass quality with an increase in slaughter age. The differences between the carcass weights over the different ages ranged between 16.8 and 22.5 per cent in favour of the selected line.


Narinc D., E. Karaman and T. Aksoy. 2014. Effects of slaughter age and mass selection on slaughter and carcass characteristics in two lines of Japanese quail. Poultry Science. 93(3):762-769. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03506

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

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