The current study was conducted to investigate the effect of selection for short-term (30 days) egg production trait in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) over three generations (Go, G1 and G2). Heritabilities were estimated using the mixed model least squares and maximum likelihood computer programme. Fertility percentages of 76.29, 70.06, and 65.98% and hatchability percentage of 57.89, 63.75 and 69.12% were obtained for Go, G1 and G2 generations, respectively. The average egg weight for G0, G1 and G2 generations were 11.41, 10.84 and 9.33 g, respectively. Body weight at first egg (BWTFE) was 135.61, 150.02 and 154.64 g for the Go, G1and G2 generations respectively. Egg number differed significant (p < 0.05) between generations. Heritability estimates for egg number, egg weight and BWTFE studied were low to moderate and ranged from 0.11 to 0.48. Realized genetic gains of 1.60 and 2.86 eggs were obtained for egg number while realized correlated responses of -0.18 and -1.17 g for egg weight and -6.03 and -15.14 g for BWTFE were obtained respectively in G0 and G1 generations. The experiment indicates that mass selection improved egg number in Japanese quail.
Key words: Fertility, hatchability, heritability, realized genetic gain.
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