African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12484

Full Length Research Paper

Genetic parameters and consequences of selection for short-term egg production traits in Japanese quail in a tropical environment

Okenyi, N., Ndofor-Foleng, H. M*, Ogbu, C. C., and Agu, C. I.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected], [email protected].

  •  Accepted: 25 February 2013
  •  Published: 31 March 2013



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 Ggenerations, respectively. The average egg weight for G0, G1 and Ggenerations 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 Ggenerations 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.