Influence of dietary inclusion of untreated or heat-treated Jatropha meal on productive and reproductive performances and biochemical blood parameters of laying Japanese quail
Jatropha meal (JM) has been characterized as a potential animal feedstuff due to its high crude protein content and high levels of essential amino acids. However, it contains anti-nutritive and toxic compounds that may hinder its use. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a dietary inclusion of raw Jatropha meal (RJM) and heat-treated Jatropha meal on the growth and production of laying Japanese quail using productive, reproductive, and biochemical blood parameters. A total number of 180 mature Japanese quail at 2 months of age (120 females and 60 males) was randomly divided into 4 treatment groups: control (0% JM); 3.5% RJM; 3.5% JM heated in an oven at 100°C for 24 h (JM24); and 3.5% JM heated in oven at 100°C for 48 h (JM48). After 8 wk on treatment diets, the inclusion of RJM to quail diets reduced (P < 0.05) feed intake, feed efficiency, egg number, and egg mass compared with the control diet. There was no difference between the heat-treated Jatropha (JM24 and JM48) treatments and the control. Fertility and hatchability percentages were improved (P < 0.001) with JM24 and JM48 compared with the RJM group. Feeding of 3.5% RJM or JM24 in quail diets led to significant decrease (P < 0.05) in serum total protein, albumen, globulin, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, total and HDL-cholesterol, immunoglobulin (IgG and IgM), and increased serum alanine transaminase (ALT) and creatinine along with the mortality rate when compared with birds fed JM48. In conclusion, heat treatment of JM is essential to eliminate its hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic effects and, when properly heat-treated, can be used in laying Japanese quail diets without detrimental effects on production, reproductive performance, and health status.