Lighting programs for male and female meat quails (Coturnix coturnix) raised in equatorial region
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of lighting programs for male and female meat quails raised in an equatorial region on performance and carcass traits. A total of 1,500 sexed quails (Coturnix coturnix) was distributed in a completely randomized design in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement, with 2 sexes (male and female) and 3 lighting programs (natural, intermittent, and continuous) with 5 replicates of 50 birds. The lighting programs were applied in the period from 7 to 49 d of age, being natural (12 h and 30 min of natural light and 11 h and 30 min of dark), intermittent (12 h and 30 min of natural light and 5 h and 30 min of artificial light, alternating lighting periods with one h and 06 min and periods of darkness with one h and 12 min), and continuous (23 h of natural + artificial light and one h of dark). Regardless of lighting program, female quails were heavier than males, and birds subjected to natural light weighed less than those exposed to continuous and intermittent lighting programs. Quails exposed to intermittent and continuous light presented higher weight gain and feed intake, and worse feed conversion ratio compared to birds under a natural light regimen. It is concluded that in an equatorial region, it is possible to use a lighting program with only natural light for raising male and female meat quails from 7 to 49 d of age.