The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of quantitative feed restriction, along with dietary supplementation with a probiotic blend (Protexin) as a natural growth promoter, on the performance, water consumption, mortality rate and carcass traits of meat-type quails. A total of 250 1-day unsexed quails were randomly allocated to five equal groups in a completely randomized design. The first group (A) fed a basal diet without any restriction (24 hr/day); the second group (B1) fed the basal diet for 20 hr/day; the third group (B2) fed the basal diet enriched with probiotic (0.1 g/kg diet) for 20 hr/day; the fourth group (C1) fed the basal diet for 16 hr/day; and the fifth group (C2) fed the basal diet enriched with probiotic (0.1 g/kg diet) for 16 hr/day. Birds were fed ad-libitum from 0-14 days of age, and then the feed restriction regimes started from 14 till 28 days of age. Results showed that quails in the control-group consumed more feed and water than the other treatment groups (p < .01), however their body weights did not differ (p > .05) compared with the other treated groups. The best feed conversion values were achieved in quails supplemented with probiotic blend (B2 and C2) in comparison with the other groups (p < .01). Feeding probiotic had a positive effect on bird health which reduced the mortality rate. Further, mortality rate was significantly reduced (p < .05) by feed restriction, with or without probiotic supplementation. No carcass parameters were significantly affected (p > .05) by treatments. Our results show that quail could be reared under a feed restriction system, for 4-8 hr daily, along with dietary supplementation of probiotic as growth promoter for better growth performance.
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