Four experiments involving 873 bob-white quail (Colinus virginianus) chicks were conducted at the Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, Maryland. A comparison was made of calcium: phosphorus ratios of 1:1, 15:1, 1%: 1, 2:1, 2+:1,and 2%: 1in diets with phosphorus levels of 0.52, 0.75, 1.00, and 1.25 percent. The results indicate that the optimum level of phosphorus for growth is in the neighborhood of 0.75 per cent, and that of calcium is about 1.00 per cent, making a ratio of 1 1/3: 1....Although the greatest efficiency of feed utilization occurred on the phosphorus level of 0.52 per cent, the liveweight and bone-ash of the birds at the end of ten weeks were significantly lower than they were on the levels of 0.75 and 1.00 per cent, phosphorus. Bone-ash of birds on a Ca: P ratio of 1:1was significantly lower than that on any of the other five ratios, regardless of phosphorus level....There was a significant reverse correlation between the Ca: P ratio of the diet and the storage of vitamin A in the liver. Storage was especially low on the ratio of 2 2/3: 1....The low and high levels of calcium and phosphorus considered in these studies are abnormal, the low level especially being hard to obtain with common feedstuffs, if the protein requirements of the birds are met. Nevertheless, even on such levels, results were not disastrous. The growth of quail in the wild happens during a season when the birds have access to the minerals of the soil and in the abundant animal matter (mostly insects), as well as to minerals in plant material. Therefore, seemingly, calcium and phosphorus need not be critical nutrients for growing quail in the wild.
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Calcium and phosphorus requirements of bobwhite quail chicks