Japanese quail (Coturnix c. japonica) were fed 0, 8, 16 or 32 p.p.m. of mercury as mercuric chloride from 3 days of age through 20 weeks of age. The onset of egg production generally occurred earlier for hens fed HgCl2. Average age in days at first oviposition for the control, 8 p.p.m., 16 p.p.m. and 32 p.p.m. was 48.4, 50.9, 46.9 and 44.0 respectively. The average rate of egg productivity from first oviposition to attainment of full growth (9 weeks of age) correlated positively with in increased dietary mercury (controls, 8 p.p.m., 16 p.p.m., 32 p.p.m. ? 75.2, 69.3, 86.1 and 93.3% respectively). By 20 weeks of age productivity was 81.0, 80.6, 87.5 and 92.9% for control, 8, 16 and 32 p.p.m. groups respectively. Fertility was depressed when hens were fed HgCl2. At 9 weeks of age average control fertility was 59% contrasted with 25% for the 32 p.p.m. group. At 12 weeks fertility increased to 89% and 57% for these groups. From this study it is apparent. that the onset and rate of egg production was stimulated by HgCl2, but fertility was adversely affected.
Additional publication details
Effect of mercuric chloride feeding on sexual maturity, egg production and fertility in Japanese quail