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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


MAGUBANE, Mhlengi M. et al. Fat absorption and deposition in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) fed a high fat diet. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2013, vol.84, n.1, pp.00-00. ISSN 2224-9435.

Dietary fat contributes significantly to the energy requirements of poultry. Not all species are able to increase their absorptive capacity for fats in response to a high fat diet. The effects of a high fat diet (10% canola oil) on the lipid absorption and deposition in the liver, breast and thigh muscles of male and female Japanese quail were investigated. Thirty-eight Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were randomly divided into a high fat diet (HFD) and a standard diet (STD) group. The birds were fed the diets for seven weeks after which half of the birds were subjected to oral fat loading tests (OFLT) with plant oils containing long-chain and medium-chain triglycerides. The remaining birds were included for the lipid deposition measurements. Thereafter the birds were euthanised, blood samples were collected and liver, breast and thigh muscle lipid deposition was determined. Female quail on both diets had significantly higher plasma triglyceride concentrations (p < 0.05) compared with their male counterparts. No significant differences in plasma triglyceride concentrations were observed after the OFLTs. Female quail had significantly heavier liver masses compared with the males but there was no significant difference in the liver lipid content per gram liver mass. Female quail on the HFD had higher lipid content (p < 0.05) in the breast muscle compared with their male counterparts whilst male quail on the HFD had higher lipid content (p < 0.05) in the thigh muscle in comparison with both males and females on the standard diet. Dietary supplementation with 10% canola oil did not alter gastrointestinal tract lipid absorption, but it caused differences between the sexes in muscle lipid accumulation, the physiological significance of which requires further investigation.

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