Young adult male and laying female quail, fed with a diet containing 2.64% Ca and 0.70% P, were used to study nutritive utilization, corporal calcium retention and endogenous excretion, calcemia, laying and properties of the egg (including the shell structure), mineralization of the femur bone, as well as the influence of diethylstilbestrol upon these parameters.
Calcium balance in the quail, Influence of sex and diethylstilbestrol, Poultry science, NCBI PubMed PMID: 1019078, 1976 Nov.
The coefficient of nutritive utilization (C.N.U.) in the female was high and logically superior to that of the male, while the corporal retention was quite similar for both sexes. Most of the Ca absorbed (81.8%) and not excreted in urine, went to the egg and only 18.2% remained in the body. The diethylstilbestrol caused a big reduction of the C.N.U. in the female, but not in the male, parallel to an inhibition of laying, and an increase of corporal retention of used calcium. In both sexes the calcemia surprisingly increased, and the calcium level of the femur bone was higher, and even though the cortical osseous zone was slightly wider, the effect of treatment was noticeable, particularly in the medular tissue, which incremented in the female and appeared in the male. When quail were fed a calcium-restricted diet, the endogenous excretion of this mineral was small in the case of the female and significantly smaller in the male.
This situation suppressed egg laying and resulted in a clearly decreased bone mineralization. The ingestion of diethylstilbestrol before feeding a diet poor in calcium provoked an increase of the endogenous excretion of calcium in both female and male quail.
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