Is there correlation between larger egg size and final bird weight

Discussion in 'Quail' started by SimonGrow, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. SimonGrow

    SimonGrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello everyone,

    I was wondering if there is any correlation between larger egg sizes and final bird weight in Coturnix quail. I'm working on a breeding project to hopefully breed larger jumbo quail. I've read through many many threads and noticed there are several members that say the largest eggs don't necessarily produce the largest birds.

    On the other hand, there are breeders such as the group associated with the Tatanka breeding project that have set standards for raising jumbo quail and it seems they feel the larger eggs will give you larger birds. I fall into this group that believes that the larger the egg, the larger the final weight of the bird.

    I feel it is intuitive that the larger eggs have more nutrients to support a larger chick at birth giving it a size advantage to take up more food and perhaps to dominate the food source, elbowing out smaller siblings. From what I understand, one must maximize high quality protein intake, nutrition and water during the critical first 8-12 weeks in order to optimize growth and maximize growth potential.

    If you start off with a larger egg, you get a larger chick when it hatches. A larger chick should be able to take in proportionally more food and grow faster.

    If this is true, how much of an advantage will a breeder get if you were to hatch eggs that averaged 16 grams instead of 13 grams for example? I'm not looking for exact numbers, just guesstimates. Is this the difference between an 11 oz bird and a 13 oz bird? Thanks in advance!

    Simon
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Not really sure to be honest. I would have thought that a healthy chick, fed correctly, will grow just as quickly as what was initially a larger chick fed on less than optimum food. Dunno, but theres no reason that an average size chick will not have spurts of growth the same as other organisms, so reach optimum weight at the same time as whopper from hatch. Maybe you may have the time to do your own experiment to see if the theory pans out?

    all the best

    CT
     
  3. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is interesting. If there is in fact a correlation, I wonder if it would have more to do with the genes of the mother. Logic would dictate that a larger hen would be able to lay a larger egg (though there would always be outliers). So I would guess that it isn't so much to do with the size of the egg but the source of the egg. I agree it would make for an interesting experiment. Just remember, there is a big different between correlation and causation.
     
  4. SimonGrow

    SimonGrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Let's say a mother laid 7 eggs over the span of a week. The genes from the parents should be very similar in general, disregarding chromosome rearrangement.

    The egg size from this same mother hen can vary between all 7 eggs and I feel that the larger eggs will produce larger birds, all other factors being constant. Larger chicks from larger eggs may eat proportionally more food however.

    Simon
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very true. If you do end up experimenting I hope you share your results.
     
  6. fishforbrains

    fishforbrains Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have a cage with three hens in it. All three hens are full-grown and are basically identical in size. In fact, I can't tell them apart. Every day I get three eggs. Two are quite large, and one is significantly smaller. So although this is quite a small sample size, I'd say there is probably no correlation between egg size and final bird weight. However, since I keep the quail for eggs, when I hatch out my next batch I'm planning to only select the largest eggs for hatching hoping the offspring will then produce large eggs as well.
    If you want to breed for larger birds, wouldn't it make more sense to just choose eggs from larger birds to hatch?
     
  7. dc3085

    dc3085 Chillin' With My Peeps

    To answer the question simply, my 14-16 ounce birds come from 16-17 gram eggs. My goldens which top out at 12-13 ounces come from 13-15 gram eggs. So yes bigger eggs lead to bigger birds assuming the genetics are there to begin with.
     
  8. SimonGrow

    SimonGrow Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks dc3085! I just wanted verification before I started hatching only my largest single yolk eggs from my largest breeders.

    I recently cracked open a 19.4 gram egg and was upset to find out it only had a single yolk. I really wish I hatched that one out. Thanks again for the replies!

    Simon
     
  9. WaterfowlWierdo

    WaterfowlWierdo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This needs to be understood strongly as "assuming the genetics are there to begin with". I know what your birds are DC so this is accurate...in your case. However, If someone is trying to get bigger birds and they are only looking at egg size they will be strongly disappointed. This being said, if your 14-16oz birds lay an avg size egg ~13grams it should be expected that this chick will be the same size as the chicks from the same genetic background of a 16-17 gram egg. In cases where the genetic background does not support there being a bigger bird, but there is big eggs. Chances are there will just be excess fluid in the egg, not actually anything to do with a larger chick.
     
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  10. Em Ty

    Em Ty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was at a workshop put on by Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast in November and Brad Davies did a presentation on quail. Brad said that he selected the largest eggs and incubated them in order to get larger birds. He said that he started with eggs in the 10-12 gram range and ended up with eggs around 20 grams. He found that the larger eggs hatched correspondingly larger chicks and that the chicks from smaller eggs never caught up.

    I recently got eggs to incubate from a local source who has selected for larger sized birds, in the 10-12 ounce range. I also got 3 hens that weren't large enough to meet his breeding standards. In the 72 eggs I got from him, only 3 were less than 11 grams, with the bulk in the 11.5 to 13 gram range, and about 18 in the 13.5 to 15.5 gram range. The three hens I got have laid eggs from 9.66 to 11.5 grams. Based on Brad's observations and the size of the eggs I received, I'd say that the size of the egg is definitely related to the final size of the bird.

    I'll likely try to breed for large size ( though fertility will always be the primary consideration) and I'll see how the egg size correlates with the size of the hen and cock.
     

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