Effect of organic selenium in quail diet on its accumulation in tissues and transfer to the progeny.

PF Surai, F Karadas, AC Pappas, NH Sparks

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44 Citations (Scopus)


1. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects on the eggs and hatchlings (up to 2 weeks post-hatch) of feeding a relatively large amount of so-called organic selenium to breeder quail.
2. Two groups of quail (3 families in each group consisting of 4 females and 1 male) were formed at the beginning of their reproductive period. The quail were fed on a commercial maize-based diet containing 0·096 mg/kg feed-derived selenium (Se), supplemented with 0·2 mg/kg selenite (control group) or 0·5 mg/kg organic selenium in the form of Sel-Plex™ (Alltech Ltd, USA) for 6 months. Eggs were collected at 6 months of age and Se in the egg yolk, egg white and shell was analysed. Five quail at 1, 7 and 14 d post-hatch were killed to provide samples of liver, brain, breast and leg muscles for Se analysis. After egg collection for analysis and incubation, adult quail were killed and liver, kidney, lung, brain, breast and leg muscles were collected for Se analyses.
3. Inclusion of high doses (0·5 mg/kg) of organic Se in the quail diet was associated with a significant increase in Se concentration in all tissues studied of adult quail as well as in egg yolk, egg albumin and eggshell.
4. Increased Se concentration in the quail egg was associated with increased Se concentration in the liver, breast and leg muscles and brain of newly hatched quail. This difference was shown to be significant for 2 weeks post-hatch. Therefore, it has been suggested that the maternal effect of dietary selenium can be seen beyond the hatching time and more emphasis should be given to this effect in future.
5. It was shown that it is possible to produce Se-enriched quail meat and eggs by adding organic selenium to the diet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPrint publication - Feb 2006


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