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Poult Sci. 1989 May;68(5):670-5.

Metabolism of decoquinate in chickens and Japanese quail.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546-0215.


Thirty mature chicken hens and 40 mature Japanese quail hens were used in an experiment to compare pathways of decoquinate (DQ) excretion. Labelled DQ was injected into chickens (.5 microCi via wing vein puncture) and quail (.25 microCi via cardiac puncture) on Day 0. Blood was sampled at 0, 1.5, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, and 48 h postinjection. Eggs and excreta of chickens and quail were collected for 28 and 14 days, respectively, and analyzed for 14C. Six chickens and eight quail were sacrificed prior to 14C-DQ injection and also on Days 1, 7, 14, and 34 or 32 postinjection. Samples of liver, heart, kidney, bile, skin, fat, and muscle were analyzed for 14C. Blood rapidly cleared 14C in both species, and the half-time of 14C excretion via excreta was more rapid in quail (.37 day) than in chickens (.92 day). Little 14C was found in the eggs of quail (.32% of dose) and chickens (.17% of dose). Quail appeared to excrete peak amounts of detectable 14C 1 day earlier (Day 4) than chickens (Day 5). Liver contained the greatest concentration of 14C on Day 1 in both species. By the end of the experiment, less than 1% of the dose remained in liver or other organs. Results indicate that chickens and quail metabolize 14C-DQ at comparable rates and by similar pathways.

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