Commercial quail farming is possibly the fastest-growing poultry farming business and most flexible of all poultry birds.
As a business, quail farming is one of the most profitable businesses in the poultry farming sector.
The high return on investment within a short time frame is what makes the business attractive.
It is a business that I would recommend for anyone to start; as it requires minimal capital and can be reared in a homestead.
There are quite a lot of reasons to engage in rearing quail, it certainly might not be ideal for every homesteader, however, they can fit into large and small homesteads.
This article will depict the step by step approach to knowing and understanding Quail Farming.
This article is to serve as a blueprint going into the Quail Farming business.
Table of Contents
- What is Commercial Quail Farming?
- Some facts about Quail Farming
- Characteristics of Quails
- What are the Health benefits of Quails?
- Commercial Quail Farming Information
- Is Quail Farming profitable?
- Types of quails & quail farming systems?
- How to start Quail Farming Business
- 1. Get proper training from a quail farmer:
- 2. Enquire about any Regulatory Requirements:
- 3. Getting the Needed Principal/Capital:
- 4. A Suitable Site/Location/Setting:
- 5. A Good Combination of Breeds (Depending on your Purpose of farming):
- 6. Feeding the Quail:
- 7. Labor:
- 8. Marketing:
- 9. Health Care & Environment management:
- 10. Processing and packaging of quail meat
- Advantages of Rearing Quail Birds
- What conditions are needed/suitable for Quails?
- Essential Equipment and Materials for the farm
What is Commercial Quail Farming?
The term ‘quail farming’ means, raising quail birds commercially (like other poultry birds) for the purpose of profitable eggs and meat production.
You may regard it as the business of raising quail birds for either domestic or commercial production of eggs, meat or both.
Some facts about Quail Farming
Quail farming is an agribusiness that is projected to soon be the leading poultry business in an ever-demanding country like Nigeria.
Quail bird farming has positioned itself as one of the most lucrative businesses in the poultry farming industry.
This is because of the substantial rate of returns in relation to the low cost of investment that it requires.
Also, the little cost of labour it requires makes it by far a better choice to venture into when compared to chicken farming.
Looking away from the monetary aspect, another reason for rearing quail birds are for their eggs.
Research shows that quail eggs hold great nutritional value and is highly advantageous to health.
You can rear quails either to get meat or eggs, but the greater part of the profit is in quail eggs production.
Characteristics of Quails
1. Quails birds are small in size and weigh less
The average weight of a mature quail is about 150-200 grams and the weight of their eggs is about 7-15 grams (Roughly the size of an ‘AA’ Battery).
2. They lay a lot of eggs
Female quails lay about 300 eggs in the first year of their life cycle. In the subsequent years, the birds will lay about 150-175 eggs per year. You should note that the laying ability will begin to decrease in the subsequent years.
3. Quail birds reach maturity very fast
These birds tend to grow very fast and the female quails tend to start laying eggs at the age of 6 to 7 weeks.
They tend to lay one egg on a daily basis something unique as compared to other poultry birds.
Quail birds also have a long lifespan up to 3 to 5 years.
In addition, the average weight of an adult quail reaches about 150 to 200 grams.
4. Their eggs and meat are very nutritious
The eggs of the birds are quite nutritious and they are known to be great for human health.
The fat content of quail eggs is 2.47% less than those of the chickens.
According to research, the ingredients of eggs help to prevent blood pressure and diabetics among many other diseases.
The meat is highly flavoured and tasty. Also, it has low-fat content as compared to meat from cattle and other animals. High blood pressure patients are advised to take quail meat.
5. Quail eggs have multiple colours
The eggs of quails are small in size and they tend to have multiple colours. They have a white shell with dark brown patches.
6. Quail do not brood
Quails do not sit on their eggs to hatch them.
Therefore, you need to have a brooder or egg incubator in order to hatch their eggs.
What are the Health benefits of Quails?
- Helps with stimulating the brain and enhancing brain activity
- Quail eggs are also said to possess some carcinogenic properties which help to prevent and stop the growth of cancer in the body.
- Quail eggs help to improve the look and texture of the skin and also promote hair growth.
- It is also very beneficial for people that are suffering from stomach ulcers or any other digestive tract disorder.
- Quail eggs help to increase haemoglobin levels in the body and detoxify the body. It is also good for pregnant women and helps to fight anaemia.
- The consumption of quail eggs is recommended for children whether cooked or raw for their physical and mental balance. Quail eggs help to improve their IQ.
- Growth stimulation and metabolism improvement 100eggs
- Reactivate the nerves and central nervous system
- Quail eggs have brilliant regenerative effects on the body therefore are recommended for the elderly. It can calm down and/or cure many diseases attributed to old age, deficiency or excess nutrients in the body.
- Quail eggs help to renew the state of health and brings the body to equilibrium, combats the degenerative process and rejuvenates the body
- Revives memory and protects nerve cells
- Improves sexual potency
Commercial Quail Farming Information
The popularity of quail farming in Nigeria is rising steadily due to the demand for quail meat and eggs and the news of its lucrativeness.
The good thing about quails is that they begin laying eggs as early as 6 to 7 weeks.
This is the reason why they are great for commercial farming.
However, during the first year, the female quails tend to lay more eggs as compared to the subsequent years.
Their products tend to decrease with time and this is a good insight for planning in advance.
Another weird thing about the creatures is that they lay most of their eggs in the afternoon and they rarely go broody like other birds.
The eggs are gorgeous and are hatched after 17 days.
In order to be a successful quail farmer, it is recommended to keep one male quail with about five female quails in one room.
The chicks of quails are very sensitive though they become strong after two weeks thus proper care and management skills are required.
The eggs have smooth and hardy shells making them suitable for hatching and producing chicks regardless of the type of chicken incubator used.
Is Quail Farming profitable?
The low cost of investment and the high rate of returns are some of the reasons that make venturing into quail farming very attractive for many farmers.
With cheap and affordable items, a potential farmer can start with N20,000, which means the farmer can kick-start with thirty (30) quail birds divided into five males and 25 females depending on the age and species.
Rearing of the birds could be done in cages and small floor spaces, nevertheless experts advise that potential farmers should always consider cages to rear their birds because it is more efficient than that of floor space.
Types of quails & quail farming systems?
In his interview with Daily Sun, the owner of FeedPlus, Sani Abdul, said there are varieties of quails one can rear.
There are multiple species which include Bobwhite Quail, Button Quail, California Quail, Japanese Quail, Mountain Quail, Gambel’s Quail, Scaled Quail and Mearn’s Quail.
He said the Japanese quail is more medicinal, which is common in Nigeria.
There are roughly Seventeen (17) or more species of quails in the market today.
Most of these creatures are suitable for profitable quail farming businesses. There are so many outlets for quail for sale across the world today.
The table below outlines some of the common breeds of quails in the world. Let the summary review of each profile.
|Species Name||Identification||Time to Mature||Weight (At adulthood)||Eggs per year|
|Button Quail||Small Breeder Birds||5 weeks||130g||100-120|
|The Texas A&M||Heavily Muscled Coturnix||6-7 Weeks||370g||150-200|
|Jumbo Coturnix||The bigger selectively bred Coturnix plus are commonly adopted for meat||6-7 Weeks||450g||150-220|
|Northern Bobwhite||Medium, morphologically variable birds||8-10 Weeks||179g||150-200|
|Japanese Quail||Length Range: 17-19cmSize: Small (5-9 in)Color Primary:Brown||5-6 Weeks||90g||250-300|
Quail Farming differs from the breeds of Quails raised, local demand and the purpose for rearing. A few of them are as follows:
1. Layer Quails Farm:
These are quails typically known for egg production.
Most breeds usually lay eggs at the age of 6-8 weeks.
Good female quail breeds can lay up to 300 eggs per year.
Japanese and bobwhite quails have the reputation of being great egg layers in the world.
2. Broiler Quails Farm:
Quails that are dedicated to meat production.
The meat from the birds is tasty and highly nutritious.
These species of quails tend to be larger than those meant for laying eggs.
Broilers tend to gain weight much faster than layers.
Although they are meant for meat production, the female counterparts have the ability to produce about 150-250 eggs per year.
The Northern Bobwhite and Jumbo Coturnix species are reputable for meat production.
3. Breeding Quails Farm:
These are typically breeding birds and they lay eggs meant for hatching into chicks.
These birds tend to be very gorgeous and this is the reason why they are ever in high demand.
Button quail, bobwhite quail, and Japanese quails are some of the common birds known for breeding. Most of them tend to lay eggs at the age of 6-7 weeks.
How to start Quail Farming Business
Here is a pretty detailed step by step analysis of how to start quail bird farming today.
1. Get proper training from a quail farmer:
To engage in this business, the required training is very necessary and hence cannot be overemphasized.
Similarly, the people who will be teaching about the business must be persons who have been in the business or are already in the business.
A quail farmer with ‘hands-on’ experience would be able to teach you what you need to know about the real-world aspects of quail farming and how to avoid downsides and losses.
2. Enquire about any Regulatory Requirements:
The next most important thing is to get licensed.
It is a fact that in some countries (e.g Nigeria) there is no form of regulatory requirement (authorization or license).
If you are unsure about your country, enquire from the Ministry of Agriculture in your country to be on the safe side of the law.
3. Getting the Needed Principal/Capital:
As mentioned earlier, Quail farming does not require much capital.
Most of the funds you need are for acquiring the birds, feeding them, occasional vaccination and sanitation.
You may also need funds to get a suitable cage and location if you do not already have one.
4. A Suitable Site/Location/Setting:
Most small-scale quail farmers practice ‘backyard quail farming’ and you could adopt this system if you do not have enough funds.
Whatever system you adopt, building an escape-proof facility to house the birds is particularly important as well taking into cognizance that they are birds.
Also, keep in mind that the room where you choose to rear the birds must be well ventilated and kept clean at all times so as to prevent the downside and dangers of disease outbreaks.
Creating a cage for the birds to protect them from predators and pest is of great necessity.
5. A Good Combination of Breeds (Depending on your Purpose of farming):
Just like chickens and other birds, quails also come in different breeds. Some grow very big and are more suitable for consumption while others are better at laying eggs.
If you want to venture into quail farming solely for egg production, then you should go for the layer breed.
But if you also want to sell Quail for meat, you should add some broiler breeds.
Also, when getting quail birds to start with, you should go for chicks that are at least 2 weeks old.
As a new entrant into the business, you may not understand the technicalities of handling quail chicks that are that young which is why you should go for slightly older chicks to start with.
6. Feeding the Quail:
You can feed quail birds on the same type of feeds you use for feeding chickens or turkeys.
Quail birds do not consume much food so you would not really have to be bothered about the cost of feeding because compared to other poultry birds, the costs of quail feeding are quite skimpy.
This is dependent on how occupied you are, the number or amount of workers asides from yourself and how large your farm is.
But Quail birds are very easy to manage and a single person can handle up to 2,000 birds.
This reduces labour costs to the barest minimum (in other words, you may not need to hire extra labour if you have enough time on your hands to manage your Quail farm yourself).
Before going into any business, the business person(s) must conduct a feasibility study of the business in your area/locality as a general business prediction might not fit or be applicable in your location.
You can also create awareness on the health benefit of quail eggs and the delicacy of quail meat, this will provide a marketing boost for sales.
Some ways to sell your products include supplying in crates to stores, large chain outlets and supermarkets.
Also, you can organize seminars and health shows about the benefits inherent in quail eggs and then sell to attendees, disbursing flyers and banners etc.
9. Health Care & Environment management:
Here are some points to take into consideration as far as the health care and environmental management of Quails are concerned.
- Do not subject the birds into stress and pain since it can lead to death
- Ensure there is an adequate supply of food and water.
- Collect eggs at least twice in a day that is between 6:00 to 6:30 am and 9:00 to 9:30 am in the morning.
- Store the collected eggs under optimum temperature and humidity level.
- Debeaking is mandatory in order to prevent them from breaking the eggs after laying.
10. Processing and packaging of quail meat
Quail eggs are not the only beneficial products of Quail birds.
Quail meat is also very delicious and nutritious.
Apart from selling quail eggs, you could also make money from selling processed and packaged Quail meat.
Advantages of Rearing Quail Birds
The following are the advantages and benefits of rearing quails
- Quail birds are small in size and can be raised in a relatively small area or escape-proof room and still earn large profits.
- On the average, the cost of raising these birds on the average are typically low since the costs of their feeds is low as compared to those of chickens.
- Quails are robust and strong hence hardly affected by diseases.
- They have a faster maturity rate as compared to chickens.
- Quails have a high fertility rate hence they start to lay eggs at the age of 6 to 7 weeks and these eggs take about 16 to 18 days to hatch into chicks.
- Both the meat and eggs are highly nutritious for human health.
- The starting capital and labor cost are typically low.
- The eggs and meat have low-fat content hence suitable for the high-pressure patient.
- You can raise about 6 to 7 quails in the same place where one chicken can fit.
- The cost of purchasing quail eggs is quite low hence making them affordable.
- You need little investment to start quail farming business.
- From the economic perspective, a lucrative type of livestock farming such as Quail farming is a great source of income and job creation (More employment).
What conditions are needed/suitable for Quails?
- Ensure the birds stays in a comfortable environment.
- Provide control of natural light and air.
- Protect the birds from harsh weather conditions both in summer and winter
- Construction of houses in a specific distance and required size.
- Construct different rooms for different ages of quails.
- Take all the necessary precautions in order to protect the occurrence of bad smells from the bird’s uric acid.
Essential Equipment and Materials for the farm
Here are few pieces of poultry farming equipment that you can you on your quail farm;
1. Brooder Hover,
2. Heater / Stove,
3. Plastic Tick Feed Tray,
4. Food pots,
5. Water pots,
6. Egg-laying boxes,
7. Electric bulbs,
8. Defaults or balances for taking weight measurements,
9. Buckets, a shovel, spade, bowls, a knife, baskets, peal, tulle, etc.
10. Egg-laying house.
11. Bamboo, wood, corrugated, polythene or triple.
12. Thermometer, hypermeter and,
13. Battery or Brooder.
Don’t sit on your Oars, START QUAIL FARMING!
Do you think you are up to the challenge of having your first few quails?
If so, then you should do so immediately and start profiting from this quail farming business.
Do not sit back!
Get started today!