Robert is an Agribusiness Consultant who studied Agribusiness Management
Quails are profitable species which are used for both meat and egg production. Quail farming is an economically very profitable venture and are known to have early sexual maturity as they requires six to seven weeks of age to produce eggs at a higher rate of lay for about 280 eggs per year. Quail meat is tasty and nutritious while quail eggs are rich in vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Iron, vitamin A and phosphorus. Quails are very strong animals and are able to resist extreme conditions and diseases which reduces the risk in quail farming business. A space of 0.9 square meter is able to keep 6 to 8 quails and requires less investment capital.
Advantages of doing quail farming
The following are some of some of the advantages
- It does not require more space. A space of 1 square foot can house 5 to 6 quails.
- Less capital is required to start quail farming compared to chicken farming
- They are disease resistant and easily adapt to hardy conditions
- Matures early as they can only take 6 to 7 weeks of age to start laying eggs.
- They lay more eggs, which are about 280 eggs per year for each quail breed.
- Faster growth
- They do not need more feeds than chickens
There are of two types which are broiler and layer breeds. 18 species of quails are available in different countries and all achieves better results when it comes to efficiencies. Some breeds performs better in egg production while others performs well when it comes to meat production, therefore keeping a right breed is very important.
How to get best results on quail production?
- Buy good and healthy quails from a well known hatchery.
- Make sure the house keeping quails has the right temperature, lights, good feeds, waters among others. This has to be from the first day of quail birth.
- Make sure the quail house is well ventilated and is kept clean all the time
Types of Quail Production Systems
1. Deep litter production system of rearing quail
Under this system a square foot is able to accommodate 6 quails. After 2 weeks quails should be transferred to cages and this brings better results as it enables the quails to easily gain weight. It takes only 5 weeks for the broiler quails be ready for sale while for egg type breeds, it takes only 6 weeks to start laying eggs and could continue up to 24 weeks of age.
2. Cage System
Under this system cages are used and each unit has a length of 6 feet and width of 1 foot. Under this system the feeds and water troughs should be properly placed and the farmer should ensure the house is clean all the time.
How long does quails last ?
Quail are able to survive up to 4 years. An adult quail weights an average weight of 175 grams. Female quails start laying eggs at the age of 6 to 7 weeks and each egg weights an average weight of 12 grams. About 300 eggs are laid per year. During egg laying, the presence of light is very important.
Quail Farming Management
Good easy to clean quail house is very important to provide protections to quails against predators and adverse conditions. Both litter and cage systems can be used. A cage measuring 120 cm long, 60 cm wide and 25 cm height can be used to keep about 50 quails.
Make sure good temperature is available for quail chicks since it is sensitive to temperature changes and can cause high mortality rate. The heat or warmth should be provided for around 3 to 4 weeks on quail breeds.
Broiler pre-starter mash should be given to quail chicks and this should be followed by starter ration. 5 week old quails require about 500 grams of feeds. Quails having the age of 6 months, require about 30 to 35 grams of feed per day. Make sure good and fresh water is available all the time.
4. Egg production
Enough light is required during egg production for quails to perform better in the eggs. An artificial light or a 60 to 100 watts bub can be used. In additional to light, egg production is also affected by the following factors; temperature, feeding, water, care and management.
5. Raising quail chicks
Young chicks are produced through hatcheries as quails do not incubate their eggs. Quail has a shorter incubation period of 16 to 18 days compared to chicken. Make sure 16 hours of light is available each day for better egg production. Young quails should be given enough warmth during its 14 to 21 days and can be raised either in cages or litters.
Quails are considered disease resistance compared to other poultry species. Make sure the house is kept clean to avoid build up of diseases which can increase the cost of production. Quails are not able to control temperature changes and you must keep on watch for temperature changes.
Hygienic practices in quail farming
- Make sure the quail house is kept clean and dry all the time
- The quail house should have good ventilation and good lighting.
- Quails of different ages should not be kept together.
- Quails which are affected by diseases should not be housed or kept together with healthy ones
- Restrict entry to the quail farm by unknown people.
- Make sure enough fresh water is available all the time