Quail farming is becoming more profitable due to the awareness of its medicinal value by majority of the people. Next to chicken farming and turkey in Nigeria is quail farming. It has so many economic benefits that arouse the interest of investors these includes; easy management, high-value egg/meat, less labour requirement. If you are already into poultry farming, it will be easy for you to add quail farming for more money. We have only but few quail farmers in Nigeria who cannot meet up on the high demand of quail products especially the eggs. That is why we encourage investors to venture into this Agri-business.
Step by step guide of Quail production and Management
- Write a Quail farming business plan
This is very important because it will help you to succeed in the business. You will be referring to it at every point in time for direction or when you face any challenge.
- Choose a Location
Set-up your quail farm in a place that is a little far from residential area, clear the surrounding to avoid predators invading your farm. There should be a water source close by, you can even establish it in a farmland so as to use the poultry dung for manure. For those already raising other birds you don’t need any other facility except for expansion just add the quails and make a separate cage for them.
- Source for Capital
Source for capital, it has to be enough for you to keep the business running for 6 months. This will give you relief so that any other running cost can be gotten from the revenue generated.
- Acquire Equipment
After establishing the pens house to use in raising quails the next thing to do is to set the building up. And make it conducive for the birds to grow healthy and lay eggs. When growing quails for commercial, your main focus should be for egg production because that is what is mostly demanded for. 50 quails can be raised in a cage of 120cm in length, 25cm high and 60 cm wide.
The equipment needed for quail farming are:
How to make cages: use wire net like material to make cages. For adult cage use 5mm by 5mm net measurement. You can purchase plastic cages if you can afford it, they are more comfortable. The pens house should be properly ventilated and sealed to prevent snakes and other reptiles gaining access to swallow egg or quail chick. Using of cage is not compulsory as bird can be raised in litter system but the use of cage is preferable and better.
Water is very important for quail farming and poultry management generally. To keep the cage neat you have use trough to serve them water.
Light is very important for quail farming because the newly hatched chick cannot survive in a cold temperature. When you want to hatch the eggs put them in brooder (separate cage). Apart from bulb, lantern sunlight also contributes as source of light to quail. 13-hour light is needed for quail chick until they are seven-weeks-old. After that keep increasing light for them 1 hour every week until the light is 16 hours daily which is good for high egg production because at that time quail would have been 9 weeks old. Use red colour bulb, bird produces more egg when red bulb is used than the blue.
Humidity of the house should be between 40-70%, if humidity is higher than this quail feather will become moist which exposes them to fungus attack and respiratory issues.
- Purchase quail chicks
Buy layers from quail farmers. It can be a day-old quail chick, 10 days old etc. Look for quail breeders who have good birds. The prices range according to age, a day-old chick will cost between #1,000-#1,200 for 10 chicks. In case there are no quail farmers in your location, check online for genuine farmers and purchase from them. The online to check for quail birds are; Olist and Jiji.
- Quail Feeding
The same feed used in feeding chicken and turkey is what you can use to feed your Quail but more protein should be added. Quails need more protein than other birds such as; chicken, turkey, duck etc. chick feed contains 27% protein while adult is 24%. You can formulate feed for them, it should contain all the important nutrients. But always use starter pack feed for chicks that are few days old. It is available in the market before Implementing your formulation. Always plan their feed, adult quail consumes 20g-25g of feed every day. Feed them 3 times a day (6am, 12pm and 7pm). Their feed should include; lipids, vitamins, proteins, minerals, carbohydrate and water. Quails at 5 weeks will consume about 500g. 6 months old will eat 30-35g of feed daily.
- Quail Egg Production
Light should be provided as required in poultry farming. Heat should be higher during wet season and low during hot season. For quail egg production, heat is very important use bulb or lantern for heat. Fertilization: introduce male quail for every 5 female quails.
Why you should start Quail Farming
- Requirements for starting is small
- Less labour
- Easy management
- Less risk
- Profit is high and it is made within short period
- Quail birds grow and mature very fast
- It can be done as a side business while doing your main job
- Quail farming can be done by anybody, it doesn’t require any qualification. This bird has less risk, here are but a few; they are strong, high productivity, disease resistant etc. suitable temperature is 21C-25C but some varieties feel comfortable up to 32C. Increasing the intensity of light will also increase the number of eggs laid.
Different rearing methods in Quail Farming
There are 3 different breeding methods; broilers, layers and breeding quails.
- Broiler Quail Farm
Broiler’s quail are for meat production and appear bigger than layer quails. Proper feeding will make them to gain weight quickly. If allowed also lay eggs but are sold quickly because they are for consumption. If you are doing commercial quail farming, keeping them longer than necessary may result in more expenses because you will spend much money to feed them.
- Layers Quail Farm
In this method the birds are raised in 54 weeks, the birds are mainly for egg production. Some specie starts laying eggs 6-7 weeks others 8-10 weeks. They can lay between 150-300 eggs in a year depending on the specie. Egg collection should be done twice a day very early in the morning and late at night.
Breeding Quails Farm
In this method Quails are kept for chick production. The eggs laid are hatched for more quail production. Eggs can be hatched naturally and artificially- using constructed incubators.
- Northern bobwhite
- Button quail
- Japanese quail
Nest building for Quail
Egg laying bird will require boxes 15cm wide and 20cm deep. For shared net use 1m wide and 20cm deep 20-30 birds
Although quail birds are immune to threatening diseases but can be attacked by common poultry diseases. Quail can be affected by fungus, bacteria, virus, ill treatment etc. You don’t have to bother vaccinating them.
How to sell quail eggs in Nigeria
You can sell your quail eggs to supermarket, roadside vendors, market traders etc. Some people go around to sell quails in health care centres such as; hospital, pharmacy etc.
Quail Farming Supplies
There are many suppliers of quail chicks in Nigeria, check online for their contacts.
Quail birds for sale in Nigeria, the number of farmers going into quail farming are increasing as such you will get quail chicks to buy.
Quail egg price in Nigeria; You can buy one quail egg for #50
Egg production is based on these factors; water, temperature, feeding and good management.
Debeaking is very important in quail farming. Cut their nails and a portion of the peak