Quail farming is still not a very popular farming venture in Nigeria. However, just like every other agricultural venture, quail farming is a very lucrative venture.
But, unlike other niches in poultry farming, quail farming requires relatively little capital, less risk and guarantees high return on investment.
A mature female quail costs about N500. While a mature male cost about N300. So, your starting capacity will be dependent on your capital. Conversely, you may also decide to start with 2 weeks old quails. And with adequate feeding, proper care and vaccination, you will have mature quails, ready for laying eggs within 5 to 6 weeks.
It is important to note that quails are better stocked in a ratio of 5 females is to 1 male. This means that if you want to start with 100 female quails, then you are supposed to match them with 20 males. To ensure efficient reproduction.
Why Quail Farming
Less Capital Intensive/Low Risk: Unlike other kinds of livestock farming businesses, starting and managing a quail farm is relatively cheaper. For instance, to secure a suitable land for poultry farming. And construct the kind of cage you want may cost well over N100,000 or more depending on your locality. But quail farming can be started in any available space. Like at your backyard. All you need to do is to construct a secure cage that is big enough to house the number of birds you are starting with.
Also, managing a quail farm is less money and attention demanding. Quail farms do not encounter disease outbreak like chicken farms. So, in as much as vaccination is necessary, it may not be administered regularly like what is obtainable in chicken farming.
And unlike chickens, quails are light feeders. A mature quail consumes about 25grams of feed per day. Whereas, a mature chicken consumes about 150grams of the same feed per day.
High Return on Investment:The first aim of every business is to make profit. Quail farming guarantees you high return on your investment. And also easily expandable if properly managed. This is because quails mature to point of lay very fast. Thus, guarantees you of returns as quickly as possible. Feeding and general maintenance in quail farming is also cheap. This means higher net profit after deducting expenses.
Though, quail eggs sell for about N20 per one. Which is cheaper than chicken eggs. But, considering the fact they mature to point of lay faster and consumes lesser amount of feed. Quail farming is a better investment option.
If properly fed, a mature female quail drops at least one egg per day. Or on the average, 5 eggs per week. Which translates to 20 eggs per week from one female quail. This means that if you start your quail farming business with 500 female quails, you are sure of at least 10,000 eggs per month from the 500 birds. At N20 per egg, you will be having about N200,000 every month. That, is more than the monthly salary of an average banker in Nigeria.
Fast Maturity/Prolific Layers:Unlike fishes and chickens that take a very long period to attain maturity, quails mature within just 5 to 6 weeks. And at this point they are ready for laying eggs. Another impressive characteristic of this birds is that they are prolific layers. Like I stated earlier, a mature female quail lays at least one egg per day if properly fed and maintained. And on the average 5 eggs per week.
High Demand:The demand for quail eggs is continuously on the increase. This is due to its medicinal values. According to medical report, fertile quail eggs enhances brain stimulation. And helps in fighting diseases like anaemia, ulcer and cancer. Thus, as people’s awareness of these benefits are increasing daily, the demand for quail eggs is also increasing.
No Formal Training: In as much as I always encourage people to get trained before going into any farming venture. In quail farming, training is also necessary but not mandatory. You don’t need a degree to run a successful quail farming business.
Just like every other business venture, quail farming also comes with its share of risks. However, the risks are little compared to the challenges faced in setting up and managing other farming ventures. Moreover, they are risks that could be easily managed with adequate precautions. These risks include:
Predators: Snakes, cats, and rodents are big threats in quail farming. Thus, it is advisable to ensure that whichever housing system you decide to use is built safely.
Human Thieves: Another challenge to quail farming is human thieves. Thus, it is very important that the quail house is built to be very secured and in a well secured environment too. If it is a big farm, then the farm workers and security guards to be employed should be people of impeccable character.
Business Plan: Like I always advice you, the first requirement to succeed in any business venture is a bankable and realistic business plan. This should be done after conducting thorough market research and rigorous feasibility study to ascertain the viability of the business. This would enable you identify the market size, your competitors, threats to your survival in the market, the acceptance of your potential product in your target market and so on.
The business plan also serves as a blueprint to keep you focused on your vision and mission of starting the business.
Housing/Location: A quail farm can be located anywhere. Ideally, it is better located outside residential areas. But, since it doesn’t produce stench like chickens, it can be located at your backyard. Or any nearby land once it will be properly maintained and constantly cleaned.
More so, quails produce efficiently in cleaner environments. So, their cages, houses, and surroundings should always be kept neat. Also, the housing should be built in such a way that it is protected from predators and human thieves.
Breeding: Just like every other livestock farming business, the viability of the quail farming business depends on the breed of the parent stock. Thus, ensure to get healthy and prolific breeds depending on the aspect of quail farming you want to venture into.
Like I stated earlier, quail are either reared for their meat or for their eggs. Most people are into quail farming for the purpose of egg production. So, if you fall into this category. Then layer breeds like Manchurian golden, Tuxedo, British range, and English White are the best breeds for you. However, these breeds do not grow big. So, not viable for meat production.
On the other hand, if you are going into quail farming for the purpose of meat production, then broiler breeds like White Breasted Indian, Bob white, White America and the likes are the best breeds for you.
Feeding: Quails feed on chicken feeds. However, unlike chickens, quails are not heavy feeders. As I stated earlier, a mature quail consumes about 25grams of feed per day. Whereas, a mature chicken consumes about 150grams of the same feed per day.
Marketing: The market for quail eggs is very large and ever expanding. However, people in many parts of the country that are not yet aware of its health benefits still prefer chicken eggs. Thus, it is very important that you carry out a market research to ascertain the acceptance of quail eggs in your area. As well as ascertain your potential customers.