Quail are a very small sized bird.
Quail can be raised along with your other poultry birds for meat or eggs production. Female hens start laying eggs when they are 6 to 7 weeks of age and will continuously lay one egg daily. They lay about 300 eggs in their first year of life. After that they produce about 150 to 175 eggs in second year. Eggs production gradually decrease after their first year of laying.
The eggs are very suitable for human consumption. The eggs contains 2.47 % less fat than chicken egg. Many people believe that quail eggs help to prevent blood pressure, diabetic, pant etc. The meat is very tasty and nutritious. Fat is very low and the meat is very suitable for blood pressure patients. Eggs are very beautiful with multiple colors.
Benefits of Raising Quail
Quails are smaller sized poultry birds, and it’s very easy to handle them. The main benefits of raising quail are:
- They are a smaller sized bird, so they can be raised within smaller places.
- Feeding cost are comparatively lower than chickens or other poultry birds.
- Diseases are less in quails, and the birds are very hardy.
- They grow very fast and gain maturity faster than any other poultry birds.
- They start laying eggs when they reach 6 to 7 weeks of age.
- It takes about 16 to 18 days to hatch their eggs.
- Meat and eggs of quail are very tasty, delicious and nutritious. It is a great source of food and nutrition.
- They can be raised successfully utilizing commercial methods.
- They are a very strong bird and diseases or other health problems are less.
- The meat contains less fat and is suitable for high blood pressure patients.
- Their food to meat or eggs efficiency is satisfactory. They can produce 35 ounces meat or eggs by consuming 100 ounces of food.
- You can raise 6 to 7 quails in the same place that is required for one chicken.
- The eggs are smaller in size, so the price is also lower than other bird’s egg.
- The primary costs are less, so you can start raising these birds with a very little investment.
- You can raise about 6 to 8 birds in a 3×3 foot area.
- Even, you can start raising a few birds along with your current profession.
Life Cycle of Quails
They generally survive for 3 to 4 years. An adult bird weighs between 5-7 ounces. Female quails start laying eggs from their 6 to 7 weeks of age. Each egg weights between 1/4 to 1/2 ounces. They lay more than 300 eggs per year. Their eggs are very beautiful. Presence of light increase the egg productive efficiency of birds. They usually lay eggs at afternoon. It takes about 17 days to hatch their eggs. A newly born quail chick weights around 1/4 of an ounce. For successful breeding purpose keep one male with every five female. Eggs are smooth and hard eggshells are perfect for hatching and producing chicks.
Some breeds are famous for egg production and some are popular for meat production. According to their production, quail breeds are of two types such as broilers and layers. There are also wild breeds raised for exhibition and hobby.
Broiler or Meat Breeds
White Breasted (Indian)
Northern Bob White
Housing is very important for quail. Follow the instructions mentioned below while making house or cages for your birds.
- Quail can be raised in both litter and cage systems. But raising the birds in a cage system is more suitable than raising them in deep litter system. In cage systems, management is very easy and diseases or other problems are less.
- Make a proper ventilation system and ensure proper flow of air and light inside their house.
- You can raise 50 birds in a cage measuring 4 feet length, 2 feet wide and 10 inches in height.
- Use wire mesh for making the cages.
- Measurement of the wire mesh would be 1/2″ x 1/2″ for adult birds.
- The house must have to be out of the reach of predators.
For keeping your quails healthy, growing properly and highly productive you must provide them a balanced feed regularly. An adult bird consumes about 3/4 of an ounce of food daily. Chick feed should contain 27% and adult feed 22-24% of protein.
Presence of adequate light is highly recommended for desired egg production from your birds. You can provide artificial light and heat by using electric bulb or heater. You can use 40 to 100 watt bulb for this purpose. Demand of light and heat varies depending on the season. If you want successful breeding and want to hatch their eggs, then keep one male with every five female. For getting better egg production, select highly productive breeds and always keep their house dry and clean. Egg production also depends on temperature, feeding , water, care and management. To get desired egg production from your birds, remember, light plays a vital role.
Coturnix hens never incubate their eggs. So, you can produce chicks by hatching their eggs through chickens or artificially through using incubators. Incubation period for quail egg is about 16 to 18 days. For maximum egg production, 16 hours of lighting period is required daily inside the quail house. Keep newly born quail chicks in a brooder house. Chicks need artificial heat and temperature management system for 14 to 21 days from their birth. They can be raised in both litter and battery system. Keep in mind the following factors while raising chicks.
- Adequate temperature
- Sufficient light
- Proper air movement
- Density of chicks
- Supply of food and water
- Hygienic rearing rules
Diseases are less in quails, compared to other poultry birds. But you have to take good care and manage them properly, to keep them free from all types of diseases or illness. Good care and management is a must to be successful. Generally they are not provided any disease preventive vaccines. Chicks can’t tolerate weather change, and sudden temperature change. So they get affected by disease, if they experience sudden temperature or weather changes. Following diseases are very harmful for the quails.
Coccidiosis: If the quails get affected by coccidiosis disease, serve them coaxial 20 by mixing with water (two grams per litter) for three days. Otherwise feed this according to the advice of a veterinarian.
Ulcerative Enteritis: Mix one gram streptomycin with one litter water and serve it to the birds for three days. This will stop ulcerative enteritis disease.
To keep your quails healthy and productive, follow the hygienic methods which are mentioned below.
- Always try to keep their house dry and clean.
- Ensure proper movement of light and air inside their house.
- Keep different aged birds separated from each other.
- Separate the disease affected quails from the healthy one.
- Burn the dead bird or put under soil.
- Don’t allow other birds, animals or unknown persons enter inside your coop.
- Ensure hygienic and balanced feed supply.
- Provide adequate fresh and clean water according to their demand.
Quail meat and eggs are very tasty and highly enriched with nutrient elements. So there is already an established market for quail products. The birds and their eggs are small in size, so the price is lower and all types of people can afford to purchase them. So you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products. You can easily sell the eggs and meat in your local market. But it will be better if you determine your marketing strategies before starting this business. Because all places around the world have not the same marketing facilities.
Raising quail is playing an important role for fulfilling the daily family nutrition demands and earning livings. They can be a great source of employment, and earning some extra income along with your current job or profession. Quails are also very entertaining!