Quail farming in Kenya is becoming popular day by day both in rural and urban areas. Nowadays people are more conscious about the nutritional value of quail eggs and meat. But the current production is not sufficient for fulfilling the growing demands. So, there is a great potential/business opportunities for the people who want to earn their livings and want to create a new business venture by raising quails. Commercial quail farming business is really very profitable and requires less capital/investment than raising other poultry birds like chickens or ducks. Quail farming is also very interesting, pleasuring and entertaining. However, here I am describing the benefits of quail farming in Kenya and the necessary steps for starting quail farming business.
Benefits of Quail Farming in Kenya
Commercial quail farming in Kenya has many benefits. It is a lucrative business. The main benefits of quail farming in Kenya are listed below.
- Quails are small sized birds. They require less feed, space, care and management compared to other poultry birds like chickens.
- They become very hardy and adopt themselves with almost all types of climate. They also suffer by diseases less than other birds.
- In case of commercial production, required investment in quail farming business is comparatively very low.
- Quails gain maturity faster than other birds. Broiler quails become suitable for marketing within their 5 weeks of age and layers start laying eggs within their six to seven weeks of age.
- Egg laying capability of quails is also higher. A quail can lay about 280 eggs per year.
- Quail meat is very nutritious and tasty. It is lower in fat and cholesterol and enriched in protein and energy. Some people says that quail meat and eggs are suitable and easily digestible by the children and patients.
- A chicken egg is five to six times larger than a quail egg. But the quail egg has more nutritional value than the chicken egg.
- Quail meat and eggs are very suitable diet for children, patients, pregnant and nursing mothers.
- Infrastructure and feeding costs are also less in quail farming business. And quails have a great feed to meat or eggs converting efficiency ratio.
- Quail farming does not require large place or space like chickens or ducks. Even quail cages can be kept on your balconies.
- They also can be raised with your some other poultry birds or farm animals.
- Demand of quail products are increasing gradually. So you don’t have to think about marketing your products.
- As a result of it, commercial quail farming in Kenya can be a great source of employment and income.
- Women and unemployed educated youth can easily setup quail farming business and earn their livings.
- Along with the above benefits, there are many more benefits of quail farming in Kenya.
Starting Quail Farming in Kenya
Starting commercial quail farming in Kenya doesn’t require any high-end infrastructure and technical knowledge. It is very easy and simple. You can start raising qails commercially with your other birds or only quails. For managing a profitable quail farming business in Kenya follow the steps described below.
Quail is a wild bird. So you have to get license before starting commercial quail farming in Kenya. You can easily get licence by ensuring all necessary facilities for your birds. For raising quails commercially you must have to be licensed by the Kenya Wildlife Services. For getting license it can take approximately two weeks after completing the application process. You have to build cages according to their suggestion. You can keep a maximum number of 50 birds in a cage measuring 4* 2.5 * 1 square feet. Attach photos of the cages and infrastructures while submitting your request form. After that KWS will visit your farm and monitor all their requirements for raising quails. And if your design and farming plan can satisfy them then you will get licence within next 2 weeks. You have to renew the license very year and annual fee for maintaining a licence costs upto 2,000 shillings. KWS also conducts periodic monitoring and inspections of farms and they will withdraw licence if you violate the conditions. Be be very careful and ensure good environment for your birds.
There are numerous breeds available throughout the world. But all of those breeds are not suitable for commercial quail farming in Kenya. Some of those breeds are suitable commercial meat production in Kenya and some others are suitable for commercial eggs production. Bobwhite (American) and White Breasted (Indian) are broiler quail and suitable for commercial meat production. British Range, English White, Manchurian Golden, Pharaoh, Tuxedo etc. are some highly egg laying quail breeds. Along with this breeds there are many more quail breeds. You can go with the breeds which are producing well and have huge demand in your local market. Raising both broilers and layers are very profitable. You can go with one or both type of production. Always buy healthy, diseases free and productive quails from famous quail breeders or farms. You can get more information about your nearest quail breeders or farms from KWS. After getting information from KWS, contact the farms or breeders and buy fresh chicks or adult quails.
Good housing plays an important role in quail production. So, ensure all types of necessary facilities for the quails inside their house. You can raise quails in both deep liter and cage systems. But cage method is much easier and very suitable for commercial production. In litter system you can raise about 4 to 6 birds per square feet. But in cage system you can keep a maximum number of 50 birds in a cage measuring 4* 2.5 * 1 square feet. In case of commercial egg production make several colonies in the cage and keep 10 to 12 birds per colony. This system is not necessary for broilers. Ensure sufficient flow of fresh air and light inside the house. You can use wire net in the cages. Plastic cages are most convenient for quail farming than metal or wooden cages. The house must have to be free from all types of predators and wild animals. In a word you have to make a healthy and safe environment for your birds.
Don’t start quail farming business until you can provide sufficient amount of nutritious and healthy foods. Feeding well balanced and nutritious food ensures good health and maximum profits from this business. So, always try to feed your birds sufficient amount of fresh foods. Quails need more protein enriched foods than other birds. They need about 22 to 24% protein in their food. On an average an adult quail consume about 20 to 35 grams of food daily. See the feeding chert of quails.
On an average broiler quails become mature within their five weeks of age and layers take about six to seven weeks for laying eggs. Layer quails attain about 50% of egg production at their 8th weeks of age. For successful breeding purpose you can keep 1:5 male and female ratio in your farm. Quail eggs take not more than 18 days to hatch and producing chicks. A day old quail chick normally weights around 8 to 10 grams. Chicks become very sensitive to light and temperature. And absence of adequate temperature leads to clustering of young chicks and causes high mortality rate. So be very careful during this period and stay alerted.
Health Care & Management
Diseases are the main constraints of all types of farming business. Quail farming is not exceptional. Diseases are one of the major problems successful quail farming in Kenya. Although quails are very hardy and they suffer by diseases less than other birds. They are very resistant to infectious diseases than chicken and other poultry birds. But you have to be prepared all time and take necessary steps if something goes wrong. Always take good care of your birds and provide them good shelter and food. Add adequate amount of nutrient elements in their regular food. As far as I know, right now there are no medicines and vaccines available for quails in the market. Only one thing you can do is to take good care of your birds always. If you love birds and take good care of them then they will definitely give their best.
Marketing is not a problem for quail farming in Kenya. Because the market demand of quail products is increasing day by day. You can easily sell your products in your nearest local market. You can also keep good relation with your nearest hotels and restaurants. Because they can be one of your best customers.
Before starting commercial quail farming in Kenya, personally I will suggest you to visit as many farms as possible. Because nothing can exceed the practical knowledge. As the market of quail products are growing, there are great possibilities of earning and creating new employment opportunities. Wish you a very profitable quail farming in Kenya. Cheers!