Quail Farming For Beginners
Are you a livestock farmer who is looking at adding a new livestock on your farm? Or you are just looking for an easy to raise livestock? If so then look no further than raising Coturnix quails. They don’t require that much care and require less feed, but none-the-less produce quality healthy meat and eggs.
The growth of livestock farming in urban areas has seen a lot of farmers raising quails, although they can also be raised in rural areas. This bird was first domesticated in Asia and belongs in the family of birds such as partridges, chickens and pheasants which are called the Phasianidae.
Coturnix quail come in different varieties, which are gentle and can be raised in small areas. A lot of folks raise them for the production of eggs and meat, at six weeks they are considered fully grown and can start producing eggs.
The male quail unlike chicken roosters don’t make a lot of noise which make it neighbour friendly and a great choice for those who would like to raise them in urban areas. But before you do that you may want to enquiry with your authorities weather you are permitted to raise them in the area you live in and what sort of permit would you need if you want to raise them.
Some quail parents don’t like the idea of hatching the quail so it can be wise to have an incubator to hatch the eggs. It takes about 17 to 18 days for the thumb-sized chick to emerge from the egg shell.
When the chicks emerge from the eggs they can be sluggish at first, they can start running around at full speed and can begin eating fine crushed game bird plus drink some water. Since they can be very small at this time, to prevent them from drowning in the waterers, you can use some soda bottle caps as waterers. To make it safer you may place a marble at the center of the caps.
In their first few weeks of life, just like chickens you can provide some heat lamps to keep them warm. Young quails are very vulnerable to cold and can result to them dyeing in a short period of time. Quails grow very quickly weighing between 3-1/2 — 5-1/2 ounces and grow to be around 5 inches tall when they are adults. They can live for around 1.5 to 4 years.
Once quails become adults they require minimum care to maintain good health. As a farmer you should provide them with a well ventilated house, some high protein feed and access to fresh clean water.
A lot of folks who raise quails for the production of meat and eggs house them in welded wire cages. When using this housing method make it a point that the constructed floor has holes not larger than 1/4 inches so the birds feet don’t get trapped in the holes. Each cage should house one male per cage, reason being males turn to fight with each other, and in some cases can lead to death.
Female quails need about 14 hours of sunlight each day in order to produce eggs, fewer daylight will delay laying activities. So supplemental lighting has to be provided.
When it comes to waterers you can purchase them in most pet stores, but a lot of farmers also use rabbit water bottles. The reason why they prefer them is because they keep the birds from fouling in the water, causing you to refill with clean water every single day.
Quails are known to be gentle birds, but can be skittish. Don’t give them a chance to escape from their cage because they can be difficult to recapture, even if you can be using a net. They have small bodies that can fit in small holes and once they escape they will never return.
When raising quails for meat, there is no better breed in the Texas A&M if you leaving in the USA. Comparing to other Coturnix breeds, the Texas A&M weigh 10 to 13 ounces at the scale in only 7 weeks.
When raising quails for eggs, Coturnix quail eggs can lay around 200 to 300 eggs per single year, but you have to make sure they are well taken care of and provided with artificial lighting if needed. That’s the advantage of raising quails over chickens in your farm, it’s the length of time it takes to get some return of investment.
Chickens start to lay eggs when they are about 18 to 26 weeks old, a single female quail can deliver around 72 to 120 eggs at that given time.
Making the decision to raise quails, the next thing for you is to have a business strategy on how to maintain them for greater returns. This shouldn’t be a complicated plan. If your family is planning in eating the quail meat and eggs, then you don’t need that much planning. But you are planning on selling the meat or/and eggs then you have to take to account your local market.
There are lots of business opportunities when raising quails. Their eggs are very popular in Asia, with the growing population you may want to position yourself to supply the demand market. Even if you don’t target the Asian market, quail meat is also growing in popularity in the USA.
Quail is also a bird widely used for hunting purposes. Some hunters prefer to train their dogs using live quail. To get some leads you can look at some local hunting clubs, some hunting organizations even purchase live quails to stock their ranges for the loyal clientele.
Breeding quails is a very lucrative industry. A lot of farmers maybe searching to buy live birds, hatching eggs or even fully dressed birds. You can put up an ad on maybe Craigslist for local people who may be interested in buying your birds.
Quail meat is very good tasting and full of nutrients, once a person tastes it they will be wanting more. Their eggs taste good as well and when boiled can be used to make a healthy snack for children. To make sure they are well boiled you can cook them with a splash of white clear vinegar in the boiling water. And they also peel very quickly.
Quail eggs are also on high demand by caterers for use as eggs that are devilled since they make nice bite-sized snacks. You can also sell them to local stores as premium eggs.
Having a well planned business strategy when raising quails is the key to successful quail farming. These birds are easy to manage even when they are fully grown, but caution should be taken when raising quail chicks because they may drawn in normal waterers. To avoid this from happening you can use bottle caps and place a marble at the center of the cap.
With very little work upfront you can be on your way to raising healthy quail. Just make sure you are well prepared for this new business venture and you won’t go wrong.
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