Harare – Some say the bird cures HIV / AIDS, some say the meat cures Malaria and Cancer. The eggs are claimed to cure all diseases, from Flu to STI’s. The bird is now the most talked about in Zimbabwe – garnering more popularity that Robert Mugabe. It sells at shockingly high prices too.
Well, if you are wondering what in &*% this Zvihuta (Chihuta) is then, look no further! We have the answers for you, on all you need to know, about this new obsession in Zimbabwe – If you remember Jatropha – this is another one.
Before discussing more about commercial quail(zviuta) farming business, let me first explain ‘what is quail farming?’ Actually the term ‘quail farming’ means, raising quails commercially (like other poultry birds) for the purpose of profitable eggs and meat production.
As far as we have experienced, quail farming business is very easy, lucrative and entertaining. It’s very easy to maintain a quail farm, because quails are among the smallest species of poultry birds.
The Japanese scientists first tamed the wild quails and revealed the ways to raise them as domestic birds.
Commercial quail farming in Japan has spread tremendously. Now, people throughout the world performing quail farming business commercially for the purpose of meat and egg production.
Quail(zviuta) farming is very profitable like other farming ventures, such as chicken, turkey or duck farming business. Almost all types of weather conditions are suitable for starting quail farming business. Meat and eggs of quail are very tasty and nutritious. Quail eggs are very nutritious than other poultry eggs.
Because quail eggs contain comparatively more protein, phosphorus, iron, vitamin A, B1 and B2. Quail(zviuta) farming can play a vital role to meet up the demand of food and nutrition. Quail farming business require small capital and labor. Quails can be raised along with your other poultry birds for meat or eggs production.
Characteristics of Quail
- Quails are very small sized bird.
- An adult quail weights between 150 to 200 grams and an egg weights around 7 to 15 grams.
- Female quails start laying eggs within their 6 to 7 weeks of age and 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 period.
- Quail egg is very suitable for human health. It contains 2.47 % less fat than chicken egg. Many people believe that ‘quail eggs help to prevent blood pressure, diabetic, pant etc’.
- Quail meat is very tasty and nutritious. Fat is very low in their meat. So quail meat is very suitable for blood pressure patients.
- Eggs are very beautiful with multiple color.
- Quails (zviuta) do not incubate their eggs. So you have to use an incubator or brooder chickens for hatching their eggs.
Benefits of Quail Farming
Quails are smaller sized poultry birds, and it’s very easy to handle them. The main benefits of starting quail farming business are listed below.
- Quails are smaller sized bird, so they can be raised within small place.
- Feeding cost of quails are comparatively lower than chickens or other poultry birds.
- Diseases are less in quails, and they are very hardy.
- Quails grow very fast and gain maturity faster than any other poultry birds.
- They start laying eggs within their 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. So it’s a great source of food and nutrition.
- Quail farming needs small capital, and labor cost is very low.
- Quails can be raised successfully in commercial method. Some people have already started commercial quail farming business.
- Quails are very strong bird and diseases or other health problems are less. So risks are less in this business.
- Quail meat contain less fat. So, it is suitable for high blood pressure patients.
- Their food to meat or eggs converting efficiency is satisfactory. They can produce one kg meat or eggs by consuming three kg food.
- You can raise 6 to 7 quails in the same place that is required for one chicken.
- As the quail eggs are smaller in size, so the price is also lower than other bird’s egg. As a result, all types of people can buy quail eggs and you can easily sell the eggs.
- As the primary costs are less, so you can start this business with a very little investment.
- You can raise about 6 to 8 quails within 0.91 squire meter area.
- As it is a lucrative business venture, so commercial quail farming business can be a great source of income and employment for the unemployed educated people. Even, you can start raising a few quails along with your current profession.
Life Cycle of Quails
Quail generally survive for 3 to 4 years. An adult quail weights between 150 to 200 grams. Female quails start laying eggs from their 6 to 7 weeks of age. Each egg weights between 7 to 15 grams. They lay more than 300 eggs per year. Their eggs are very beautiful. Presence of light increase the egg productive efficiency of quails. They usually lay eggs at afternoon. It takes about 17 days to hatch their eggs. A newly born quail chick weights around 6 to 7 grams. Quail never incubate their eggs. For successful breeding purpose keep one male quail with every five female quails. Quail chicks become very sensitive and take about two weeks to be strong enough. Eggs of 9 to 11 grams weight with smooth and hard eggshell are perfect for hatching and producing chicks.
How to Start Quail(zviuta) Farming Business?
As quails are smaller sized poultry birds, so it’s very easy to establish a quail farm. Make a proper quail farming business plan before starting. And work according to the plan. A proper business plan should include breeds, housing, feeding, care and marketing strategies. Here we are shortly describing every steps.
Select Quail(zviuta) Breeds
At present there are 18 species of quails are available, which are very suitable for profitable quail farming business. Some of these 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. Here we have stated some popular broiler and layer quail breeds.
Layer Quail(zviuta) Breeds
- British Range
- English White
- Manchurian Golden
Broiler Quail Breeds
- Bobwhite (American)
- White Breasted (Indian)
Housing is very important for quail farming. Follow the instructions mentioned below while making house or cages for your quails.
- Quail can be raised in both litter and cage systems. But quail farming in cage system is more suitable than raising them in deep litter system. In cage system, 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 quails in a cage measuring 120 cm length, 60 cm wide and 25 cm height.
- Use wire net for making their cages.
- Measurement of the net would be 5 mm x 5 mm for adult quails.
- Plastic cages are most convenient for quail farming business.
- The house must have to be out of the reach of wild animals. Also prevent all types of predators.