Today in the market quails meat in more demand. There is great potential in hotels hypermarkets, etc. Indian government has promotes the peoples to start quails farm and is trying to provide infrastructural facilities to assist the peoples. However, a government license is required to sell Japanese quail. The ministry of Environment and forest issue the license to the Dept. of Animal Husbandry. Central Avian Research Institute (CARI) at Izatnagar, Bareilly Uttar Pradesh is keen to propagate quails for commercial use & have shown willingness to supply hatching eggs to aspiring entrepreneurs.
i. Deep litter system
Six quails can be reared in a sq feet of floor space after two weeks, quails can be reared in cages. This will help to gain good body weight.
ii. Battery system rearing
Each unit is about 6 feet in length and one feet in width and subdivided in to six subunits. For saving the space, the cages can be arranged up to six tiers in height. There should be 4 to 5 cages in a row. The bottom of the cage is fixed with removable wooden plates to clean the bird droppings. Long narrow feed troughs are placed in front of the cages. Water troughs are placed at the back of the cages. Commercial egg layers are usually housed in colonies of 10-12 birds per cage. For breeding purposes, male quails are introduced in the cages in the ratio of 1 to 3 females.
Feeding material should be made of small particles. Five weeks old quail consumes around 500 gram feed. At the age of six months quail consumes around 30-35 gram of feed per day. It require about 400 grams feed for the production of dozen of eggs. Broiler starter mash can be used by adding 5 kg of oil cakes to 75 gram feed. The particle should be finely grounded.
In the age of six week, female birds gain weight up to 175-200 grams and the males weight up to 125-150 grams. Female birds start laying eggs at 7 weeks of age and continue up to twenty two weeks Usually Eggs laying happens in the evening time of the day and weighs about 9-10 gram.
The male breast is narrow and covered with equally distributed feather of brown and white in color. While the females breast is broad and covered with brown and black dots feathers. At the age of four weeks male and females birds should be separated. Egg laying quails required the sixteen hours light per day.
Quails start clutch at the age of 7th week. They attain 50% egg production at 8th week of age. For the fertile eggs production, the male quails should be reared along with the females at 8-10 weeks of age. The male, female ratio is 1:5. Incubation period in quails is 18 days .Quail egg is roughly one-fifth the size of a chicken's egg and weight around 10gm. The eggshells are spotted, with colors ranging from white to brown. As per the nutritional criteria, the quality of these eggs is far better that of chicken eggs; rather they contain less cholesterol. The proportion of yolk (the yellow inside part) to albumen (the white part), at 39:61, is higher compared to chicken eggs. We can produce 1500 quail chicks per week from the 500 laying quails.
From a healthy quail, we get dressed meat up to 70 73% of their body weight. A Quail has 140 gram body weight gives the 100 grams of dressed meat.
Health problems in quail farming If the parents quail suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiency, resulting the chicks obtained from their fertile eggs are often lean with weak legs. To control this problem in female breeders should be supplemented feed with optimum minerals and vitamins. Quails are immune to infectious diseases than chicken. Hence there is no vaccination required for disease protection. Proper management of quail chicks, disinfecting farm premises, providing clean drinking water to quails and feeding of quality concentrate feed will prevent disease outbreaks in quail farms.
Hurdles in quail farming
Male quails usually make a different sound which is usually disturbing to the human. When rearing the male and female quails together the male quails peck the other quails and make them blind.