Introduction to Quail Farming
Quail farming involves raising quails commercially for meat and eggs. Quail is a small bird species that reaches maturity quickly and requires less space than chickens. Quail farming is growing in Nigeria as a lucrative livestock opportunity for agripreneurs.
This comprehensive guide covers everything beginners need to know about starting and succeeding with quail farming in Nigeria. We explore quail breeds, housing, feeding, healthcare, costs and profits, marketing, regulations, and key tips for new farmers. Let’s get started hatching success!
Benefits of Quail Farming in Nigeria
Many benefits make quail farming attractive for Nigerian agripreneurs:
Unlike chickens, which take 6 months, quails reach maturity and egg-laying by 6-7 weeks old. You harvest mature quails for meat within 5–6 weeks. This allows frequent turnover.
High Egg and Meat Production
Quails lay up to 300 eggs annually. Egg laying starts in 6 weeks, with peak production lasting 1–1.5 years. Each female quail produces 12–15 kg of meat a year. The output is impressive.
Low space requirements
Quails are smaller than chickens and hence need less housing space. You can raise many quail intensively on small plots. Land constraints aren’t an issue.
Affordable Housing and Fees
Basic quail housing and feeds are relatively cheap, using locally sourced materials. This reduces startup and operational costs.
High Demand and Prices
Quail eggs and meat fetch premium prices in Nigeria’s markets due to scarcity. Quail eggs sell for ₦800-₦1500 per crate of 30 eggs.
Low capital requirements
You can start small-scale quail farming with just ₦50,000-₦100,000. This allows testing before expanding, cutting risks.
With quick returns, small space needs, and high prices, quail farming is a smart bet for Nigerian agripreneurs.
Popular Quail Breeds in Nigeria
Many quail breeds exist worldwide. But these four breeds are most popular among Nigerian quail farmers:
The Coturnix japonica breed is the most common quail farmed globally. It originates from Asia. Coturnix starts laying at 6 weeks and excels in egg production.
Tuxedo/English White Quail
Tuxedo quails have white feathers with black neck markings. Their white eggs fetch higher prices in Nigeria. But Tuxedos are more delicate and lay fewer eggs than Coturnix.
Texas A&M Quail
This American breed is heavier than others. It’s raised more for meat than eggs. Texas A&M quails weigh 140–170 g and yield more breast meat.
Manchurian/Chinese Painted Quail
This colourful Asian quail thrives in hot climates. But manchurian quails are trickier to handle and produce fewer eggs than Japanese quails.
For maximum eggs, Japanese coturnix are best for Nigerian beginners. Tuxedo and mango work where specialty egg appearance and heat tolerance matter. Texas A&M suits meat-focused farmers.
Housing and Equipment for Quail
Quail housing in Nigeria can be basic and affordable using local materials.
A wooden coop with wire mesh sides provides shelter. Allow 0.5 square feet per quail. Keep coops clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
Make long plastic or wooden troughs to hold feeds. Allow 2-3 cm of feeding space per quail. Elevate feeders above litter.
Use plastic or metal trays or troughs as drinkers. Keep them shallow for young chicks. Allow 0.5–1 cm of water access per bird.
Brooders provide controlled warmth for chicks. Use box brooders with heat lamps or filaments. Keep the temperature at 35–38 °C for the first week.
Plastic or wooden egg trays collect eggs cleanly from cage layers. Line trays with hay for egg cushioning.
Install wooden or wire cages for layers. Stack cages to optimise space. Allow at least 12 cm of height per quail.
With simple, locally constructed housing, beginner Nigerian quail farmers can minimise costs. Maintain high hygiene standards always.
Quail Feeding Guide
Feeding represents 60–80% of quail farming costs in Nigeria. Follow this guide for lower-cost feeds:
Chicks (0–3 weeks)
Feed chicks starter mash containing 28–30% protein twice daily. Good ingredients are soybeans, fish meal, groundnut cake, maize, wheat, and bone meal.
Growers (3-6 weeks)
Give growing quail grower mash with 20% protein twice daily. Make feed from maize, soybeans, bone meal, fish meal, wheat, groundnut cake, etc.
Layers (6 Weeks Onward)
Feeding laying quail layers mash with 16–18% protein. Combine maize, groundnut cake, fish meal, soybean, oyster shell, bone meal, and vegetable oil.
Provide insoluble grit, like coarse sand, regularly. This aids gizzard grinding and digestion.
Locally mixing cost-effective feeds with quality ingredients optimises nutrition and reduces feed costs for Nigerian quail farmers.
Step-by-Step Quail Raising Process
Follow this standard quail raising process from day olds:
Brooding (Days 1–3 Weeks)
- Place day-old chicks under brooder warmth at 35–38 °C.
- Provide starter mash and clean water daily.
- Reduce the temperature by 3°C weekly until room temperature reaches
Growing (3-6 weeks)
- Transfer chicks to cages or floor pens with a 12cm height.
- Give the grower mash and water twice daily.
- Vaccinate against diseases
- Record weight gains
Laying (6+ Weeks)
- Transfer pulleys to individual cages.
- Feed-layer mash enriched with calcium
- Provide 14 hours of light to stimulate laying.
- Collect eggs multiple times daily.
- Cull/slaughter non-layers
Processing (5–6 weeks)
- Select mature quails for slaughter.
- Process manually or use automated butcher equipment.
- Bleed, scald, pluck, and eviscerate quails
- Chill-dressed quails to 4°C temperature
- Package for the market
Follow this sequence consistently for maximum returns from your quail flock.
Quail Health and Diseases
Good management prevents most quail diseases. But these common illnesses affect Nigerian flocks:
This intestinal parasite causes diarrhoea, weakness, and death. Use coccidiostats in your feed. Maintain dry litter.
Roundworms cause weight loss and diarrhea. De-worm using piperazine regularly. Avoid reinfection.
This bacterial infection spreads in dirty conditions. Improve hygiene and give antibiotics.
Newcastle disease is a contagious viral respiratory illness causing high mortality. Use NCD vaccines and biosecurity measures.
Inflammation of the intestines leads to diarrhoea from bacterial infections. Administer antibiotics. Improve sanitation.
Promptly identify and treat illnesses using veterinary drugs, vaccines, and improved management. Maintain high biosecurity.
SWOT Analysis of Quail Farming in Nigeria
Here is a SWOT analysis summarising the internal strengths and weaknesses, along with external opportunities and threats, for quail farming in Nigeria:
- Quails mature fast, allowing quick revenues.
- Small housing requirements are ideal for Nigeria.
- Low startup capital and operating costs
- Produce high-value specialty eggs and meat.
- Growing demand and premium prices locally
- Lack of commercial quail hatcheries
- Limited veterinary support services
- High feed costs due to imported ingredients
- Low economy of scale compared to chickens
- Limited quail farming education and training
- Rising incomes and health-conscious consumers
- Technology innovations to boost production
- Agribusiness supports the policies of the federal government.
- Huge demand-supply gaps for eggs and poultry
- Value addition through processed quail products
- Competition from cheap imported poultry
- Avian influenza and disease outbreaks
- High inflation and foreign exchange volatility
- Quail farming knowledge gaps
- Inadequate access to finance and lending
Evaluating these elements allows for the creation of strategies to leverage Nigeria’s strong advantages for quail farming while managing risks and weaknesses.
Quail Farming SWOT Analysis
The Economics of Quail Farming in Nigeria
Here is an overview of the economics of quail farming in Nigeria:
- Land (500 m2): ₦200,000: Choose a place where you can get this size of land even cheaper.
- Housing and equipment: ₦150,000
- Stock of 1,000 day-old quails: ₦350,000
- Feeds, medications, etc.: ₦100,000
- Total startup cost: ₦800,000
Operating Costs (Annually)
- Feeds: ₦650,000
- Salary (1 worker): ₦480,000
- Utilities: ₦120,000
- Transportation: ₦100,000
- Miscellaneous: ₦150,000
- Total operating cost: ₦1,500,000
- Meat sales from 1,000 quails to ₦1.5 million
- Egg sales from 800 layers: ₦2.4 million Total revenue: ₦3.9 million
- Net Profit = Total Revenue minus Total Costs
- Annual Profit = ₦3,900,000 – ₦2,300,000 = ₦1,600,000
- ROI = Net Profit / Total Investment x 100
- ROI = ₦1,600,000 / ₦800,000 x 100 = 200%
With proper management, quail farming in Nigeria can be highly profitable, even for smallholders.
Quail Products Marketing Tips
Effective marketing is crucial to earning top profits from quail farming in Nigeria. Useful tips include:
Conduct market research.
Research buyer preferences, pricing, competition dynamics, and distribution channels in your location. This guides your marketing strategy.
Prioritise egg sales.
Quail eggs fetch higher prices than meat in Nigeria. Focus on maximising quality egg production levels. Maintain excellent layer nutrition.
Sell to hotels and restaurants
Approach high-end hotels, restaurants, and bakeries as bulk buyers of fresh quail eggs. Offer competitive bulk rates.
Differentiate your eggs
Brand your eggs as premium and healthier than chicken eggs. Use unique packaging to justify higher pricing.
Market Meat Online
Sell dressed quail and value-added products on food ordering apps, social media, and e-commerce sites. Offer home delivery.
Participate in local food markets.
Secure stands at organised markets, trade fairs, and exhibitions. Showcase your quail eggs and meat.
Partner with supermarkets.
Supply dressed quail meat to supermarket chains. Position quail as an exotic specialty item along with marketing materials.
Innovative promotion and client relationship management are key skills for Nigerian quail farmers to maximise revenues.
Loans and Grants for Quail Farming in Nigeria
New and expanding quail farmers can access financing through:
CBN Agri-Business/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme
The CBN offers single-digit interest loans up to N50 million for agribusinesses, including quail farming.
BOI Agro-Business Loans
The Bank of Industry provides agribusiness loans from N500,000 to N50 million with 6% interest rates.
USAID MAX Programme
The USAID MAX programme partners with Nigerian lending institutions to improve financing access for agribusinesses.
AGSMEIS Loan Scheme
The scheme offers 5% interest loans from N100 million to N500 million for agricultural SMEs, including quail farms.
FGN Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones
The SAPZ programme will establish agrozones with infrastructure to attract processing investments, including quail farming projects. Developers can access land and incentives.
Leveraging these financing opportunities allows aspiring quail farmers to acquire land, equipment, and working capital to scale their operations.
Training and Support for Quail Farming
Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL)
NIRSAL builds capacity and de-risks agriculture lending via credit guarantees and training programs. They support poultry projects.
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA)
SAA promotes the accelerated commercialization of agriculture in Nigeria. They provide training and mentorship for emerging quail farmers.
Premier Agribusiness Academy
Premier Agribusiness Academy delivers practical short courses on profitable quail, poultry, and livestock farming in Nigeria.
Agricultural Extension Agents
Government agricultural extension officers offer free advisory services to help farmers with best practices.
Don’t hesitate to leverage training programmes to gain the technical and business skills necessary for quail farming success. Continuously improve your expertise.
Record-Keeping Tips for Quail Farmers
Careful record-keeping is crucial for commercial quail farming in Nigeria. Keep notes on:
- Stock inventory and maturation
- Feed types and consumption
- Egg production volumes
- Quail weights
- Mortalities and culls
- Health and medical treatments
- Financial costs and revenues
- Production challenges and solutions
Keeping accurate records allows quail farmers to:
- Track flock health and performance.
- Optimise feed conversions and costs.
- Identify issues needing intervention.
- Evaluate growth rates and maturity timelines.
- Detect declines in egg production.
- Troubleshoot causes of mortality
- Assess medication and vaccination efficacy.
- Support financial planning and loans.
- Verify incomes and expenses.
- Understand profitability by crop or flock
- Improve management practices over time.
- Recall specifics for making future decisions.
- Have evidence if legal disputes arise.
- Comply with regulations and requirements.
- Benchmarks against other farms
Key Tips for Beginner Quail Farmers in Nigeria
In addition to the guidance provided above, here are some vital tips for ensuring success as a novice quail farmer in Nigeria:
Begin with 1,000 or fewer birds in a basic housing setup. Learn and gain experience before expanding. Master the fundamentals first.
Select the right breed.
Choose a suitable breed for your goals, whether maximum eggs (Coturnix) or heavier meat (Texas A&M). Start with a highly productive breed.
Source: Good Stock
Obtain day-old chicks from reputable breeders. Ensure they are vaccinated and from disease-free parent stock for healthy chicks.
Feed Quality Formulated Rations
Don’t cut corners on feed ingredients. Follow tested feed formulas suitable for each growth stage. This optimises feed conversions.
Maintain high biosecurity.
Follow strict hygiene and protective protocols. Isolate the new quail. Restrict access to housing. Prevent disease outbreaks that can wipe out flocks.
Monitor birds closely.
Observe quails daily for signs of illness, injuries, or abnormal behavior. Quickly isolate and treat individual birds to prevent contagious disease spread.
Tracking all activities and metrics allows for optimising health, growth, layers, feeds, profits, and more. Records prevent repeated mistakes.
Get advice from experienced quail farmers, agriculture extension agents, and academics. Learning from veterans will fast-track your success.
Invest in training.
Enrol in courses on quail farming for beginners. Join online and field mentoring programs. Investing in knowledge delivers results.
Following these tips will set beginner quail farming entrepreneurs in Nigeria up for the greatest success.
Quail farming presents tremendous opportunities for Nigerian agripreneurs to profit from rising poultry demand. Quails multiply and start laying rapidly, need small spaces, and command premium egg and meat prices. With relatively low startup costs and following sound technical guidelines, quail farming can offer excellent returns.
This guide covers everything beginners need to know, from housing and feeding to healthcare and marketing. While intensive management is required, the quick maturation of quails allows frequent turnover for steady revenues. With commercial quail hatcheries still limited in Nigeria, starting your own production can give you a head start on seizing this lucrative opportunity.
So get your coop ready, order your chicks, formulate cost-effective feeds, and put market research and distribution plans in place to profit from the quail farming boom in Nigeria. From a small operation, you can rapidly scale into a full-fledged, high-margin quail agribusiness, empowering your financial success. The demand growth potential for quail eggs and meat looks bright for the foreseeable future.