How to set up a quail farm business in Nigeria Quail breeding has been considered to be one of the most lucrative when it comes to birds because of many factors. It’s Health benefits, return on investment, space management, etc, have all added up to make it very profitable. The benefits and merits of starting up a quail business in Nigeria are limitless and the business world and possibilities have thus far remain untapped, largely due to ignorance of the business.
Quails can be grown as pets, for their eggs or their meat. The meat is nutritious and tasty, and the eggs are much healthier than other eggs people eat. Both have low fat levels and are great for people with blood pressure issues. In Nigeria, quail eggs are also known as Ogazi eggs and are sold as street food.
Benefits of quail farming
- Little to no extra expenses on land. As these birds are very small, you will not have to spend extra money on large pieces of land. You can just grow them in your backyard. You will need just one square meter of land to raise up to eight quails.
- Relatively small expenditures on bird feed. Once again, this is where the size matters. You do not have to feed quails as much or as often as other domesticated birds. They mostly eat food of plant origin and occasional insects that appear on their way, so stack up on wheat and rice bran, mix in some minerals and other grains, and you are good to go
- Fast growing time. As we have said before, female quails start laying eggs at 7 weeks old. The eggs are ready to hatch in a little more than two weeks. This way, your quail farm will expand really fast.
- Quails’ strong immune system. Quails rarely catch any diseases that many other birds are prone to. Even if your birds get sick, they are very resilient and strong, so there is a very high chance that they will recover. This way, you can save money on frequent visits to a veterinarian.
- Cost effective. these birds do not need much feed to grow. By feeding your quails 3 kg of feed, you will end up with 1 kg of quail meat, which is considered quite cost-effective.
- Large market available. In Nigeria, there is high demand for quail in all its forms: live birds, meat and eggs. Their small size makes them cheaper than other birds, but at the same time more accessible. This way, you will be able to sell your produce to people with all kinds of income levels.
- Low start up costs. You do not need a lot of money to begin with, as quails are relatively cheap, and, as we have mentioned above, do not require much in terms of upkeep. Quail farming also does not require special education. At the same time, quail farming is a lucrative business venture, and it brings profits during the first year of existence.
THE BUSINESS PLAN
The next step is to compile a quail farming business plan. This step is essential, even if you are planning to start out small. It will help you determine all of the vital elements of the business and will assist with implementing the different steps in order to operate the business. You should include a series of vital elements in your business plan.
Choosing a location
Choose the location for your farm. It does not really matter what region of Nigeria you live in, as quails do not have any requirements in terms of weather or anything like that. However, when choosing the location, look for a predator-free quiet area. Finding a place with a source of clean water will be a real bonus.
Alternatively, you can set up a small farm in your backyard or raise the quails with other birds you might have. The only thing you need then is to provide separate cages for them.
Constuct housing for the birds
Buy the equipment and cages. Depending on what you want to raise your quails for, choose the right cages for the birds. At first, you might do without cages, but they are highly recommended, if you want to sell your quails later on. Do not forget about buying the feeders and drinkers, as well as light and heat sources.
Purchase the birds
Before you can purchase livestock, you will need to determine what breed of quails you will be specializing in. Some startups choose to focus on a specific breed, while others prefer to focus on multiple breeds. This is an important decision that will affect the production and value of your business.
It is advised to opt for the Tuxedo, English white, British or Manchurian golden breeds of quail if your main focus will be on the eggs. For businesses that will focus more on the meat of quails, it is recommended to opt for a breed such as the white breasted Indian or bob white American.
After deciding which breed you will be focusing on (or multiple breeds you will be focusing on), you should gather information about suppliers. You should buy a couple of quails to start out – this will be the initial livestock and will increase in number as they start breeding.
Ok, so you will also need to buy the feed material that are made of small particles of broken wheat, kipper fish, rice bran, sesame cake, broken oyster shell etc. Feed management is very important for quail farming; a well-balanced wholesome feed guarantees healthy and highly productive quail birds resulting in high ROI. The cost of feeding quails is usually low due to the fact that they do not consume as much food as several other poultry birds. These birds can be fed with the same feed used for turkeys and chicken, but in lower amounts. An adult quail of 6 months old daily consumes 30-35 grams of food.
Maintain a healthy environment
Take care of your quails’ health. Even though quails are resilient and not prone to diseases, it does not mean you should leave them to their own devices. Set a small portion of your budget aside for health emergencies. Do not forget to clean. Quails are not very messy birds. Nevertheless, you should take your time and clean the cages, feeders and drinkers from time to time. Make sure your quails are feeling good. Check on their water source regularly.
It is expected that you must have already come up with effective marketing strategies even before official launching of the business. Try to determine the demands of quail products in your local market. You will be able to promote both eggs and meat to customers, but can also choose to target just one of these. The breed of quail you are specializing in will also affect whether you specialize in eggs or meat.
Promoting your business can be done in several ways. You can start a website for your business.
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- 2018 SME Business Trainer and Coaching Advisor at GIZ for SME Loop.
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- 2016 Fellow, Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme
- 2015 Top 50 Innovative Entrepreneurs, BET5 by Diamond Bank and EDC, PAU.
He is an alumnus of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Through his training, mentoring, speaking and coaching programmes, he has empowered many young people over the years to start and grow their own business, build wealth, create multiple streams of income and achieve financial independence.
- He is a Certified Trainer in Design Thinking by the U.S Consulate, Lagos and the inspire Africa Entrepreneurship Institute.