This special report exposes you to the little known but amazing medical and financial benefits of quail birds. You’ll get to discover huge secrets about the potency of this tiny bird’s eggs over 32 ailments, and how adopting quail farming as a business can make you lots of money and change your life positively forever.
Quails – one of several small game birds of the pheasant order - are stout birds with sturdy legs and curved bills. Their feathers are usually brown, speckled with white, black, tan, grey or chestnut. The bird averages eight to 11 inches (20 to 28 cm) in length.
Renowned all over the world for the amazing health benefits of its eggs and meat (In fact, quail meat and eggs are considered a highly-valued delicacy), most Nigerians seem to be in the dark regarding the health values of this tiny divinely-sent bird which was mentioned in the Holy books (The Bible and the Quaran) more than any other of its kind.
Pastor Abayomi Agbato, an expert quail bird farmer, is the Chief Executive Officer of Abewag Nigeria Enterprises. He says, “Quails have been reared in Japan for so long – 1200 BC (Before Christ) for games, songs, among others. It was also reared in Asia, United States, Britain, etc. But that of Japan (Japanese Quail) is of more value and importance, because it was there that quail was first used as drugs.
“When a Japanese Emperor was sick of Tuberculosis, they just gave quail meat to the Emperor to eat and they later found out that it had a healing effect on him. So, with this, the Japanese then began to research and they were able to find out that quail birds were highly medicinal.
“By 1910, the Japanese had researched and found out that quail eggs and meat were potent on about 32 illnesses like Tuberculosis, Hypertension, Diabetes, Chronic Arthritis, Liver problem, Kidney problem, Heart problem, Ulcer and low Sexual libido, among others.
“Britain followed, and the rearing of quail birds was legalized in 1957 and in America in 1960. It was introduced to Nigeria on December 16, 1992 through the Directorate of Food Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Abuja. Later, it was introduced to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Jos, where the research about its rearing was carried out and it was found out that it was suitable for Nigeria”.
Religious perspectives of quail
Pastor Mrs. Adebimpe Smith, a quail farmer who spoke from Ojuelegba says, “Quail bird is the meat that God gave the children of Israel in the wilderness when they were there for forty years. When they demanded for meat, God gave them quail meat and they were hale and healthy throughout their stay there (Please refer to Numbers 11:31-32)
Agbato says, “The written origin of quail birds that we know is in the Bible. The book of Psalms, chapter 105 verse 40 and Exodus, chapter 16 verse 13, where the children of Israel asked for meat in the wilderness. Moses went and asked God who promised to send quail to them by night. So, the Bible recorded that God caused wind to blow quails into their camp – which they had in excess.
Agreeing with Agbato, Mr. Hanson Inyang Nyoh, a renowned quail bird farmer based in Ibadan, adds, “The holy book (Bible) is the only book you can pick if you want to know everything in the world. The first mention of quail was found in the books of Exodus and Psalms. The children of Israel left Egypt and were moving to the Promised Land, and they first complained of food and manna was given to them. After the manna, they complained of meat, and God provided quail for them in the evening
Quran 7:161 says, “------- And we caused the cloud to overshadow them and we sent down for them Manna and Salwa (Quail Bird) and we said, “Eat of the good things we have provided for you” and they wronged us not, but it was themselves that they wronged.
Health benefits of quail birds – the eggs
Agbato and Deacon Olusoji Alamu of the Directorate of Baptist Mission Schools, lists them as follows:
1. They are a remedy against digestive tract disorders such as gastritis, stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer.
2. They can help cure anemia by increasing hemoglobin levels and removing toxins and heavy metals from the blood.
3. They help in the treatment of tuberculosis, bronchial asthma, diabetes and vegetative-vascular dystopia.
3. They have strong anticancer effects and may help inhibit cancerous growth.
4. They help eliminate and remove stones from the liver, kidneys and gallbladder.
5. They may accelerate recuperation after blood stroke and help strengthen the heart muscles.
6. They are a powerful stimulant of sexual potency. They nourish the prostate gland with useful substances; phosphorus, proteins and vitamins and therefore help restore sexual potency in men.
7. They promote good memory, enhance brain activity and regulate the nervous system.
8. They strengthen the immune system, slow down the aging of organs and increase the life span.
9. They improve skin color and strengthen the hair, making it shiny and voluminous. That’s why quail eggs are used for facial and hair care masks.
10. The egg doesn’t have bad cholesterol.
11. There is no number of quail eggs consumed that have side effects.
They add that if kids eat at least 2 quail eggs daily, they grow better and are less likely to suffer from infectious diseases.
Mr. Abiodun Leigh, another quail bird farmer who is based in Ikorodu, agrees with Agbato and Alamu and says, “The benefits are so enormous; it cures ulcer, diabetics, high blood pressure, syphilis, headache, typhoid fever and so on”.
Nyoh says, “The eggs are medicinal, curing different kinds of diseases. Using myself as the first testifier of this, I was one time having a problem of urinating and I was passing out thick red blood. I went to the mission hospital and the doctor said I have to undergo different tests after which I was told I had to go for operation. My spirit did not agree with that so I started taking quail eggs. I did not finish the cycle, before the whole problem vanished till today. There was also a man in Iwo, Osun State, who had type two stroke. The doctors had lost hope on him and had told the wife that there was no way out, but to God be the glory, today the man can walk by himself, after taking 240 eggs – I mean he took the complete cycle”.
According to www.quailfarm.com, British researchers say that eggs should be pronounced a super-food, as it has a very good impact on our health and even helps to fight obesity. Nutritionists say the egg as food is one of the richest in essential ingredients, and that we all should consume at least one a day.
In a research published by the Nutrition and Food Science magazine, researchers emphasized the egg’s important role in general health protection as well as loosing and maintaining body weight.
Dr. Carrie Ruxton, the leader of the study analyzed data from not less than 71 previous studies with her colleagues. The research aimed at the nutrient content of the eggs and their role in the human diet. It turned out that while eggs are poor in calories, they’re rich in protein and full of essential nutrients important to health, such as vitamin D and B12, selenium and chorine.
The investigations also confirmed that among other protein-containing foods the eggs contain the richest variety and mixture of amino acids that are indispensable for the healthy growth and development of children, adolescents and young adults.
In addition, the high levels of antioxidants in the egg help prevent the age-related muscular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries.
The research showed that children, teenagers and the elderly, as well as consumers of a lot of meat and people who don’t drink milk would gain the most benefit from eating eggs. The study’s one key discovery was that eggs are a very important source of vitamin D, and their consumption can significantly increase one’s daily intake of this very important vitamin. An egg contains more than 20 percent of the recommended daily intake, so, if one eats two a day one is half covered.
Low vitamin D levels is linked to many diseases: including osteoporosis, cancer of the heart, sclerosis multiplex, certain immune illnesses and mental disorders.
If it’s an egg, it’s got to be a Quail Egg
Quail eggs are proved to be very valuable source of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12 and vitamin D, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and other essential micro-nutrients, minerals and amino acids, which is why they are recommended for regular consumption.
To eat quail eggs as part of a healthy diet, it is recommended to consume them raw. A lot of the people don’t like the idea but to make the taste more pleasant you can mix it in orange or tomato juice. In order to strengthen the immune system and improve blood quality, a course of 60 eggs is recommended. Initially three, then five eggs a day should be consumed.
Quail eggs are considered to be one of the best known natural treatment products. Chinese medical practitioners have been using quail eggs as a treatment for hundreds of years with brilliant results. As quail eggs are slowly becoming an easy to get product in the market, more and more people are beginning to show interest in their use as an active natural medicine instead of the chemical products with so many side effects.
Experts in natural treatment methods claim that quail eggs have positive effects on people with stress problems, hypertension, digestive disturbance, gastric ulcer, liver problems, blood pressure and lipid control, migraine, asthma, anemia, various types of allergies, eczema, heart problems, bronchitis, depression, panic and anxiety illnesses. Quail eggs are also known to stimulate growth, increase sexual appetite, stimulate brain functions which improves intelligence quotient and generally rejuvenates the body.
Quail farming as a business
What is quail farming?
Agbato describes quail farming simply as the rearing of small birds called “Quail” – either in form of egg production, rearing to sell out as frozen chicken or for any other use. “It is like other types of poultry farming with concentration on rearing of small birds”, he says.
Leigh says quail farming is a type of poultry farming that is very easy to acquire because, according to him, quail is a healthy bird that does not die easily”.
Smith says, “To me quail farming is like other types of poultry farming. Quails don’t die easily like other birds, they don’t eat much feeds and they don’t receive injection and vaccination like other birds”.
Nyoh says, “This is the raising of natural birds God used in feeding the children of Israel for forty years when they left Egypt”.
Can quail farmers recommend it to other farmers?
Agbato says, “Yes, I can tell anybody and boldly beat my chest about the profitability of quail birds farming. For example, I have trained more than 10 people in this Lagos and they are into the business. To buttress this, I can also say that with 200 laying quail birds, you are better off than somebody that has 1,000 laying big birds”. He lists some of the benefits of quail farming as follows:
- Quail birds have five times reserved value compared to fowls.
- It requires a small space and less stress in management.
- It requires less labour – one person can manage 5,000 quail birds, but this can’t be done with fowls.
- They mature earlier – between six and seven weeks they have started laying eggs. So, if you invest, at intervals of two months, you are getting your returns, but with fowl (layers), it is after six months.
- They lay quite a number of eggs per year – a quail bird can lay up to 250 eggs a year.
Alamu says, “To the glory of God, people have tried their hands on many forms of birds and they have gotten their fingers burnt, but this one is not a business you can get your fingers burnt. I tell you that the touch of God is with the birds and nobody has gone into it that has a negative testimony. I started with small number of birds but today if you want 500 birds to start, I will provide them.
This is not poultry farming that will bring you doubts. It is at the starting level you have challenge of meeting demands, but when you have gone higher, there won't be any problem in meeting demands any longer. Even as you are still on a paid job, you can start rearing with a little space - it will be a source of blessing to your home and people around you”.
Things needed to go into Quail farming
Agbato says, “Before going into this business, one needs an initial training. Although, if you are a poultry farmer, you have the rudiments already, but there are still some things you need to understand about quail birds. I normally organize training for people – one day for farmers and two days for non farmers. After the training, I do tell them to start, as I normally assist them in getting a-day old quail or a growing quail, so they can start on their own.
“Another thing is that, they have to market. When I started, I was having problem with the market, because people don’t know about quail let alone the health benefits of its egg and meat. Before, when you see someone handling the birds, you would think he or she is an herbalist. So, this was my initial challenge. At a time, I had to give out the eggs to people or I throw them away.
“There was a time I went on-air (10 minutes every week on radio) just to get people to become aware of the benefits of quail birds. But now, we thank God that the market is there”.
Leigh says, “The requirements are not too strenuous like the popular poultry farming. What one just needs to have is a cage or a room that is well ventilated and the person will start - not forgetting feeders, drinkers and the feeds”.
Smith says, “Money is the first thing and that depends on how large you want the farm to be. If you cannot start in a building, you need a six by six cage and it should be in three compartments to house your birds”.
How many eggs can be sold in a week?
Agbato says, “Normally, my production is 25 crates per day. So, to talk on my minimum weekly sales, I sell about 140 crates and I still collect from the students I have trained”.
Leigh says, “In a day I sell over 100 crates of 30 pieces of the eggs. So, if you should multiply it for a week and a month, you know how much I will sell”.
Smith says, “I have not started selling the meat yet but I have started selling the eggs and I think I sell about fifty crates in a week. I sell my crate of egg a thousand naira and people do demand for it because of the health benefits it has”.
Nyoh says, “I don’t sell in crates, because people are taking my eggs for medicinal purposes. I am into hatching and right now, I have people who have queued for the two week old birds”.
What is the life span of the eggs?
Agbato says, “If you go on the internet, you will be told two to three weeks with proper refrigeration, but I, because dexterity is my middle name, I have not kept it for three weeks before. It is not good to put the eggs in the freezer, because it will freeze and when it freezes, it will crack the shell - the best bet is to put it in the refrigerator, but how many of us have constant power supply?
“I do ask my customers; ‘Where do you live?’ For the preservation of the eggs - if you can't preserve them, don't take them. By the grace of God, I will always make it available for you - I am not after the money, but the testimony you will give after taking it. So, I advice them to take two crates and when it is almost finished, give a call, I will reserve another one. I do warn my customers, "no matter how constant your electricity, don't keep for more than two weeks - the fresher the better”.
Process Of Rearing
Agbato says, “If I may tell you, rearing quail birds is easier than keeping bigger poultry birds. It requires smaller space, to an extent of a small room of 8 or 10ft by 12ft, which can take conveniently 250 to 400 quail birds on the floor. The rearing is very easy in the sense that you keep them as you keep the normal poultry birds by giving them water and food”.
Leigh says, “The process is so simple and less expensive. Anybody who wants to rear this bird can rear it at any point. Just get your money and contact your supplier who will get you your baby quail, and off you go. One can buy a day bird or three week old birds because when they are 50 days old they will start laying eggs; and so for the cock quail it is also used as meat and the meat is so good for the body, likewise the egg”.
Smith says, “You can raise a large amount of quail in a small area. Many quail experts suggest a ratio of two to one (two females for every male quail). Coturnix quail make excellent quail for beginners because they start laying quail eggs at a young age (approximately six weeks) and can also be prepared and eaten at five weeks of age. Thus, if you are raising quails for strictly commercial and utilitarian purpose, you can turnover your investment faster.
“The quail brood over the eggs—that means they sit on them to keep them warm—until they hatch. Either the male or the female quail may sit on the eggs to warm them. The eggs take from between two to three weeks to hatch. Young quail do not need care for very long. They are able to eat food on their own right away. About one week after hatching, they can fly”.
Tips on Your Quail Housing
Another quail farmer, Mr. Solomon Tuweke says, “Use a wire floor to keep your quail separated from their droppings. When choosing a house or coop for your quail, make sure there are no small holes through which your quail can escape. This can be a problem because many pet cages are not made to contain quails, whose small size makes them apt to squeeze through small holes. The largest hole your wire should have is 1-inch in diameter”.
Housing Quail in Your Backyard:
Tuweke says, “Prepare your coop or quail cages before you get your quail from a local breeder or hatchery. You have many options when choosing how to house your quail. Some individuals choose to build their own quail cage, while others utilize a pre-made coop, kennel or cage. One of the easiest ways to house your quail is to use a rabbit hutch. The small size and structure of a rabbit hutch makes it quite useful for raising quails”.
Agbato says, “Being birds, their feed is always grains, seeds, but they grow better on poultry feeds, if you can afford it”.
Leigh says, “The feeds are not difficult to get because they eat the normal feeds that chickens feed on so they don’t need any particular or special feeds to grow. If you need it in Lagos, come to my farm because I have the incubator that I use in my farm in Ikorodu along Ijede road at Eleshi”.
Smith says, “They eat the normal chicken feeds but I give my own birds layers feed because I want them to lay eggs for me”.
Nyoh says, “Quail birds are low eaters. Those that are a day old to four weeks take chick’s marsh. From four weeks, you give them grower. From six weeks, you change to layer’s marsh. They don’t eat much like poultry chickens”.
“Snippets from the internet confirm that quails feed on weed, seeds and insects. They are said to also have strong toes, which are perfect for scraping up roots or uncovering fallen seeds. Quail will also reach for low-hanging fruits, flowers, and leaves.
“Sometimes, a quail will scrape up or chase after insects, too. Insects are and especially important part of a young quail’s diet. Insects contain important nutrients or nourishment, which the quail needs to grow.
“All animals need water as well as food. Quail, however, can live on very little water—as little as one-half teaspoon a day. Quail can get this small amount of water just from the plants they eat.
“Feed your baby quail with poultry starter feed, such as turkey or chick starter. Due to the very small size of quail, especially baby quail, you may need to buy poultry feed in crumble format. Place the feed in a small feeder. The first time you feed your quail, place the quail near the food dish to show them where it is located. Always make sure your quails have access to fresh, clean water at all times”.
Agbato says, “They are prey to cats, rats and snakes. Another thing is that they fly like normal birds, if you open their doors. So, to prevent them from flying, we make special construction of their house – this is one of the things you must learn. They can be flying within their cages or houses, but are not to be allowed to fly out. Though, they have been domesticated, they still fly”.
Coping with the predators
Agbato says, “For predators like snakes, I normally pack and put onions around their house. When snakes smell the odour, it drives them away from the vicinity. In case of rats and other rodents, we make sure the netting is okay and well fixed, and we can also apply rat or cat killer”.
Nyoh says, “You must make sure that you put them in a cage that is constructed with a wired net. For the ants, there is a chemical that we use – always spray this around from time to time, as it disperses and kills the insects”.
How lucrative is quail farming?
Agbato says, “It is highly lucrative. Like I have said earlier, if you reared 200 quail birds, you are better off than the person that has 1,000 fowls. A thousand quail will take the bag of feed that 200 big birds will take and with quail birds of 1,000, definitely you are going to get a minimum of 600 eggs. That is to say I major more on the eggs, but I just started going into the meat aspect – processing the birds into frozen and grilled meat (‘suya’ type). Why I went into this is because there is no market for the old layer of quail birds, so the only thing to do is to find a way of disposing of them. I have been eating them at home and giving some to friends, so the next thing is to sell the frozen and grilled meat and people have been coming to buy it. If I must confess, it is delicious. So, by the time more farmers go into the meat aspect, more people will know about it and will be eating it. More so, research has shown that the egg shell is rich in natural calcium. In my house now, I wash it, grind it and put it in pap for my children to drink for strong bone development”.
Leigh says, “Quail farming is very lucrative compared to other poultry business, also it creates employment for teeming numbers of youth. It makes families healthy”.
Smith says, “For me it is more lucrative than poultry; though one gets very small meat when the birds are killed it is better than eating chicken, especially for health benefits; because it is believed to have lower cholesterol than the meat of other poultry birds”.
Nyoh says, “It is one of the lucrative kinds of farming that bring in returns on investments after six to eight weeks. With good management, a quail bird lays 280 eggs per year. If you start with 500 quails, multiply 280 by 500, you can see what you will have. If you sell a crate for N500, you have already hit millions with a little investment”.
Minimum start up capital
Agbato says, “If you have N30,000, you can start to rear 300 quail birds. More preferably, I want to assume that you have a small place to start with before you start constructing their permanent space. If you have a bathroom, a spare room, or a space you are not using, you can make use of it for a start”.
Leigh says, “With N50, 000, one is good to go because they don’t consume more feeds like other poultry birds. The amount excludes the feeding and some equipment”.
Smith says, “It depends on how large you want it to be but I believe that with N70, 000 one can start something minimal; and I get my own from a man who has been into the business for a long time, but I am planning to get my own machine that I will be using to hatch the eggs”.
Alamu says, “I like being honest: you can start with as little as N10,000. That is to say, the number of birds you will start with will be small. But I don't advice anyone to start with less than 50 birds - it depends on what you have and what you want to do. It is my desire in life to do the best I can for whoever I can, if I can, when I can and where I can... I want to put smiles on the faces of people. This farming, through me, God has used it as a source of blessing to an unemployed person - there are people who can't buy, they just collect the eggs and sell. In a nutshell, to be realistic, you can now put the minimum startup capital for between the range of N20,000 and N25,000.
You must have gotten a space - either a spare room in your house or cage. I have cages for different sizes - one that can contain 50 birds, which I built. It has corrugated roof and wired net - without looking at the cost, I can, by the virtue of blessing others give it out to new entrants to leverage on before they can stand on their own. I also have cages that can serve 20 birds and the ones I use to move birds from one location to the other (mobile cage). The birds are so gentle, if you put them in a room or space, spread saw dust on the floor, they will lay eggs there, but some other birds, when they lay, you will have to rush and pick it, so they don't break it”.
Nyoh says, “Well, it depends on the level you want to be – micro, small, medium or big. But if one just wants to start in a small way, N24,000 can start. That is to say with you having a spare room in your house or a space in your compound, the N24,000 will just be used to purchase the birds and the feed”.
Agbato says, “The only challenge, based on my initial experience as a poultry farmer was about how to market, because they are not yet popular. But what we have done is that, we have gone into chain farming with other farmers, who had been trained and gotten other people aware of it. That challenge has gone now, but as of today, the major challenge is that I cannot meet demand – marketing challenge has gone on my own side. I also go to some of my colleagues to collect eggs to sell – like today we are having this interview, I have sold over 300 crates of eggs without having any left again to sell, and people are still coming to ask”.
Leigh says, “The challenges are minimal. The birds make us save money on vaccination or medication”.
Smith says, “Since I started there have never been a day I am faced with any challenge. Even the droppings do not disturb anybody, and if I tell you that I have a quail farm in my compound you won’t believe it”.
Alamu says, “Sometimes, you may have a loss - when you have eggs and there won't be market. And at other times; people would be coming for the eggs and the eggs have limited life span. For instance, when someone is supposed to come for 50 crates of eggs today and the person didn’t show up. By the next day, you already have 100 crates of eggs - that is 3,000 eggs. It will now be a question of what to do, because the eggs will get spoiled and you have to continue feeding the birds. Anyway, sometimes we have loss; it is only on few occasions, that is, if you don't do your home work (marketing) very well”.
Nyoh says, “Well, the noise of quail is a pleasant noise. It is not the one that frightens or stresses people. Now, some people use it in their parlour like parrot birds – when someone is coming in, it will just make that sound. It is only the male that makes such noise. Another challenge is finance in this part of the world. This is because our government has not really made proper enabling environment for people to set up something that is as lucrative as this business. So, to overcome this challenge of finance, I do advice people to join cooperative societies – farmers’ cooperative. With this, they can easily raise money”.
Tuweke, says, “Quail manure has high ammonia content due to the high protein level in quail feeds. It should be removed daily to avoid discomfort to the birds. A manure receptacle should be placed under the cage.
“Health maintenance should be considered from day one until the maturity of the quails. There is no known morbid disease affecting them except respiratory disorder with very low mortality rate. Proper sanitation should be observed and followed with regular cleaning and disinfection. Vitamin premix can be added to drinking water to promote growth and improve laying performance.
“Storing the eggs in a cool dry place with proper air circulation can keep the eggs fresh for seven days”.
Some other business opportunities in quail farming
Nyoh says, “If you don’t want to sell the eggs to people who are taking it for medical use, you can decide to hatch your eggs for the reproduction of a-day old for people queuing for them. You may also brood for another two weeks and sell at higher price. Some other people might not want to border themselves to have the birds reared, but buy from those that are selling and resell. Some hatch and sell a-day old. They will buy the eggs from the farmer and take to the hatchery, in 17 days the chicks are ready, unlike the normal poultry birds that take 21 days.”
Source: Success Digest