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QUAIL FARMING AS DIVERSIFICATION VENTURE IN RURAL INDIA By Dr. Avishek Biswas Senior Scientist Avian Nutrition & Feed Technology Division Central Avian Research Institute – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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By Dr. Avishek Biswas Senior Scientist
Avian Nutrition Feed Technology
Division Central Avian Research
Institute Izatnagar, Bareilly-243122 (U.P.), India
  • Class Aves
  • Family Phasianidae
  • Genus Coturnix
  • Scientific name Coturnix coturnix Japonica
  • Hindi name Bater

  • First domesticated in Japan in 1595.
  • There are two species of quail in India
  • a) The black-breasted quail found in jungle
    (Coturnix Coromandelica)
  • b) The brown-coloured Japanese Quail
    (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica)
  • Introduced in India in 1974 from California.
  • There are 45 species of quail although the
    Japanese quail is the largest species
  • Why quail farming?
  • Hardy
  • Easy to handle
  • Adopt to varied environment
  • Fast growing bird and short generation interval
  • 3-4 generations in a year
  • Pilot animal for genetic, nutritional and
    physiological studies.
  • As a source of egg and meat production
  • Popular in the countries like Japan, Hongkong,
    Singapore and France.

Advantages of quail farming
Requires minimum floor space Needs low investment Quails are comparatively sturdy birds Can be marketed at an early age ie. five weeks Early sexual maturity  - starts laying eggs in about six to seven weeks of age High rate of egg laying -280 eggs per year Quail meat is tastier than chicken and has less fat content. It promotes body and brain development in children. Nutritionally, the quail eggs are on par with that of chicken eggs. Moreover, they contain less cholesterol. Quail meat and eggs are a nutritious diet for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Quail farming as economically viable and
technically feasible
  • Very short generation interval
  • Quails are very robust to diseases
  • No vaccination is required
  • Low space requirement
  • Early maturity
  • Very high laying intensity- female starts laying
    at an age of 42 days
  • Practical Utility
  • Quail offered an opportunity to alternative the
    chicken farming
  • It is useful as table delicacy
  • Pilot animal for research and education

Difference b/w Male Female
  • Females are heavier (200-250 g) than male
  • Female long pointed feathers with black
    speckles on the throat and upper breast.
  • Male rusty brown throat and breast feathers,
    cloacal gland.

Female/Male Japanese Quail
  • Deep litter system
  • 6 quails can be reared in a sq.ft. of floor
  • After 2 weeks, Quails can be reared in cages.
  • This will help to gain good body weight.

Cage System
  • Each unit is about 6 feet in length and 1 foot in
    width, and subdivided into 6 subunits.
  • The cages can be arranged up to 6 tiers high.
  • Bottom of the cage is fixed with removable wooden
  • Long narrow feed troughs are placed in front of
    the cages.
  • Water troughs are placed at the back of the
  • Commercial egg layers are usually housed in
    colonies of 10-12 birds per cage.

Age Cage Size No.of birds
First 2 weeks 3 x 2.5 x 1.5 ft. 100
3- 6 weeks 4 x 2 .5 x 1.5 ft. 50
Feed Management
Feed can be formulated as follows.
Feed Ingredients Chick mash Grower mash
  0-3 weeks 4-6 weeks
Maize 27 31
Sorghum 15 14
Deoiled RiceBran 8 8
Groundnut Cake 17 17
Sunflower Cake 12.5 12.5
Soya meal 8 -
Fishmeal 10 10
Mineral Mixture 2.5 2.5
Shell grit - 5
  • Feed material should be made of small particles
  • A 5 weeks old quail consumes about 500 gms of
  • Quails of 6 month old, consumes about 30-35 gms
    of feed per day.
  • Quails require about 400 gms feed for the
    production of 12 eggs.
  • The particle size is reduced by grinding the
    feed for one more time.

  • Classified as, Starter (0-4 wks), Finisher
    (4-6wks) and layer or breeder (6 wks onwards).
  • Starter period is more crucial and needs special
    management and feeding care.
  • Balanced and higher nutrient is required
  • Feed conversion ratio (FCR) is an average

Nutrients Broiler Quails Broiler Quails Layer Quail (For Egg) Layer Quail (For Egg) Layer Quail (For Egg)
  Starter(0-4 wks.) Finisher(4-6 wks.) Starter(0-4 wks.) Grower(4-5 wks.) Layer(gt 6 wks.)
Energy (Kcal /Kg) 2800 2800 2750 2750 2700
Protein 27 24 24 20 19
Calcium 0.8 0.6 0.8 0.6 3.0
Phosphorus 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.45
Egg production
  • Smaller eggs than chicken
  • Average age at first egg production is about 50
  • Average egg production 280-300/year
  • Eggs laid between 3-5 pm
  • Eggs are multicoloured (dark brown, white, buff,
    blue etc)
  • Eggs wt. is 10-12 g
  • 7-8 of the hens body weight.

Composition of Quail Egg (Whole, Raw)
Water Protein Fat Carbohydrate Total ash Calorific Value
74 13 11 1 1 649 k J/100g liquid
Quail meat
Dressed quail meat weighs 70-73 weight of live quail. Hundred grams of quail meat is usually obtained from a quail weighing 140 g
The Comparision in Composition (Raw Meat) (Ref. Pande and Srivastava, 1987)
  Moisture Protein Fat Carbohydrate Minerals
Quail 73.93 20.54 3.85 0.56 1.12
Chicken 73.87 20.66 3.61 0.78 1.08
  • What is the acceptance or popularity of Quail
    meat and egg?
  • Quail meat / egg are now widely accepted in
  • Small size of quail egg as alternative to
    chicken egg.
  • They make attractive snacks or salad
  • Value addition is possible with products like
    egg pickles, brined quail eggs etc.

Is quail meat preferred over chicken meat?
  • YES
  • According to Gourmets, it is tastier than
  • Quail meat promotes body and brain development
    in children
  • Best balanced feed for pregnant and nursing
  • Less fat content (Low calorific value) but more
    of phospholipds.
  • Is quail farming a suitable option in terms of
    meat and egg production?
  • Early marketing age
  • Early sexual maturity
  • High rate of lay (280-300 eggs per year)
  • Occupation of a minimum floor space
  • Eight to ten birds can be kept in the same
    space housing a single chicken

Incubation and hatching
  • Incubators that are used for hatching chicken
    eggs can be used
  • A wire mesh or grid of 1.5 x 1 inch should be
    fitted on the setter trays
  • Incubation period for quail eggs is 18 days.
  • Eggs should be stored at 130C at 80 RH for 5-7
  • Fumigated with formaldehyde gas for 20 minutes
    before storage.
  • Incubation requirement are as follows

Duration (Days) Temperature (deg.F) Humidity () Turning of Eggs
0-14 99.5 60 Through 45 deg. 5-6 times a day.
15 to 18 98.5 70 Not required

  • If you are going for such operations of producing
    chicks at your farm, following information may be
    of help to you
  • Male / female ratio in the parent stock should
    be 12 or less.
  • Quails start laying eggs at the age of 6 weeks,
    Quails lay most of the eggs during evening hours
    (Between 3 to 6 PM).
  • Fertile eggs from the female of age 10 to 20
    weeks can be collected
  • Eggs should be collected very frequently and
  • Eggs should be stored at 550 F with 70
    relative humidity before incubation.
  • Management of quail chicks
  • The day old quail chicks usually weigh 8-10 g.
  • The quail chicks need more temperature.
  • Absence of adequate temperature and exposure to
    high speed cool wind leads to clustering of
    young ones, which results in high mortality.

Quail diseases
  • Quails are very sensitive during first 2 wks of
    their life
  • Quails are not vaccinated
  • No dewormer used
  • Resistant to 8 starins of Eimeria pathogenic to
  • Brooder pneumonia reported in quails (use calcium
    propionate_at_2kg/tonnes feed).
  • Ulcerative enteritis (Clostridium colinum)
  • Sterptomycin, bacitricin, and neomycin
    _at_50-100g/tonnes of feed.
  • Mortality rate 5-10

Where to get parent birds or adult quails?
  • Director, Central Avian Research Institute,
    Izatnagar, Dist. Bareilly,
  • Uttar Pradesh, Pin 243122
  • A.V.M Hatcheries Poultry Breeding Center Pvt.
    Ltd. 25 / 327, Rangai Gauder Street, Coimbatore
    Pin 641001
  • Director, Central Poultry Breeding Farm, Govt
    of India located at
  • a. Aarey colony, Goregaon (E), Mumbai.- 400065
  • b. Hessarghatta, Bangalore (North)-560088
  • c. Nayapalli, Bhubaneshwar-751012
  • d. Industrial Area, Chandigarh-160002
  • 4. M/s Venkateshwar Hacheries Pvt. Ltd. Quail
    Unit at Naigaon, Pune, C/o Dr. B.V. Rao,
    IPMT At/PO - Urulikanchan, Pune 412202

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