Quail farming refers to the rearing of quails for egg and meat production purposes. A lucrative business popular in Asia and Europe now has a prospect in South Africa because of the gradual increase in demand for quail products.
Interestingly, quail farming remains a growing enterprise in South Africa compared to other poultry farming like chicken, and it’s said to require low capital to start. More so, it is not tasking to carry out this venture compared to other animal farming.
Suppose you are interested in venturing into quail farming in South Africa, in that case, you need to do things such as site selection, clean the site, prepare the animal house, buy the animal breed, buy animal feed, stock the quails, and treat the animals to control pests and diseases.
Quail Farming in South Africa Step By Step Guide
You may ask yourself why you should go into quail farming in South Africa. A quick answer for you is that the enterprise is relatively low compared to other animal farming activities in other countries, meaning there is no astringent competition.
This should encourage you to go into the venture and be among the few quail farmers enjoying the benefits of the venture.
We have discussed the steps involved in quail farming in South Africa below to serve as a guideline for you.
Step 1: Site Selection
Everything has a beginning, and the first step here is to be on the lookout for a suitable site where you can raise your quails. The proposed quail farm site must be a secured location where the weather is favorable to raise these birds.
Getting a location will require you to either buy or rent, depending on how long you intend to do the business and the size of the quail farm you want to establish.
Interestingly, quail can be farmed anywhere in South Africa because the bird can adapt to almost any weather condition.
Step 2: Clean the Site
The site must be cleared, cleaned, and disinfected to make it fit for quail farming. You can do the site cleaning yourself. Better still, you can hire skilled laborers to do the job in your stead.
If you are hiring, you need to monitor the laborers to ensure they will do an excellent job.
Wastes and dirt/debris that will be detrimental to the birds’ health and hamper the farming activities, in general, should be disposed of.
Step 3: Prepare Quail House
You don’t just stock your quails anywhere on the site. If not, you might end up losing them, especially to predators. That is why building a pen or cage where they will be kept and their activities properly monitored is vital.
Build a Quail House
The size and type of quail house built depends on the number of quails housed on the farm.
You can construct the cages/pen or purchase an already made cage, depending on whichever you can afford.
The various types of quail houses are
Stacked Quail Cage
Stacked quail cages are one of the best options to look into for the whole quail raising business. This type of cage is stacked on each other but separated to prevent droppings from entering the cage below.
Quail hutches are designed in a pen style and are considered the most secure quail house because they are designed to keep predators away from the birds.
This is the best option for farmers that intend to start little and grow on a large scale.
Galvanized or Welded Wire Quail Cage
This type of quail house is designed for large-scale commercial poultry farming purposes.
This type of quail cage is designed locally by welders using welded wires. This is very good for aeration, is easy to clean, and can accommodate feeders and waters.
Quail Recall Pens
This type of quail house is suitable for quail farmers that intend to go into training quails. If you would like to release your quails to roam freely and return in the evening every day, you can opt for quail recall pens.
Quail Ground Pen
Quail farmers who intend to raise quails to get used to their natural habitat can use the quail ground pen. This type of pen allows quails to be close to the earth.
However, it is best to provide high ground in the pen so that the birds won’t drown during heavy flooding.
Depending on your choice, you can build or buy any of these quail houses. Also, you will need to purchase other equipment needed in quail rearing, such as feeding and watering pan, cleaning tools, and heating tools, among others.
Note that placing your quails in an enclosed location rather than an open space to keep away predators is best.
Set up the Cage with the Necessary Equipment
Once you’ve constructed or purchased your desired quail house, you must set it up with the required tools.
The floor should be filled with healthy soil, or you can use sawdust. Feeding pans, water pans, and light bulbs to provide heat should also be available in a pen.
Step 4: Buy the Animal Breed
Once you have set your farm with all equipment, you can visit certified quail breeders to purchase your breed.
Know that there are different quail varieties in the market, so you have to make your findings to purchase the one breed that will give you more yields and profit.
You can buy quail eggs and hatch them. This is by far the cheapest way to purchase quail birds. It takes 16 to 18 days for the eggs to incubate and hatch. You can also purchase day-old quail birds from breeders.
Step 5: Buy Animal Feed
Animal feeds provide nutrients to the quails. As such, it is a must to feed them. Quail foods should contain small particles from products such as fishmeal, groundnut cake, mineral mixture, shell grit, deoiled rice bran, sunflower cake, maize, and sorghum.
The feeding application differs based on the ages of the quails. A 5-week-old quail should be fed about 500gms of feed, while a 6-months old should be fed about 30-35gms of feed per day.
Step 6: Stock the Quails
Now you stock the quails on the prepared farm. Stocking your quails will allow you to observe, train, or increase harvest success, among other benefits.
Step 7: Treat the Quails
Quails are prone to diseases that arise as a result of pest infestations. It is best to request a veterinarian for advice and expert opinion regarding the appropriate treatment.
Step 8: Harvest
Quails can be prepared to be sold once they have attained maturity. Quails 6 weeks old and above are ready to be sold for meat. Also, quail eggs can be harvested and sold as well.
How long Does Quail Grow?
Quail birds belong to smaller-sized birds. They are one of the fastest-growing animals in the world. Their growth from egg to maturity stage is swift compared to other poultry animals.
Typically, quails grow to maturity between six to seven weeks.
How Soon do Quail begin to lay Eggs?
Quails attain maturity faster compared to other poultry birds. At six weeks, they are fully grown and begin to produce eggs at eight weeks.
How long do Quail Eggs Hatch?
Quail eggs hatch between 16 to 18 days to hatch compared to other poultry birds, which take 21 days.
How to Hatch Quail Eggs?
The conventional method to hatch quail eggs is to incubate them for a couple of days. However, in the absence of an incubator, you can employ other methods like getting quail hens to sit on the eggs and hatch them. Alternatively, the fertilized eggs can be placed for a broody hen to sit and hatch them.
Challenges of Quail Farming in South Africa
Raising quails is considered one of the most accessible poultry activities compared to raising other birds. However, it is not without its challenges.
Some significant challenges of quail farming in South Africa are pest and disease and financial constraints.
Pest and diseases that affect Quails
Certain pests and diseases affect quails, an excellent concern for quail farmers. The pest and diseases that you should watch out for when raising quails are:
Quail disease bacteria. This causes lesions in the digestive tract of quails and can sometimes lead to death.
- Necrotic enteritis
- Chronic respiratory diseases
- Gangrenous dermatitis
- Fowl cholera
- Avian influenza
Quail Meat Price per kg South Africa
As you know, most people in South Africa go into quail farming for commercial purposes, just as we have seen in other countries where some have already started commercial quail farming business.
The essence of commercial quail farming is to provide quails for meat and egg production purposes. So, quail meat per kg in South Africa is in the range of R45 – R100.
How much does it take to Start Quail Farming in South Africa?
Quail farming is a profitable business that almost anyone interested can venture into the enterprise. However, you might be wondering how much it takes to start quail farming in South Africa?
No matter the size of the snail farm you intend to begin, you must know that quail farming requires capital, no matter how small. Interestingly, the capital and labor cost is meager. One person can farm between 2000 to 5000 birds.
Quail farming is still growing in South Africa, so you should take advantage of this green opportunity to become a quail farmer. The venture is lucrative, and the prospects are high. So, ensure you go through the step-by-step guide discussed in this material to gather the information you need for a profitable enterprise.