The Quail Farming Guide for India
Quail farming is popular and has been gaining interest since 2014 when the central government lifted the ban on the bird being sold commercially. Today Quail farming amounts to a major chunk of the poultry business with Eggs being the primary profit earning source for quail farmers.
Quails are a new trend in the poultry business compared to chicken which is more popular in India. The birds are domesticated but can fly. Unlike the chicken, Quail is not free-range. This restricts quail birds from being reared in open farms. Quails require closed space. A room, cage, or any space which restricts the bird from flying is good enough. A square foot of space is required per bird. To house 1000 Birds, expect to have a space of 1000 Square feet at least. Layered farming is possible and has been practiced with success by farmers. Deep Litter is practiced in larger farms to manage costs and labor.
The economics of Quail farming and Profits
Quail is a very profitable poultry business. Apart from the fact that quail meat and eggs are now common and often preferred by customers, the cost of maintaining a quail farm is considerably lesser than that of a chicken farm. Here are some of the facts which make quail farming an enticing business for poultry enthusiasts
- No major diseases: Quail is resistant to a lot of infectious diseases. They are wild birds and do not have many of the problems normal chickens face. This reduces the costs of medication and care. Also, quails do not require vaccination. The total veterinary cost for quails is much lower than that of chicken
- Requires minimal space: chickens are large birds and even with broiler bred chickens, you are required to have a lot more space than quails. Quails are small birds and require lesser space. This results in easier farming and lesser infrastructure.
- Fast-growing. : Quails grow fast. The birds are fully mature in 5 weeks, start laying eggs in 6 to 8 weeks. With a faster turnaround time, farmers can make a profit much faster than chickens which requires 6 months to mature and lay eggs.
- Lesser feed: A quail eats 20-25 grams of feed a day. Compared to chicken, which consumes around 100-120 grams per feed, the bird is considered to have a very low feed requirement
- Faster egg hatching: Quail eggs hatch in 18 days. With less than 3 weeks to hatch, farmers are known to double their stock in 4-5 months.
With the poultry business, it is all about space and the number of birds you can accommodate in the space that determines how much you profit apart from how much you can put into the business. The larger the space, the more labor you will need, which will add to the expenses and cut down on your profit. The amount you will have to spend on the feed will also increase with more birds, which will require additional funds as recurring expenses.
As per research, 1000-1500 birds yield the highest return per bird at rs 252 per bird as profit. With larger numbers of birds, the profit will decrease per bird to roughly 230, and with a lower number of birds, the profit per bird is usually around 208 per bird.
|Costs for Chicks (1500)||60000|
|Cost of Feed||350000|
|Meat Birds for sale||50000|
|Sale of Eggs||862000|
|Sale of Litter||10000|
An annual profit of Roughly 4Lakh 50 thousand rupees can be expected with 1500 Birds. This is with a labor cost of 30,000 which can be completely avoided for 1500 birds as it’s a one-person job to maintain these birds.
Increased profit can be obtained with more sales in the meat rather than eggs from time to time especially during peak seasons like eid and Christmas. Hatchery business is also a wonderful source of income to turn every egg which costs 5 rs to 40 rs in just 30 days. Unfortunately, there is a lot of work involved, additional machinery and care, which is far more than rearing a lot of birds.
Quail farming Marketing
- Quali Eggs: Fortunately, Quail eggs are well known for their benefits in rural and urban India. Eggs are sold in grocery shops and have a good market. The lack of product and high demand is continuous. There are no specific seasons where eggs are not sold. It’s a 365-day business and the demand is always constant. The products are sold in lots of the ’50s or dozen. The price for eggs in grocery stores may vary and depends on the locality. In urban areas, the sale of eggs could range from 3.5 to 5 Rs per egg in retail. The price farmers get will range from 3.5 to 3.5 in most cases. In rural areas, the prices are known to be lower and start at 1.5 and may go up to 2.5 per piece. Nevertheless, the profit margin is notably high with constant production of eggs and constant demand.
- Quail meat: Meat is not as popular as eggs and the sale of meat is only at 6-7% of the total quail business. This area is of interest, especially because there is a lot of scopes. Poultry is much high in price as compared to quail but people still prefer Poultry to quail. Quail is not commonly used in hotels and restaurants either with most customers preferring Chicken to quail. In India, the use of any other poultry meat apart from chicken is not a good business model. Ducks, turkey, and other birds are often not the first choices among customers and restaurant owners. This will require a lot of change which is beyond the scope.
- Quail Hatchery: This is a niche business and will cater only to farmers. Nevertheless, it is a great business with high returns in a short period. Hatchery requires additional equipment, good knowledge and has a learning curve and training requirement. Hatchery business, for quail and other poultry, is considered highly profitable and with minimal competition. There is the question of demand though as most hatcheries are only able to cater to other farmers and not to the general population.
Licensing and Permit for growing Quails in India.
Every state has its laws and rules for growing poultry. This is based on the number of birds on the farm. For instance, Kerala has a permit requirement for more than 100 birds. The license is required to ensure a clean environment and avoid problems with neighbors. With poultry, waste is always a problem and the accumulation of poultry waste develops diseases. The licenses are required to ensure cleanliness in the farm for the birds and the surrounding.
Licenses are obtained from local panchayat and vary from state to state. Obtaining a license is mandatory to hold more than 100 birds in Kerala and you may have different numbers and norms in various states. It is essential that you get to know the rules in your state by visiting the local panchayat office.
You may require to produce a list of documents including a tax certificate and provision for waste disposal. Assistance is usually provided and the costs for the license are very nominal.