By Arinze Onebunne
For the chief Executive officer, Jovana Farms, Prince Arinze Onebunne, raising Quail, grasscutter, rabbit, Snail, guinea pig and antelope has became second nature. He said the production of these animals especially quails gives small holder farmers a big chance to increase their income, health and offers an alternative means of livelihood to urban and rural farmers in addressing poverty. It is for these that Onebunne launched an initiative to promote quail farming as a suitable occupation that can contribute to food security, wealth, health and employment creation. As the Cattle which could have been another major source of protein, is being drained by desert encroachment, pest attacks and other factors.
According to him, quail farming is emerging as a productive enterprise since it can be reared in small floor space and lays an egg per day. Quails are very poor feeders but good layers and all one needs is maintaining clean environment around them. In terms of nutritional value addition, he said quail meat and egg is tastier than chicken and has less fat and cholesterol content.
The Quail (Coturnix Coturnix), a member of the Galliformes order, is considered a very promising ‘’micro Poultry-farm’’ species for rural and urban development because it requires little capital, equipment, space and labor, and provides an inexpensive, readily available and high quality meat and eggs. From prehistoric times, it has been raised for food in Japan and America. Quails are now also reared for meat and eggs in different countries of America, Asia and Africa.
Although quail farming contribute to the alleviation of protein deficiency in diets of people in developing countries, they have largely been neglected as a livestock species due to its size. Most farmers have focused mainly on chicken production. Thus, their actual contributions to healthy food production have been greatly ignored and or underestimated by extension and other development workers, and policy makers in the agricultural sector in developing countries. Especially in Nigeria, there is little knowledge on their production, medicinal value, marketing and consumption under smallholder conditions. It’s his view that quail farming should be encouraged with a special focus on the traditional subsistence rearing system as practiced by limited- resource farmers
The business of quail farming in Nigeria is now growing at a feverish pitch attracting entrepreneurs who are considering it either as a complimentary business proposition or as a main and sustainable revenue stream. But either proposition has potentials to earn decent returns. This could be taken to be a fair confirmation of the position that, run professionally, quail farming may well be a key wealth creation engagement to consider in the country.
Quail farming is an uncommon farming business in Nigeria, but the few people that have embraced it are not only smiling to banks, they are also enjoying both the Nutritional and health values derived from consuming it, it is no doubt one booming farming business that will gradually take over chicken- poultry business in the country very soon. The high rate of returns and low cost of investment as well as rearing them are some of the reasons many farmers are fast resorting to quail farming. A mature chicken-hen consumes an average of 150grammes of food per day and requires a regular administration of drugs, while a quail eats 20grammes of food per day and hardly requires any drugs.
Additionally, while a kilogramme of chicken meat goes for N600 on average in Nigeria, quail which hardly weighs half –a – kilogrammes at maturity attracts N700.
A female-quail lays an egg daily which cost between N20 to N30 and demand is so high that is not being met today. Quails take about five- six weeks to mature and their meat is highly recommended for people keen on boosting their immunity against many diseases, their egg a wonderful super-food that can treat various ailments. It is by far more profitable to keep quails as they are less demanding than chicken.
You can get started, without the costly items the so-called experts say you should have, with N18, 000 one can kick-off with 6-males and 24-females depending on the age and specie. They can be reared in cages and small floor space.
Onebunne helps people to set-up farms for quail, grasscutter, snail, rabbit, etc. He has for sale fast growing species of these animals including large quantity of quail eggs.
You can put more naira in your pocket from just 10-minutes work a day in a small investment, quail farming is a miracle waiting to happen in Nigeria livestock business.
Jovana farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small scale animal farming. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you and know more opportunities in quail and other small animal farming. Visit: www.jovanafarm.com or www.facebook.com/jovanafarm for more details.