Class : AvesFamily : PhasianidaeGenus : CoturnixScientific name: Coturnix coturnix Japonica
First domesticated in Japan in 1595.
There are two species of quail in India: a) The black-breasted quail found in jungle b) The brown-coloured Japanese Quail
Introduced in India in 1974 from California.
There are 45 species of quail although the
Japanese quail is the largest species
Why quail farming?
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.
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
Advantages of quail farming
Quails are very robust to diseases Very short generation interval No vaccination is required Low space requirement Early maturity Very high laying intensity- female starts laying at an
age of 42 days
Quail farming as economically viable and technically feasible
Practical Utility Quail offered an opportunity
to alternative the chicken farming
It is useful as table delicacy
Pilot animal for research and
Females are heavier (200-250 g) than male (180-200g)
Female: long & pointed feathers with black speckles on
the throat and upper breast.
Male: rusty brown throat and breast feathers, cloacal
Female/Male Japanese Quail
Difference b/w Male & Female
Deep litter system 6 quails can be reared in a sq.ft. of floor space. After 2 weeks, Quails can be reared in cages. This will help to gain good body weight.
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 platesLong narrow feed troughs are placed in front of the cages. Water troughs are placed at the back of the cages. 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
Deoiled Rice BranGroundnut CakeSunflower Cake
Mineral MixtureShell grit
Feed ManagementFeed material should be made of small particles A 5 weeks old quail consumes about 500 gms of feed 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
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 1.75-1.80
Nutrients Broiler Quails Layer Quail (For Egg)
(0-4 wks.) Grower
(4-5 wks.) Layer
(> 6 wks.)Energy (Kcal
/Kg)2800 2800 2750 2750 2700
Protein % 27 24 24 20 19Calcium % 0.8 0.6 0.8 0.6 3.0
Phosphorus % 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.45
Smaller eggs than chicken Average age at first egg production is about 50 days 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 hen’s body weight.
Composition of Quail Egg (Whole, Raw)
Water Protein Fat Carbohydrate
74% 13% 11% 1% 1%649 k J/100g liquid
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)
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
India. Small size of quail egg as alternative to
They make attractive snacks or salad
ingredients. Value addition is possible with products like
egg pickles, brined quail eggs etc.
Quail meat it is tastier than chicken. Quail meat promotes body and brain
development in children Best balanced feed for pregnant and
nursing mothers. Less fat content (Low calorific value) but
more of phospholipds.
Is quail meat preferred over chicken meat?
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
o Incubators that are used for hatching chicken eggs can be used
o A wire mesh or grid of 1.5 x 1 inch should be fitted on the setter
o Incubation period for quail eggs is 18 days. oEggs should be stored at 130C at 80% RH for 5-7 daysoFumigated with formaldehyde gas for 20 minutes before storage.
o Incubation requirement are as follows:Duration (Days) Temperature (deg.F) Humidity (%) Turning of Eggs
0-14 99.5 60Through 45 deg. 5-6
times a day.15 to 18 98.5 70 Not required
Incubation and hatching
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 1:2 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 carefully 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.
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 chicken Brooder pneumonia reported in quails (use calcium
propionate@2kg/tonnes feed). Ulcerative enteritis (Clostridium colinum) Sterptomycin, bacitricin, and neomycin
@50-100g/tonnes of feed. Mortality rate 5-10%
1. Central Avian Research Institute, Uttar Pradesh.
2. A.V.M Hatcheries & Poultry Breeding Center Pvt. Ltd.
3. Central Poultry Breeding Farm, Govt of India located at
4. Venkateshwar Hacheries Pvt. Ltd.
Where to get parent birds or adult quails?