Craze for quail farming hits Kenya

Quail farming
The Kenyan poultry farmers have found a new way of making huge profits from the trade. Quail farming has become a goldmine for poultry farmers as demand for the bird and its eggs rise.

Most poultry farmers are now replacing chicken with quails or rearing the two birds concurrently as expected huge returns lure many others to join the trade. The craze for quail and its eggs is growing fast in Kenya and can only be compared to a fad for brewed coffee that swept Kenyans some years ago.

“Quail farming is the in-thing. The market for the birds is growing fast both as a source of meat and chicks for rearing. The eggs are also in great demand,” noted poultry farmer George Andanje.

For three years, Andanje has been rearing exotic and indigenous chicken for meat but last month, he added quails to his business. “I decided to try my hand on quails after realising that they had great potential due to high prices its products fetch,” recounted Andanje, who runs his business in Kayole.

The farmer bought 10 birds from a hatchery in Thika as he ventured into what he believed was a money-minting scheme. “I was buying each one week old chick at Sh470, which is a lot of money. The high prices could not allow me to buy as many chicks as I wanted,” he noted.

Fertile eggs

Since then, Andanje has been keeping the birds, which are doing well. “I am hopeful that soon they will start laying eggs and thereafter hatch them so that my brood increases. I know it will take time but I am in it for long because the profits are rewarding,” he said.

Quails start laying eggs after about six weeks and they produce fertile eggs from eight weeks once they begin mating. “I have read and learned a lot about quails as I prepare to succeed in the business. Once the bird starts laying eggs, it is good to leave the male and female together for a week or so before you take the eggs for incubation,” noted Andanje as he displayed his new acquired knowledge on quails. Quail eggs have found way into Kenyan supermarkets where they are mainly sold to the middle and upper income earners. An egg in the retail outlet is going for an average of Sh70.

However, farmers and middlemen are selling the eggs at between Sh50 and Sh105. This cannot be compared to chicken eggs that go for Sh10 for exotic ones and Sh15 for indigenous ones.                                                                                                        —(Xinhua)

The Kenyan poultry farmers Quail farming