Mir Mudasir, Sumeet kaur, Rizwana Zargar, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Azhar Shuaib Batoo, Moin Javaid,and Sachin Dogra
F.V.Sc & A.H, RS Pura, SKUAST-Jammu-181102.
Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds generally placed in the order Galliformes. Old World quail are placed in the family Phasianidae, and New World quail are placed in the family Odontophoridae. The species of button quail are named for their superficial resemblance to quail, and form the family. Turnicidae in the order Charadriiformes. The quail also known as Bater in hindi terminology. It is a small medium size game bird related with pheasant family. In India two species occur namely Black breasted quail found in jungle (Coturnix Coromandelica) and other one Brown color Japanese quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica), which is bred for meat or the one used for commercial quail production. Quails are generally solitary birds and spend most of their time either on their own or in a pair with just one other quail. During the mating season it is common to see large flocks of quails as family groups convoy together in groups of upto 100 quail individuals. Quails do not tend to migrate and therefore spend their lives within the same area. In some parts of the world, quails are kept as poultry birds for the small amount of meat and for the brightly coloured eggs. These tiny coloured eggs are seen as a delicacy in some parts of the world and can often be found on menus in posh restaurants. The quail has many natural predators, mainly due to its small size. Snakes, raccoons,foxes, squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, dogs, cats,hawks,owls, rats and weasels are all known to hunt either the quail itself or it’s vulnerable eggs. Humans are too predators of the quail but tend to eat those that have been reared in a commercial manner
Quails reach maturity at the age of 2 months. Quails tend to breed in more open areas such as farmland and lay their eggs in nests. Quail clutch sizes can vary between one and 12 eggs depending on the species of quail and the baby quail chicks hatch out of their eggs in less than a month. Quails start laying eggs at about 6 weeks to continue to give high egg production up to 24 weeks of age. The egg size is about 10 g. From the quails egg can make different recipes like Boiled egg and egg pickles.
Adult Japanese quail weigh up to 250 gm and lays 250 eggs a year. The meat is used as ready to cook meat, pickled meat & tandoori quail. A broiler (meat purpose) quail can be sold at 5 weeks. It requires smaller house for rearing. About 10 quails require space is equal to require space for one chicken.
Quail were first introduced in India in 1974 from California. The Japanese quail is the largest species, it is much smaller then pigeon. Quail requires smaller house compare to chicken. Mostly, commercial chicks are kept in multitier cages, thereby increasing labor efficiency and better utilization of land space. Another species of quail, Japanese quail (coturnix japonica) have created a big impact in recent years and many quails farms have been established throughout the country both for egg and meat production. It is due to this fact that increasing consumer awareness for quality meat, it demanded the production of better quality broiler quail meat. It is of great importance to select the stocks, which have the inherent capacity to yield better quality meat and egg.
Benefits of quail farming:
Quail is fast growing bird with a short generation gap, require minimum space for rearing and small capital. Birds can sale at the early age of five weeks. It becomes mature at the age of six to seven weeks then start laying eggs. High rate of clutch up to 280. Quail meat is tasty other than chicken and has low fat content. It promotes body and brain development in young ones. As per the nutritional criteria, the quail eggs are far better compare to that of chicken eggs. It has low cholesterol percentage. Quail meat and eggs are good for the pregnant women and infant feeding womens.
Quail farming is a cheap enterprise compare to chicken farming. It is useful as choice of food. Quail is the important bird for scientific research. This species can be reared at interior places. It does not require the vaccination and medication. Quail litter has high fertilizer value and can be used for increasing yield of crops. Quail weighs up to 100 gm and lays 100 eggs a year, the Japanese quail weighs up to 250 gm and lays 250 eggs a year.
From a healthy quail, we get dressed meat upto 70-73% of their body weight. A Quail has 140 gram body weight gives the 100 grams of dressed meat.
Components of egg:
|Water||Protein||Lipid||Carbohydrates||Total Ash||Calorific value|
|74%||13%||11%||1%||1%||649 k J/100g liquid|
The comparison between quail and chicken meat (uncooked meat):
Health problems in quail farming:
If the parents quail suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiency, resulting the chicks obtained from their fertile eggs are often lean with weak legs. To control this problem in female breeders should be supplemented feed with optimum minerals and vitamins. Quails are immune to infectious diseases than chicken. Hence there is no vaccination required for disease protection. Proper management of quail chicks, disinfecting farm premises, providing clean drinking water to quails and feeding of quality concentrate feed will prevent disease outbreaks in quail farms
Hurdles in quail farming:
Male quails usually make a different sound which is usually disturbing to the human. When rearing the male and female quails together the male quails peck the other quails and make them blind.
Requirements for harvesting high returns from quail farming
- Protection from predators
- Scientific feeding of quails
- Provision of clean drinking water
- Optimum space to the birds and avoid overcrowding
- Proper hygiene and disinfection of the surroundings
- Proper veterinary care.