quail farming as diversification venture in rural

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QUAIL FARMING AS DIVERSIFICATION VENTURE IN RURAL
INDIA
By
Dr. Avishek Biswas
Senior Scientist
Avian Nutrition & Feed Technology Division
Central Avian Research Institute
Izatnagar, Bareilly-243122 (U.P.), India
Introduction

Class
Family
Genus
Scientific name
:
:
:
:
Aves
Phasianidae
Coturnix
Coturnix coturnix Japonica

Hindi name
:
“Bater”
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
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History

First domesticated in Japan in 1595.

There are two species of quail in India:
a) The black-breasted quail found in jungle (Coturnix Coromandelica)
b) The brown-coloured Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica)

Introduced in India in 1974 from California.
 There are 45 species of quail although the Japanese quail is the largest species
 Why quail farming?








Hardy
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.
Advantages of quail farming

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 mothers.
Quail farming as economically viable and technically
feasible

Very short generation interval

Quails are very robust to diseases

No vaccination is required

Low space requirement

Early maturity

Very high laying intensity- female starts laying at an age of 42 days
Practical Utility

Quail offered an opportunity to alternative the chicken farming

It is useful as table delicacy

Pilot animal for research and education
Difference b/w Male & Female

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 gland.
Female/Male Japanese Quail
Housing
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.
Cage System
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 plates
Long 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
Feed Management
Feed can be formulated as follows.
Feed Ingredients
Maize
Sorghum
Deoiled RiceBran
Groundnut Cake
Sunflower Cake
Soya meal
Fishmeal
Mineral Mixture
Shell grit





Chick mash
0-3 weeks
27
15
8
17
12.5
8
10
2.5
-
Grower mash
4-6 weeks
31
14
8
17
12.5
10
2.5
5
Feed 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.
Feeding

Classified as, Starter (0-4 wks), Finisher (4-6wks) and layer or breeder (6 wks
onwards).

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
Energy (Kcal
/Kg)
Protein %
Calcium %
Phosphorus %
Broiler Quails
Layer Quail (For Egg)
Starter
(0-4 wks.)
Finisher
(4-6 wks.)
Starter
(0-4 wks.)
Grower
(4-5 wks.)
Layer
(> 6 wks.)
2800
2800
2750
2750
2700
27
0.8
0.3
24
0.6
0.3
24
0.8
0.3
20
0.6
0.3
19
3.0
0.45
Egg production
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
74%
13%
11%
Carbohydrate Total ash
1%
1%
Calorific Value
649 k J/100g liquid
Quail meat

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) (Ref.: Pande and Srivastava, 1987)
Moisture
Protein
Fat
Carbohydrate
Minerals
73.93%
20.54%
3.85%
0.56%
1.12%
Chicken 73.87%
20.66%
3.61%
0.78%
1.08%
Quail
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 chicken egg.

They make attractive snacks or salad ingredients.

Value addition is possible with products like egg pickles, brined quail eggs
etc.
Is quail meat preferred over chicken meat?

YES

According to Gourmets, 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 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
Incubation and hatching
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 trays
o Incubation period for quail eggs is 18 days.
o
o
Eggs should be stored at 130C at 80% RH for 5-7 days
Fumigated with formaldehyde gas for 20 minutes before storage.
o Incubation requirement are as follows:
Duration (Days)
Temperature (deg.F)
Humidity (%)
0-14
99.5
60
15 to 18
98.5
70
Turning of Eggs
Through 45 deg. 5-6
times a day.
Not required
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).
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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
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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.
Quail diseases
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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
[email protected]/tonnes feed).
Ulcerative enteritis (Clostridium colinum)
Sterptomycin, bacitricin, and neomycin @50-100g/tonnes of
feed.
Mortality rate 5-10%
Where to get parent birds or adult quails?
1.
Director, Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, Dist. Bareilly,
Uttar Pradesh, Pin: 243122
2.
A.V.M Hatcheries & Poultry Breeding Center Pvt. Ltd.
25 / 327, Rangai Gauder Street, Coimbatore Pin: 641001
3.
4.
Director, Central Poultry Breeding Farm, Govt of India located at
a.
Aarey colony, Goregaon (E), Mumbai.- 400065
b.
Hessarghatta, Bangalore (North)-560088
c.
Nayapalli, Bhubaneshwar-751012
d.
Industrial Area, Chandigarh-160002
M/s Venkateshwar Hacheries Pvt. Ltd.
Quail Unit at Naigaon, Pune, C/o Dr. B.V. Rao, IPMT
At/PO - Urulikanchan, Pune – 412202
Thanks
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