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Is quail the new goldmine?

Quail farming has become a goldmine for poultry farmers as demand for the bird and its eggs rises.

Most poultry farmers are now replacing chicken with quails or rearing the two birds concurrently.

The craze can only be compared to a fad for rearing rabbits that swept Kenya some years back.

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

Potential

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 the high prices it fetches,” said 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.

“A week old chick was going for Sh370, which is a lot of money. The high prices could not allow me to buy as many chicks as I wanted,” he noted.

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’m in it for long because the profits are good,” he said.

Quails start laying eggs after about six weeks and produce fertile eggs from eight weeks once they begin mating.