Poultry birds are various forms of domesticated aves. There are a vast species of poultry birds that are kept by farmers in the world. These birds are broadly categorized into two groups namely: layers and broilers. Though layers produces eggs and broilers are majorly kept for meat production, there is a third category of poultry birds called dual purpose poultry birds. All dual purpose poultry birds are capable of producing high quality eggs and meat. Some of the commonly kept dual purpose poultry birds include: guinea fowls, quails, ducks, chickens, turkey and geese.
This article discusses quails as one of the poultry birds. Quails are very rare in the world due to economic and ecological reasons. They are mainly found confined in the tropical countries. They are smaller than a garden fowl but larger than a pigeon. Their eggs have extremely hard shells coupled with black spots.
Quails were formerly game birds but with increasing market demand for meat and eggs, commercial domestication of quails has gained dominance in different parts of the world. Most of the farmers prefer quails to other poultry birds because of the following reasons.
1. Compared to other birds like ducks, quails utilizes a small percentage of the total farm carrying capacity. This enables farmers to keep many quails on a small piece of land.
2. Meat from quails is of high demand in the market because it is more nutritious compared to chicken meat.
3. They require less feeds and water. This enables the farmer to avoid incurring extra cost in purchasing food.
4. The market value of a fully grown quail is higher than that of a chicken. For example, a mature grown male quail costs between $11 to $19. This is good amount of money in comparison to that of a mature chicken which costs between $8 to $10.
Keeping of poultry birds is a good venture as it provides food, employment opportunities, manure and raw materials. In summary poultry farming can be described as an opulent business.
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