Farmers abandon chicken farming for the more lucrative quails

Quails being reared at a farm belonging to Ms Elizabeth Nyambura in Nakuru Town. More people are now abandoning chicken farming for quails due to their quick and favourable financial returns. Quails require a relatively smaller space for rearing as opposed to chicken. At seven weeks female quails start laying eggs and continue up to the time they are 22 weeks old. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Nakuru District Warden Mr Jacob Orlale says 105 people were issued with licenses in October alone.
  • KWS Nakuru office has so far received over 100 applications in November alone which are still under review.
  • A one-day old quail chick goes for between Sh200-Sh300.
  • “The quails are cheaper to rear than chicken yet the returns are higher,” says Ms Joyce Chepkoech.

The number of people applying for licenses to rear quails in Nakuru has been rising sharply in the last few months.

This is attributed to the high demand for their eggs and meat due to their associated health benefits.

Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Nakuru District Warden Mr Jacob Orlale says 105 people were issued with licenses in October alone against a total of 80 for August and September 2013.

People who ventured into this business earlier have been making a kill selling eggs to persons with conditions such as diabetes, cancer and hypertension.

While there is no research done in Kenya to prove that quail eggs have the said healing benefits, Internet sources indicate that they can be used in treating many diseases.

KWS Nakuru office has so far received over 100 applications in November alone which are still under review.

For a person to be licensed, they must provide information on who owns the land for the proposed activity, a picture of the hatch and identification documents. They must also attach a map that shows the location of their farm.

Upon qualifying, the applicant pays Sh1,500 for a license which is renewable annually.

BOOST ECONOMY

Mr Orlale disclosed that KWS would issue licenses as long as there was demand saying it was a way of boosting the country’s economy.

Currently, KWS has sent a licensing officer to operate from Nakuru in a bid to hasten the process of issuing licenses.

KWS also conducts impromptu inspections on farms rearing quails.

Any permit holder found violating the conditions set out in the application form risks having their license revoked.

They also risk being arrested.

Earlier, applications were sent to the Nairobi offices where they were reviewed and licenses issued to those who qualified.

The price of a quail’s egg was Sh30 a month ago. It is now selling for between Sh80-Sh100 owing to the high demand.

A one-day old quail chick goes for between Sh200-Sh300.

Meanwhile, the town is at risk of experiencing chicken shortage in the near future as locals abandon chicken rearing for quail keeping.

“The quails are cheaper to rear than chicken yet the returns are higher,” said Ms Joyce Chepkoech, who abandoned poultry keeping for quails farming.

She said her chicken had on several occasions been stolen occasioning her hefty losses.

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