Young Kenyans Abandoning Jobs To Get Into The Million-Dollar Quail Farming Business
I must confess that I am yet to see an avalanche like I now see with youths rushing into the quail farming business in Kenya. Since I started posting articles about poultry farming on this blog, about 90% of those who respond to the posts show an astounding interested in quail farming. But what really caught my attention, is the number of young Kenyans who have told me that they quit their jobs and other businesses for farming, and to specialize in quail rearing. I know you might wonder why any sane youngster would think of taking such a step; I also did, but not until I talked to some of them and listened to their maths and logical thinking.
Why would anyone leave their jobs for quail farming business?
That is the first question that I asked Carol when she told me that she had quit her human resource job at a medium-sized firm in Nairobi to do quail farming. She looked at me with a smile that seemed to ask, “You mean you can’t see?!?!”
Carol quite her job early this year, and together with her partner Zack, they got into farming as a business. Well they have a few other projects like rabbits, chicken and green house farming running but they have concentrated on quail farming and from the way they talk about it, I bet they are a happy dual.
So what inspired you into starting this project?
“The rabbits, chicken and greenhouses are backups; I will tell you about those later but let’s talk quails first.” That was Carol telling me as she started describing their project. “Recently, Kenyans have become increasingly aware of the health benefits of taking white meat as opposed to red meat. That really enlarged, and still is enlarging the market for poultry, rabbit and pig meat.
Now quail farming beats them all. The advantage of quail farming compared to the other forms of farming is threefold:
1. Quail farming business is relatively new; hence the supply is very low while the demand is extremely high and growing.
2. Quail eggs contain high levels of antioxidants, which gives them a medicinal value. This is not so with eggs from the other birds that have been kept for business before.
3. Quails are small birds which mature very first thus are very cheap to feed and house as compared to other birds.”
Let’s get to money matters, I want to see the figures!
“I started with 500 quails. I constructed 10 cages that could accommodate 50 birds each. That cost me about 50K inclusive of the feeders and drinkers. I opted to go for mature quails and was extremely lucky to get the entire batch at 250K, an average of 500 shillings per bird. But since then, I have made much more than the capital I invested. More than 50% of the birds were laying at the time so I was collecting about 300 eggs on a daily basis. I sold the eggs at 20 shillings each making an average of 6K every day. With a turnover of about 200K per month, it only took me the first 2 months to recoup all the investment I had made.”
At this point, I did what I do when an inspiring point overwhelms me – take a deep breath and breath out hard and loud. I thought I had had it all but Carol had much more in store for me.
“I did the egg business for about 4 months before realizing that I was missing out big time.” Missing out?!?! I couldn’t help but wonder what she meant by “missing out”. “Yes, farmers had started looking for quails to keep and could not find them.” She explained. So I started incubating the eggs and guess what I now get for one-week old chick? 250 shillings! That’s after incubating the eggs for 18 days. I have two incubators hatching about 2,000 chicks after every three weeks. So that gives me an average of 500K per month from chicks only. I currently produce more than 400 eggs daily, still with the initial stock of 500 birds. That is an average of more than 12,000 eggs per month so after incubation, I still have more than 10,000 eggs for sale per month.” So you get an additional 200K per month from selling eggs? I asked in disbelieve.
“Not 200K. After farmers realized that it is cheaper incubating eggs than buying chicks, the demand for the fertilized eggs went up. I bought 100 male quails to make sure that all my eggs are fertile and started selling them at 50 shillings per egg. So that earns me about 500K per month.”
What’s your average expenditure per month?
“Zack takes care of that.” She said so I turned to Zack. “How much do you spend per month on average in this project?” I asked. Smiling and pointing towards the greenhouses, Zach says, “These, the chicken and the rabbits take care of that.” That is when the “backup” idea became clear to me. The proceeds from those three projects, which are actually doing very well, are used to settle the electricity bills, buy feeds for the birds and rabbits and pay wages of the workers leaving the dual with a clean 1 million shillings per month.
All the best guys and see you at the millionaire’s club.