They may be small but they pack a punch. From meat to nutritious eggs and being able to reproduce quickly, quail are fairly easy to care for and there are many ways in which to make a profit from raising quail.
Besides the 13 excellent reasons to raise quail on your homestead, this article is all about the revenue streams that come with the teeny little gamebird, and how you can make money with your quail.
Not only will these adorable little birds pay their way allowing you to recoup feed costs but you can actually turn a fair profit since they mature quickly and produce roughly an egg a day.
6 Ways to Make a Profit from Raising Quail
Like most game birds and poultry, there’s a handful of excellent revenue streams involved with raising quail for profit. Let’s take a look at the most popular, and a few lesser-known, income-producing avenues for quail.
1. Quail Eggs for Gourmet Dishes
Quail eggs are delicious, beautiful, and exotic. More and more are turning to the speckled egg for variety and flavorful eggs. And not just people peddling through the farmer’s market. High-end restaurants serve quail eggs aside and atop some of their specialty gourmet dishes.
Quail eggs can sell for anywhere from $3 to $5 a dozen. And remember, quail can lay up to one egg a day!
2. Quail Meat
Quail meat tastes a lot like chicken, but it does have a stronger flavor. In most cases, quail does not taste gamey, unless it was caught in the wild. Even then it does not have a strong game-like flavor.
Quail meat is not readily available in stores, thus, high-end restaurants are often at the mercy of small farmers to purchase quail. And you know what that means! Higher demand equals a higher price point.
Quail meat can be sold from $2 an ounce to $7 an ounce dressed, depending on location and demand in the area. A jumbo Coturnix quail typically weigh between 12 and 14oz live weight.
This may not sound like much, but remember, quail can reproduce quickly, they are easy to care for, and they grow fast!
3. Hatching Eggs & Chicks
When selling to either new enthusiasts or someone interested in quail farming, there are three ways they can get into the business:
- Hatching Eggs – $25 and up for 50+ eggs (you can ask more for the rare varieties)
- Baby Chicks – $2 and up
- Breeding Covy – Breeding pairs or coveys (a flock of quail) can fetch a higher price than chicks since they are established
All of these can be sold online through your own store, or on sites like eBay.
And again, rarer varieties can be sold for double and even triple if you have the right crowds’ attention. Exhibitionists, 4-H families, and fanciers will pay top dollar for well-bred rare varieties of quail.
Quail feathers are premium feathers for fly fishermen. Fifty feathers can sell for around $7 online to crafters and fishermen.
Selling your extra feathers after processing on websites like Etsy can also bring in some extra dough from crafters.
5. As Prey to Falconers
An overlooked, but also fairly rare, revenue stream for the quail farmer is falconers. These are people who raise falcons for a hobby, and as rescuers.
Falcons are predators and feeding them a natural prey animal is optimal for their nutritional and behavioral needs. It may be a small market, but this population is out there, and they are usually very diligent about feeding their birds what they need, and like, the most — quail.
Because they will often buy the quail alive, and sometimes already dead, you can ask for your typical price of an adult live quail.
6. Dog Training
Quail and pheasant hunters like to use live animals to train their young dogs how to hunt with them. They are happy to purchase your birds to give their dogs the real-life experience of retrieving, pointing, and more.
As with falconers, it’s fair to ask your typical price for an adult live bird.
Which Breed of Quail to Start With?
In reality, there are many quail breeds to choose from, and depending upon the market you want to break into, you may want to be more thoughtful of the breed you choose.
For example, for fanciers who just enjoy breeding and showing, you should look at rare varieties of quail with visual appeal.
If you’re just looking to start with the basics, like selling meat and eggs, you’ll want to consider fast-growing birds like the Coturnix Quail. This is a great beginner quail, and you’ll be able to sell everything on this list from this single breed of quail.
Startup Costs for Raising Quail
Usually, easy-to-care-for, high-profit margin products are too good to be true when it comes to start-up supplies and costs. But once again, the quail farming business is impressively low-cost to start.
Cages can be simple and made from things you have around your farm, or they can be purchased from specialty retailers. It all comes down to how much you want to spend right off the bat.
You’ll need feeders, waterers, fonts, shelters, and the usual basics for birds and other poultry. Since quail are so small, they don’t take up a lot of space and aren’t big eaters although they are picky eaters.
It’s true, this breed is a low-cost beginner bird with many different revenue streams. It’s great for those looking to get into animal husbandry, as well as those who have only a small space to raise birds. With the proper marketing plan and the right market, you can make a decent profit from raising quail.