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Quails are probably the smallest avian species used for production of table eggs and meat. Because of their prolific egg production and meat yield, quail farming is an economically very profitable venture.

Quails belong, along with chickens, pheasants and partridges to the Family Phasianidae of Order Galliformes of the Class Aves of the Animal Kingdom. Species or subspecies of the genus Coturnix are native to all continents except the Americas. One of them, Coturnix coturnix or common quail called Icipingila in one of the Zambian local languages (Bemba), are migratory birds of Asia, Africa and Europe. Several interbreeding subspecies are recognized. The more important being the European quail, Coturnix coturnix, and the Asiatic or Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica. They were first domesticated in Japan in 1595. Later, in other countries of the world including the USA, Canada, Kenya, Zimbabwe, India, and Zambia.