Monday, October 28, 2013

Quail Processing *graphic*

Quail has been eaten through out history, and is called the Food of Kings

   We processed 65 quail the other day.

 Quail are the easiest and fastest growing meat. It take 8 weeks from hatch to the bird laying eggs.
Add 4 more weeks, and you have a tasty morsel.

They take up less space than chickens, and provide eggs and meat, just like chickens. It just takes more eggs, or meat to make a meal! :)

You  process quail the same as chicken.

We put them head down in a cone, and Jim quickly slits their carotid artery. After the birds bleed out, Jim cuts off the heads and feet and skins them

Then it is my turn.
Using scissors, I cut up both sides of the backbone. Grabbing the neck, pull the backbone out.

This gives me easy access to the innards. Quail are small, and it is hard to get your fingers inside, so we have found this to be the easiest way. After the innards are taken out, get rid of the gallbladder and save the liver and heart - these are wonderful extras, although it does take a lot to make a meal. But if you like chicken livers, these are a sweet delicacy.

 Then go back in and scrape out the light pink lungs.

Rinse the bird. Place in a pot of cold water and set in the refrigerator for 24 - 36 hours. This helps the muscles relax and more tender.

The best way to cook quail is similar to homegrown chicken - slow and low.

(Recipes here)


  1. I am trying to decide what kind of meat source is best to raise on my suburban homestead. I am looking at Quail as well as chickens ducks rabbits and guinea pigs. Can you give me an idea of how long it took you to process all of these coil and about how big each one is? For example how many Quailwood we need to eat to feed a family of four? Also how many breeder quail do you need to raise the volume and how long does it take?

    Thanks very much new to your blog and enjoying it.

    1. Quail are easy, take up very little space and provide meat and eggs in a very short time. Quail start laying eggs at about 8 weeks old. If you want the meat, by 8 - 12 weeks they are ready to be processed. It takes 3 - 4 quail per person (adult) per meal.
      In the 6 - 8 months for a chicken to provide the first egg, a quail would have laid anywhere from 180 to 240 eggs. It takes about 5 - 7 quail eggs to equal 1 chicken egg. So if you are wanting to eat eggs, quail are very quick to provide them. You should have about 6 female - they will lay an egg a day providing they have light through out the winter.
      If you are are looking for a good source of meat, I think raising rabbits is also a great way to go. A good meat rabbit will provide a litter of at least 8 - 10. You then process them at 12 weeks. If you are breeding for meat, the rabbits are weaned at 6 weeks. Having 2 - 4 females and breeding them only one female a week, in 4 weeks you will be having a litter a week... then in 12 weeks you will start filling the freezer. And will continue to for the next 4 weeks
      The rabbits are quieter, smell less and easier to clean. The rabbit manure can be put directly on a garden - quail and chicken manure need to rest for a year because the nitrogen content is so high.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if there are any other questions you have!

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