Age of quail for slaughter and how to cut it yourself at home

Age of quail for slaughter and how to cut it yourself at home

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Slaughter of two-month-old quails is carried out in several ways. Usually poultry have their heads cut off on a wooden block. This is the easiest and fastest method for killing quail. After cutting off the head, the bird is held by the leg for about a minute to drain the blood. Then they scald, pluck, take out the insides, cut them up and send them to the freezer for storage.

Choosing a quail for slaughter

Quails are relatively small poultry, weighing a maximum of 200-400 grams. They are bred for meat or eggs. Meat breeds (pharaohs, Texans) reach their maximum weight (350 grams) at 2 months of life. Moreover, quails are heavier than quails. At the age of two months, meat birds are slaughtered. The meat yield from the carcass is about 70 percent. Some poultry breeders keep meat quails for up to 4-5 months. Older broilers can weigh almost 500 grams. True, older birds have tough meat.

Egg breeds of quails begin to lay at 2 months of age. They give eggs almost every day. Quail productivity decreases over time. At 9 months, birds left for the sake of obtaining eggs are sent to the slaughter. But males of egg breeds grow to slaughter for only 40-60 days. The quails that have gained the maximum weight (about 200 grams) are sent to the slaughter. After cutting, the carcass can weigh a little over 100 grams.

Features and principles of feeding

There are broiler meat breeds of quails (pharaohs, Texans), which are distinguished by early maturity, quickly gain weight, and weigh about half a kilogram at 3-4 months. Egg quails receiving the same feed collect no more than 200 grams before slaughter.

Birds are fed 3-4 times a day. Quails are given special feed, crushed cereals (corn, wheat, barley, oats). Birds raised for meat are fed with bread, wet mash, porridge and boiled potatoes. Be sure to give carrots so that the meat takes on a reddish tint. Quails are fed with finely chopped vegetables and grass. Be sure to give bone and fish meal, meal, crushed chalk, salt, feed yeast, premixes.

On an industrial scale, quails are kept in cages during the feeding period. The birds are kept in semi-dark rooms. Grain feed is poured into the troughs 3-4 times a day. Make sure that the quails are full. Throughout the entire feeding period, the quality of feed is monitored. They start with millet, millet, gradually switch to crushed corn, wheat or mixed feed. To prevent morbidity, quails are soldered on the third day of life with a weak solution of multivitamins and feed "Biomycin".

Poultry preparation before slaughter

Before slaughtering quails, it is necessary to collect all the necessary tools and materials and prepare the birds. Usually, beef breeds are not fed for more than 3-4 months. Over time, poultry meat loses its fat content. Quails are intensively fattened, and before slaughter they are kept on the same water for a day.

Tools, items and materials required for slaughter:

  • a sharp knife, pruner, scissors or ax;
  • dessert spoon or fork for gutting;
  • a bucket of boiling water;
  • polyethylene film;
  • wooden table or cutting board;
  • several containers (for waste, drainage of blood, entrails and meat);
  • rags, hand napkins.

It is not recommended to delay the slaughter of birds. With age, quail meat becomes tougher. Only healthy birds are allowed to be slaughtered for meat. Sick individuals are recommended to be disposed of.

Execution technique

Quail slaughter is carried out in different ways. The main thing is not to overstep the boundaries of what is permissible in the process of slaughter. There is legal liability for cruelty to birds (in some countries). You can entrust the slaughter of quails to specialists (special firms engaged in the slaughter of domestic animals).

Manual way

Usually birds are killed with an ax, resting their head on a wooden block and striking them in the neck. You can stab the quail with a knife or pruner. In this case, the quail is placed on a board and its head is cut off. You need to cut birds with your own hands quickly and energetically. It is advisable to cut off the head in one go.

You can pre-make a cone-shaped funnel from a plastic bottle or tin. Such a device is attached in an upright position to a board or wall. The quail is inserted upside down into the cone and the neck is cut. Immediately after cutting off the head, you need to hold the bird in an upright position for about a minute above the pelvis to drain the blood.

Using semi-automatic technology

Poultry farmers who raise more than 100 quails per season are better off buying a semi-automatic slaughtering machine. This technique simplifies and speeds up the slaughtering procedure, allows you to slaughter quail more efficiently. The apparatus consists of cone-shaped funnels, into which the quail is inserted upside down. The birds' head is cut off automatically using a blade. The blood flows into a special trough. After killing, the carcass is removed, plucked and gutted by hand.

American way

For slaughter, the quail is hung upside down on loops made of wire and attached to a vertical board. They take a bird's head in their hands and press on the ears. After the quail opens its beak, a sharp knife is inserted into its mouth. The pharynx is cut on the right side at the point where the skull ends and the neck begins. After that, the brain is pierced through the palatine fissure, and the knife is rotated around the axis. After killing, the bird is kept upright for about a minute to drain the blood.

Processing carcasses

Immediately after slaughter, the carcass should hang upside down for 1-2 minutes to drain the blood. After exsanguination, they begin processing and cutting.


The carcass, decapitated after slaughter, is held by the legs and dipped in a bucket of boiling water for 30 seconds. If the bird has thin skin, then scalding can be done in another way. For example, holding the legs, the carcass is dipped ten times in boiling water for exactly one second. Scalding is done to open the pores, and feathers are easily removed from the skin.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

The main thing is that the water temperature is not lower than 60 degrees, but not higher than 80 degrees. Immediately after scalding, the carcass is removed from the boiling water and plucked. Do not keep the quail in hot water for too long (the skin may come off).


It is recommended to pluck the slightly cooled carcass immediately after scalding. The quail should be placed on the table on plastic wrap. Feathers are plucked against their growth with quick and energetic movements. It takes no more than 5 minutes to pluck a quail. After removing the feathers, the carcass is treated with a burner to remove the fluff.

How to cut a quail

Before cutting, the carcass must be scalded and plucked. Only then can it be gutted and butchered. First, a small incision is made longitudinally on the belly. Using a fork or dessert spoon, carefully remove the insides (intestines, organs). When removing the liver, it is important not to damage the gallbladder, otherwise the taste of the meat may deteriorate.

From the inside you need to pull out the esophagus, goiter, trachea. For this, another incision is made, but in the neck area. After evisceration, the carcass is cut into parts (the thighs, legs, wings are separated). After cutting, the meat and cleaned organs (heart, liver) are washed in cool water.

Fast processing

The quail carcass can be processed in a quick way. The bird's head is cut off, the blood is allowed to drain and immediately placed on a cutting board. Cut off the wings and legs of the quail. An incision is made on the chest and, like a stocking, the skin is pulled together with the feathers. It takes a couple of minutes to process the quail. True, the meat left without skin dries quickly and becomes less juicy.

Cooling and storage

Quail chicks usually appear in the spring. In the summer, the birds are fattened, and closer to autumn, all the livestock are sent to the slaughter (if it is not an egg breed). It is impractical to feed broilers at home for more than 3-4 months. Meat gets tough with age. Old quails eat a lot of food, but do not gain weight.

It is recommended to chill and freeze several dozen birds killed in one day. Previously, the meat must be washed, held for one hour in cold salted water and dried. It is recommended to put the dry carcass in a container or plastic bag. This is to ensure that the meat is not saturated with the smells of the refrigerator and freezer. First, the carcass is cooled in the refrigerator at a temperature of 0 degrees. The chilled meat is transferred to the freezer. The frozen carcass can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.

Watch the video: SIMPLE Quail Butchering and Processing (August 2022).