Raising Gamebirds > Brooding and Raising

Age to butcher Bob White Quail


We were wondering if there is a certain age to butcher quail? The book says no older than 20 weeks but how young? 16 weeks? is 12 weeks to young?

Or is it just when you are hungry? :shock:

I generally butcher at between 15-20 weeks depending on the size of the birds and how hungry I am.  Go ahead and butcher one and if the dressed bird is large enough for you....have at it.  An old man I knew as a child had a simple belief, "anything big enough to bubble grease is big enough to cook and eat."


Okay don't take this wrong although I laugh about it all the time. My husband (who is a breast man anyway) was....well feeling quail breasts this weekend  :roll:  and he seems to think that when the birds are around 12 to 13 weeks that they should be ready. We did butcher some 2 year old birds but they were not tender enough for me. They were good but not great. Also he wants to try to scald them instead of just  taking skin and all. We used to pluck chickens and I personally hate the scalding thing...stinky  :roll:  but he wants to try to leave the skin on thinking they will be more tender. I am game to try anything once but we have about 150 birds to clean.  :shock:


County Line Gamebird Farm:
With those old birds, you'd probably be better off cooking them in the oven to get them tender.  The young birds should be ready anywhere between 12 and 16 weeks.  They are actually "mature" at 16 weeks but that varies according to the condition and the individual bird.  If it's any constallation, tell your husband that I'm a breast man too  :wink:

I will pass that on  :wink:

Anyway...someone left a cage partially closed and this morning it was all the way open. I have been chasing little birds around the yard since day light.  :oops:

The little ones are not too hard to catch cause they tire easily (I know the feeling) I have to get an MRI this morning so it is up to the girls (who left the cage open in the first place) to catch the remaining birds.

Anyway...we have one pen that will be 16 weeks this weekend and some of them look very tasty.

Thanks for the replys. Lori


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