Having a hard time processing quail :(

Discussion in 'Quail' started by dianneS, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

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    Okay, don't make fun of me, I'm a big softy. I've been an off and on vegetarian throughout my life and I don't like killing anything. However, I also don't like the fact that I know what horrors grocery store meat goes through before it gets there.

    I started raising quail with the intent to use them for meat. I have had to cull three birds so far due to injuries. I was okay with that because I was ending their suffering.

    I currently have too many males. I need to cull five of them and I want to process them to eat.

    I'm having a hard time mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the deed. I need moral support!

    I'm breaking out Joel Salatin's "The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs" right now to try and get myself in the right mindset! :(
     
    igorsMistress and thunderclast like this.
  2. dpenning

    dpenning Crowing

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    No one will make fun. It isn't easy for anyone. Just know you gave them a much better life than they would have otherwise had.... and perhaps have an adult beverage for after the fact.
     
  3. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

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    Thanks. That would be a good excuse to open a bottle of wine!

    I just have to get myself in the right mindset and I'm having a hard time with that right now.
     
  4. feedman77

    feedman77 Crowing

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    Taking anything's life is hard. So no one should judge you for that.

    Especially if you raised them from chicks.

    Know you have given them a good life til 1 bad day.

    I butchered 20 excess roos on Monday. Just had to get thru the first one. The rest were a little easier.

    I've hunted and trapped my whole life and never had issues with taking an animal that way. But when it comes to raised birds it's just different.

    If you were able to take care of the Injured ones to end suffering. Maybe put your culls in the same type of context in your mind.
     
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  5. HUGHES555

    HUGHES555 Chirping

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    I had a hard time when I 1st started. Its normal. You have to turn your emotions off. The thing that help me was to have a radio playing so I could focus on it and not the culling. Now I've done it enough where it doesn't bother me anymore.
     
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  6. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

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    Yeah, it is different. I've never hunted, but I've had to eradicate the pigeons that were taking over and damaging my barn. I had no problem shooting them. I got quite good at it, and almost always hit them square in the head, so no suffering. If any of them did flop, the cats pounced on them and finished the job for me!
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  7. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

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    I think one of the things that surprised me about quail is how personable they are. I thought they would be wild and skittish. Mine come running when they see me with their food. They hop on my feet and jump up at the feed scoop. Some of them get mad and scold me if I don't pour the feed fast enough. I've even had some grab my gloves and pull on my hand like, "hurry up woman, we're hungry!" :lol:
     
  8. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    It's not sappy. It's a living thing that's not gonna be any more. It's tough. I always find that if I can make an event out of it it makes me feel a little better. A friend being willing to even sit near by and talk while I'm doing the processing helps.

    First times are hard. I suggest watching several youtube videos on it repeatedly throughout the week. Study how you're feeling about watching the videos and try to put yourself in a work-like mindset for it. It's important to have enough focus not to make big mistakes or you could hurt the birds or yourself. It's best for the birds if you can be calm and methodical. If you're stressed, they're stressed, so just try to be prepared and calm. Just remember that you're trying to do something responsible.

    I always thank the animals for their lives before I process them. It's nothing fancy, no big prayers or anything, but I hold them and say "Thank you for feeding us" every time.

    When you get the birds processed, try to eat some of them that day. Have a really good recipe ready that's got good reviews and you feel like you can make and will like. Cook some of them day-of to eat that night. Not only to reward your accomplishment but because good food takes the edge off of everything. Putting healthy meat on your plate the same day takes away any distance you have and really puts you on the spot to know exactly what you've done and why you've done it. If it tastes really good and it's very good for you, it makes it a lot easier to come to terms with taking the lives that provide it for you. Treat it as a celebration of the life that gave you life, not a morose funeral. Plus it's delicious.
     
  9. geniash

    geniash Chirping

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    It never becomes easier, sorry. I always turn my head to the side when I chop the heads off. The way you need to think is that you are doing this for husbandry and to maintain a healthy flock. Without our interventions, quails wouldn't be domesticated. We are playing by the flock's rules, not our own.
     
    dianneS likes this.
  10. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

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    Yeah, I do need to think about it that way. I just had to cull a male last night because (I think) he got his head pecked to the point of causing brain damage. It was either pecking or he had some sort of neurological disorder, but I really think he was being ganged up on by another male. I didn't process him, because I don't fully know the reason for his behavior and/or injuries. If I hadn't culled him, the flock would have, and it would have been a slow painful death.
     

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