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What do you use to process your quail? Help!

Discussion in 'Quail' started by magikchick, May 8, 2009.

  1. magikchick

    magikchick ~FEATHERFOOTED DIVA~

    Apr 21, 2007
    SW Florida
    I've been working up to processing my quail. I went to Lowe's and bought a pair of purning shears for the job. So I had a bird that went bad and was dying. I thought this would be a perfect chance to try out the shears and work on my resolve to do it. When I tried to remove the head instead of a nice smooth cut I found out the shears were dull. I won't go into details but it was not pleasant. So what do you use for this job? I don't want to but my healthy birds thu that.

  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    The first time I used kitchen shears. They're nice and sharp and worked really well. Later DH bought gamebird shears for me from Cabelas. They have a notched blade, so no slipping. Hope that helps!
  3. Kitchen shears are the way to go. It's worth it to spend the extra $ and get good ones - they will last forever.

    Steve in NC
  4. tumra

    tumra In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    Hey what is wrong with a good sharp knife... make sure it is really sharp, hold the quail against a chopping block and one swipe of the knife and the whole head comes off cleanly. the quail doesnt even know whats gonig on. Thats how i processed my batches. Usually my brother holds the quail for me against the chopping block and it make it much easier. Doesnt need to be a big knife either.

    Cutting with scissors or shears is risky as the blades may be blunt and you put the quail through undue pain and suffering.
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  5. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    Poultry Shears. They have the tab on the end so you dont slip off while doing the dirty. Wack 'em and snip em. Monarch has a great thread on cleaning them.
  6. CheerfulChaos

    CheerfulChaos In the Brooder

    I agree with Boyd. Wack 'em and snip 'em. Use a good quality, sharp heavy duty pair of kitchen scissors or get the poultry shears (they're on my wish list). I had the same experience using my hand pruners the first time. It crushed the throat quickly but were too dull to take the head off completely and it was a MESS. I ended up having to use my kitchen scissors to finish the job anyway. Live and learn, I guess. The bird did not suffer, however because I used Monarch's technique of whacking the back of their head on the counter before taking the head off. It works great, they go out like a light and don't seem to feel a thing.
  7. magikchick

    magikchick ~FEATHERFOOTED DIVA~

    Apr 21, 2007
    SW Florida
    Thanks for the advise. I was really upset that it didn't work right the first time. Luckly the poor bird was pretty much all ready dispatched. I can't believe that brand new shears were totaly dull.

  8. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Crowing

    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    ALWAYS bonk the head first. It will cut out a LOT of stress for the both of you. Then, I personally use "multi-use" cutter things. They are supposed to be durable enough to cut metal, but I proved that wrong when I first bought them, lol. But, they do work wonderfully for processing. They aren't super sharp, the first cut whacks the bones and such, but then I have a flap of skin at the back of the neck that needs to be cut through two more times. But, the first cut is plenty to kill without stress. Just make sure you bonk first! Lol.
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    good quality poultry shears is what I use
  10. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    YAY look at everyone using the bonk method good goin you guys [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I just use plan ole scissors so far I havent snatched any dull ones but sometimes I also use the kitchen meat shears whatever I grab.

    Actually I have a new method i've been using for culling, it's wack then swing... basically you wack the back of the head on a solid object (be sure to hold the wings stable or they'll be flappin then with your other hand either just pull the head off (called pigeon pulling learned it on a zoo documentary lol cept THEY ddint bonk which is cruel IMO LOL), OR you take the head in your pointer and middle finger and then cup the head into the palm of your hand and then like a windmill swing the body by the head... and the head will pop righ toff the body with cintrifical force seems kinda gross but it actually does work very well and if you' get good at it then before the head comes o ff you'll feel the neck break stop what you're doing and then just take the birds body in your other hand and pull slightly and off comes the head...no scissors involved. Tho scissors are much easier...when I decide to cullon the spot that's what i do (like if i walk up to the pens and an excess roo is being nasty.....off with his head...). LOL

    AND someone said about putting your feet on the birds wings and holding the bird by the legs and pulling up (after head is off and drained) THIS WORKS VERY WELL.

    I have several new methods for butchering/dressing birds it's fun to play around with new ways once the worry of the bird suffering is over with (by bonking) LOL.

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