Quaglia Marinata al Forno



I slaughtered another batch of quails today. The law of averages is playing up and a batch of 38 quails produced 29 males and ONLY 9 females. So the bank is empty, but the fridge is full. Being a scientist and engaged in a breeding program endeavoring to improve the Coturnix coturnix in New Zealand, I of coarse monitor many parameters and wish other people would also provide concrete actual results (especially those Americans claiming to grow gigantic everything, which is not always good even though they may be big), so as to be able to monitor and compare progress and set standards. In my egg producing breeds, I am of the opinion that I have reached optimum body size. For the dual purpose breeds, I am still selecting for larger birds and am  making  some definite headway. Here are some results obtained from the last 180 quails slaughtered :

Body mass at 21 days of age (all sexes of all breeds) – 114 g (averages still on the rise)

Body mass at 35 days of age (males of all breeds) –  188 g (averages still on the rise)

As I slaughter on day 35, here are the slaughtering results :

Live mass – 188 g

Dressed mass (back bone out, skin on, wings clipped) – 105 g (56%)

Gizzards, livers, harts, etc – 11 g (6 %)

Stock Meat – Back bone, wings, etc –  34 (18%)

Intestines (Discards) – 10 g (5 %)

Feathers, heads, blood, feet, etc (Discards) – 28 g (15%)


2013-10-22 - Quaglia con Pancetta, Salvia e Polenta 4

One of my favorite Quail recipes is marinated quails on the coals. Very easy – on slaughtering day, place the quails in a container and add enough olive oil to cover them well inside and out. Now add some salt, pepper, chili, rosemary, oregano, garlic and a few slices of lemon. Those that I do not marinate go straight into maximum vacuumed sealed bags and if consumed within a week, I store them in the fridge only – the rest goes into the freezer, if any. Leave in marinade for one day while turning it over every so often. Grill on a medium to hot fire and as these are young and tender, it only takes a few minutes to do. Serve with polenta and a very good red wine – ENJOY !!







9 thoughts on “Quaglia Marinata al Forno

  1. It’s good to see that you use as much of the bird as possible and I wouldn’t expect any less of a good Italian family ;). Cheers for the figures. I will share them with my son and his partner who are in the early stages of breeding quails. At the moment they are selling them to the local pet shop but hope to start breeding enough for meat and eggs as well.

      • HAHAHA! When we killed a few roosters I kept the feathers, fed the inedible (to us) guts to the feral cats, put their (well scrubbed) feet into the stock pot and the only thing that went into the ground (we bury our waste) was the roosters head because I couldn’t think of a way to use it. I kept the feathers for ages trying to work out something to do with them. The downy feathers would have been great in a pillow but the big sticky ones?! So in the end Steve got tired of them in his shed and they went into the compost where Earl has a great time “discovering” them whenever he is allowed anywhere near the compost heap. At least they have served some purpose 😉

    • Yes, the marinated roasted young quails are really good. From the time I start catching the quails, it takes about five minutes per quail, plus about half an hour to vacuum pack and clean the kitchen to such a level that Mrs Back Yard Farmer is prepared to re enter and cook again. I do them all together in stages : slaughter and bleed – pluck – wash – butterfly and separate the various cuts – wash – start the stock pot – vacuum pack – clean up. Every time I slaughter quails, the livers, hearts and gizzards are eaten on the same day – more than often a risotto or fried with butter and sage.

      • Can you compare it to keeping chickens as far as food costs, meat ratios (clearly not bird for bird I know but X quails per chicken) and time etc? We’ve chooks and likely to stick to them but you never know and if it’s cheaper, faster and tastier then… 🙂

        • I have bad news for you – feed conversion wise, as well as total production, the quails make the chickens look stupid !! Easier to keep, quieter, healthier eggs, better meat, calm and docile, make good pets, etc, etc. I have had hens starting to lay at 31 days of age and monitored her production for 100 days thereafter – 100 eggs. I do farm with, and love, chickens as well, but do not try and compare them with Coturnix coturnix for efficiency and ease of keeping.

Comments are closed.