Harvesting Quail

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Today I’m finally posting my quail how-to video. I’ve written about it before, but I never could task anyone into holding the camera while I went through the process. I was finally able to talk my youngest daughter into helping, she is a trooper.


  1. DON’ WATCH!



With that being said, you have been warned. At this point, you must understand that for a creature to live, something MUST die. Deal with it, or check into a casket. Just saying.


The method uses only a pair of heavy scissors or shears, nothing else. Make sure they are sharp.

  • Hold the bird with wings folded in.
  • With the bird facing down and away, use the scissors/shears to sever the head. Hold it firmly until it stops twitching, this is merely nerves, the bird is dead.
  • Sever each of the legs at the knee/feather line.
  • Sever the wings close to the body at the joint.
  • At this point, turn the bird over, breast up.
  • Split the skin by placing your thumbs against the center of the breast and firmly pushing then down and apart.
  • Peel all of the skin off. You may have difficulty at the back, just in  front of the tail. Don’t fret, you will be removing this in the next step.
  • Open the scissors, and push the bottom scissor blade into the body cavity, and cut along the spine, as close as possible, but without cutting through the spine. Repeat this on the other side of the spine.
  • Grab the neck and pull the spine and most of the entrails out of the carcass.
  • Clean up the body cavity, being sure to get the lungs, a pink section in the ribcage.
  • Rinse.

I can promise you it took me longer to type this out than it does to actually do it.


Here I am going through it:



Everything about quail is fast and efficient. I REALLY love having these as a backyard source of protein. From the 17 days to hatch, the 21 days to grow out, 21 days to maturity, and 4 minutes to dress them out, I cannot stress how much I love these little birds. Plant a corn seed on the same day as you place a fertilized quail egg into an incubator, and you’ll be eating quail before you’ll be eating corn.

Gotta love that.


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  1. Very cool. I’ve never seen that done with scissors but that seemed to work great. Emily is steady as a rock on that camera.

    1. Actually, Emily was shaking pretty badly…I used software to steady the video :(

      If you listen closely, just as I decapitate the bird, Em gasps…

    1. I saw your kill cone mod, and thought about doing it, but we don’t have any 2 liter bottles, since we don’t drink soda :(

      It is a good idea, and I thought about using the little megaphones they used to get passed out at football games…but we didn’t have any of those either 😛

      Thanks for stopping by!


        1. We don’t have those either…but I’m going to scrounge some up for the next batch….it would definitely speed it up…

          Thanks for the input!!!

  2. Hi , there I had watch your video on making the home made incubator, twice. I think yours seem to be the best for quails hatching. I planning making one just like that, and you had list all the parts can be find at homedepot. Witch I’m plan to buy it at. My questions is, I lived in Miami fl, can I put the incubator in my screen in patio, or in the house, a c set at 77 degree all day , also in the incubator the fan is always running or not, and also how you,control the humidity, is it by how much water in the jar? Please let me know , thank you, I also had subscribe, good day.


    1. Mine sits on my screen porch, no problems there. Keep it out of drafts though!
      The fan runs all the time. The light bulb turns on as heat is needed. The jar of water hold in heat, and I use a wet sponge in a bowl to retain humidity.

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