Several genera of small, stout birds in the pheasant family are referred to as “uail” together. All continents other than the Americas have native Coturnix species or subspecies.
The Pharaoh quail, or Coturnix coturnix, are migratory upland birds that migrate in sizable flocks of up to 100. They are of Eurasian ancestry (found in Asia, Africa, and Europe). Small birds are biologically incapable of making long flights. Instead, they fly straight forward at low altitudes, leaping from one landing spot to the next while navigating rivers, swamps, and desert wastelands. They frequently exhaust themselves in the process, falling to the ground practically immobile. Their effortless exhaustion and straight flight make them easy targets from a hunter’s standpoint.
This characteristic has led some people to believe that the Israelites’ survival during their wilderness wandering after leaving Egypt was due to flocks of the common quail (Coturnix coturnix), known in Hebrew as selav, or “plump one.” Was this the miracle or manna that God sent, as described in Exodus and Numbers? There is no doubt that the birds could have been on their yearly migration. More than 2 million quail were still exported by Egyptian bird hunters to European chefs every year as recently as the turn of the century.
The Phasianidae family of the Galliformes order includes the European, Japanese, and rain quails of southern Asia. They fall within the Coturnix category.
Early immigrants mistakenly referred to the birds they found in what is now the northeastern United States as quail because they were roughly the same size and color as the birds they had seen in the Old World. The bobwhite quail, so named because of the male’s loud whistle, was also known as a partridge in the South, which further complicated matters. The bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii), mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus), and Montezuma quail are among the species that can be found in America (Cyrtonyx montezumae).
Quail is one of the most adaptable, straightforward to prepare, and enjoyable game birds. These hefty, juicy birds ought to serve as the model for “Game 101,” as they elevate players of all skill levels to champion status. They are nearly impossible to sabotage when grilled, broiled, or sautéed. The somewhat dark flesh has a mildly gamey flavor that adapts well to marinating, stuffing, or being heavily spiced. Due to their diminutive size, allow at least 2 quail per person for an entree and at least 1 quail per person for a hors d’oeuvre. They must be cooked rapidly over high heat and served medium-rare since they are lean, preserving their moisture and flavor.
What Flavor Does Quail Meat Have?
The first thing you’ll notice about quail is how small the bird is; two quail are typically served per person for a supper because they weigh only approximately 4 ounces each.
Because of its diminutive size, the flesh has a considerably more delicate texture and is less chewy than chicken or even duck. Quail can be prepared in a variety of ways, but most people cook them whole.
But unlike chickens, most quail are kept outdoors, especially in North America, and as a result of their frequent foraging and moderate activity levels, they have a taste that falls between that of black meat and that of white meat.
It has a lot of the fatty and savory qualities of duck without being overly greasy. It is a very rich and tasty bird.
The flavor can vary significantly depending on which of the over 200 species of quail you encounter (or kill). Overall, though, the flavor of this bird comes through in part due to its dense body structure, which results in meat with a powerful flavor that requires considerably less seasoning than chicken to get good results.
Short marinades and quick cooking techniques will preserve the bird’s natural flavor better than lengthy braises or bakes, which are preferred for larger poultry. It’s often used in French cuisine.
But is there such a thing as too much excellent quail meat? The persistent misconception that it’s difficult to consume quail every day for 30 days seems to have its roots in this.
While many individuals have tested the concept, including some professional poker players who used it as a prop bet, it is most likely based on a biblical narrative.
It turns out that most of the competitors found it simple to keep eating quail as long as it was fresh and prepared appropriately in the end.
Hello, afternoon. Yes, typically 2 coturnix will suffice to create a supper. However, for my guys, it takes closer to 3 per. Our preferred method of cooking coturnix is to bake the birds over rice with a quality stock. However, they cook quite well when fried or grilled.
Coturnix can be placed fairly near, depending on the size of your pens; they don’t mind being a little crowded. Never attempt to add fresh birds to an established pen. They will fight one another bloodily and are quite cruel to new birds.
The birds will prefer it more if your pens are on the ground because they enjoy taking dust baths and picking up bugs and other things.
Currently, there are about 75 eggs in the incubator, and in a week or two, I should have several hundred ready to be placed inside.
Best quail varieties for novices
There are two quail breeds that are appropriate for novices. By far, the Coturnix is the most well-liked. Because they develop quickly and have more meat per bird than other breeds, they are common backyard birds.
Only 7 weeks old, the Coturnix quail reaches maturity and starts laying eggs. A mature Coturnix can produce more than 300 eggs annually. The birds can also be killed for meat at 7 weeks because that is when they are at their heaviest.
Around 10 ounces of meat can be obtained from a standard Coturnix quail. Up to 14 ounces or even more of meat may be present in the gigantic Coturnix type.
Initially, Coturnix quails moved between Europe and Asia. They are also known as Japanese quail and have long been raised for meat and eggs as well as tamed good luck charms. They are accustomed to being maintained in tight places with several other birds and are very calm.
The USA is the quail’s natural habitat. The many different varieties of Bobwhite are referred to as New World species. When housed in close quarters, they might become more aggressive and are smaller than Coturnix quail. Because they have only been domesticated for a few hundred years, this is the case.
Compared to Coturnix, bobwhites are smaller and can produce 6 to 10 ounces of meat per bird. Some breeds that were developed for size might provide more. The number of birds you can accommodate in your yard may be impacted by the fact that these quails require up to four times the space per bird as Coturnix.
The quail’s home is in Coturnix.
AS: Let’s discuss cages and space requirements. A two-tier system that fits inside a closet appears in one of the images I saw on the Epic Quailblog! How avian would that house be?
EQ: The quick response I give to this question is often one square foot per bird, at the very least, though more is preferable. Coturnix quail require between 0.5 and 1.0 square feet of room in a wire-floored setting, according to the majority of quail aficionados. I prefer grown birds to have at least one square foot of space each. Because they are smaller and have not reached sexual maturity, younger birds can be kept in smaller spaces as they grow.
Your male-to-female ratio also affects how much room is needed. The fewer hens a male has to share his territory with, the more hostile he becomes. Males can be territorial at times.
Can you have quail in a square foot?
They don’t need a lot of room; it just depends on your numbers, according to Lhamon. In floor pens, the Penn State Cooperative Extension Handbook advises using one square foot per quail (chickens, by comparison, require about 4 square feet per bird). Given their territorial nature, quails will also require enough room at feeders and waterers (about 1 inch and 1/3 inch each, respectively).
Depending on what you intend to raise them for, the rearing conditions will also change. Birds produced for eggs and meat require more controlled temperatures and less light, whereas birds raised for hunting preserves need more room in their cages to extend their wings.
The requirement that quails be completely enclosed is the most crucial component of housing. Because you’ll want to keep them confined, housing “needs to be different,” according to Dunkley. “They wouldn’t be regarded as tamed by us. These birds can fly, so if they have a way out, they will take it.”
The use of chicken wire or some other livestock mesh that prevents animal egress when they hatch is the second component of that, says Lhamon. “Bobwhites hatch out looking like tiny bumblebees.”
What are quail sold for?
Although it has a richer flavor, quail meat is very similar to chicken in flavor. Quail rarely has a gamey flavor, unless it was captured in the wild. Even yet, there isn’t much of a game-like flavor.
Because it is difficult to find quail meat in supermarkets, upscale eateries sometimes depend on small farms to provide their quail needs. You already know what that indicates! A higher price point results from increased demand.
Depending on the locale and local demand, quail meat can be sold dressed for anywhere between $2 and $7 per ounce. The average live weight of a jumbo Coturnix quail is between 12 and 14 ounces.
This might not seem like much, but keep in mind that quail can reproduce quickly, are simple to care for, and grow swiftly!