I have this thing about the bird flu: I've been concerned about it for years. Not that it will ever come about, but IF IT DOES, it probably hit even our backyard chickens. So last year, I did a little research. Quail are really small birds, usually thought of as wild fowl, but are actually easy to raise indoors. Here are some basics (some of the info taken from another of my blogs at: http://homesteadingbasics.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-raise-quail-indoors.html :
- Two females to every one male. Best ratio is 13 females and 7 males.
- Quail eggs are nutritionally 3-4 times higher than that of chicken eggs. They contain 13% proteins while chicken eggs provide a bit more than 11%. Quail eggs contain 140 μg vitamin B1 compared to 50 μg in chicken eggs, and they contain twice as much vitamins A and B2. And quail eggs provide five times as much iron and potassium as chicken eggs. They also are richer in phosphorus and calcium.
- It takes 3 quail eggs to equal 1 medium chicken egg, size-wise.
- Quail are much more quiet than chickens, and the odor is practically non-existent, especially if you keep the aviary clean. You could basically hide a whole covoey of quail in a bedroom in your apartment, and your neighbors or even visiting guests wouldn't know unless you hadn't cleaned in a while!
- A single pound of eggs costs two pounds of feed for a quail to produce and three pounds of feed for a chicken.
So today, I did a little research how butchering quail. You can hatchet the heads off, or simply twist the neck. Can this be done indoors, in the kitchen? If you don't have a garage or backyard, then yes, but I'd advise using the twist-the-neck method. (Since you do a lot with raw poultry in the kitchen anyway, and it should be a room that's really easy to clean. After you twist the neck, just cut down the breast, stand on the wings near the body on either side and pull on the legs. Now they're skinned. Below is a video from youtube that shows how it's done (if you're easily grossed out, don't play it!)
Or, eh-hem, use a knife!