Processing and Yield Characteristics of Bobwhite Quail1

Processing and Yield Characteristics of Bobwhite Quail1

1346 C. T. ORTON AND L. R. HAMBLY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors express their appreciation to the following investigators who conducted the reported ...

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The authors express their appreciation to the following investigators who conducted the reported studies: Dr. S. A. Edgar, Auburn University, Dr. E. H. Peterson, Uni-

v e r s i t y of A r k a n s a s a n d D r s . R . N . B r e w e r a n d W . M . Reid, U n i v e r s i t y of Georgia. REFERENCES Brossi, A., 1969. Some recent results on the chemotherapy of amebiasis, coccidiosis and malaria. Pure Applied Chem. 19: 171-185. Marusich, W. L., E. F. Ogrinz, M. Brand and M. Mitrovic, 1969. Safety and compatability of sulfadimethoxine potentiated mixture (Ro 50013), a new broad spectrum coccidiostat-antibacterial, in chickens. Poultry Sci. 48: 217-222. Mitrovic, M., 1967. Chemotherapeutic efficacy of sulfadimethoxine against fowl cholera and infectious coryza. Poultry Sci. 46: 1153-1158. Mitrovic, M., and J. C. Bauernfeind, 1967. Sulfadimethoxine therapy of avian coccidiosis. Poultry Sci. 46: 402-411. Mitrovic, M., G. Fusiek and E. G. Schildknecht, 1969b. Antibacterial activity of sulfadimethoxine potentiated mixture (Ro 5-0013) in chickens. Poultry Sci. 48: 1151-1155. Mitrovic, M., E. G. Schildknecht and G. Fusiek, 1969a. Anticoccidial activity of sulfadimethoxine potentiated mixture (Ro 5-0013) in chickens. Poultry Sci. 48: 210-216. Reid, W. M., E. M. Taylor and J. Johnson, 1969. A technique for demonstration of coccidiostatic activity of anticoccidial agents. Trans. Amer. Microsc. Soc. 88: 148-159.

Processing and Yield Characteristics of Bobwhite Quail1 L. E. DAWSON,2 L. R. YORK, 2 N. AMON, 2 C. KULENKAMP 3 AND T. H. COLEMAN3 Departments of Food Science & Human Nutrition and Poultry Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48823 (Received for publication February 4, 1971)


HE use of Bobwhite quail in genetic, nutritional and management research is well documented; however, very few references are available concerning the preparation and use of these birds for human 1

Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station No. 5364. 2 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. 3 Department of Poultry Science.

food, (Crispens, 1960; Greenberg, 1949). Several methods for feather removal were mentioned by Greenberg (1949), including scalding at different temperatures, wax plucking and removal of feathers by hand. No research was cited to indicate which method was preferred. One method for processing Coturnix quail was discussed by Marsh (1967) in which he recommended that birds be held, the heads clipped off with some type of scissors, and the feathers

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among infected unmedicated controls in 13 of 21 experiments while medicated birds had significant mortality in one experiment. Medication permitted birds to gain more weight than the infected unmedicated survivors during the critical 6 to 7 day postinoculation period. Terminal weights of Rofenaid-protected birds not only exceeded weights of the infected unmedicated chickens but also approached or exceeded weights of the uninfected unmedicated controls. Feed conversion of medicated birds compared favorably to that of uninfected birds and was superior to feed conversion by the infected unmedicated controls. The data derived from the 3 studies described herein are in agreement and confirm previously reported findings that Rofenaid is a safe and effective coccidiostat for chickens.



PROCEDURE Two hundred fifty seven (257) batteryreared Bobwhite quail were slaughtered for this study. Forty eight (48) to 51 birds were selected at random, weighed and processed at each of the following ages: 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 weeks. Sex was determined at slaughter time by direct examination of the gonads for the groups through 16 weeks of age and by external sex characteristics for those 18 weeks of age. Quail were processed in groups of 8 to 10 birds. Each bird was fastened to a Greenbrier Roto-Line killing wheel with small string shackles, and bled using an outside cut. After bleeding for about 2 min., each group of birds was scalded in a Greenbrier Rotomatic scalder at 55°C. (131°F.) for 1 min., then placed in an Ashley Sure-Pick batch-type rubber fingered picker for 35 sec. Following picking, birds 10-14 weeks of age were sequentially dipped in melted Duxwax (Val-A Company), cold water, melted Duxwax and cold water. The hardened wax with remaining protruding pin feathers was removed by hand. Those quail

16 and 18 weeks of age received only the picker treatment and remaining feathers were removed by hand. Each carcass was warm eviscerated by splitting down the back, removing the viscera, including crop and esophagus, and removing the head and neck. Ready-to-cook carcasses were chilled in ice water, packaged in groups in heat shrinkable plastic bags and frozen at - 1 8 ° C . (0°F.) for later evaluations. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Processing: Bobwhite quail at 10 weeks of age are both small and tender. The small size requires equipment adaptations, or excessive hand labor during processing. These young birds also have tender skin and bones which are quite fragile; thus, they must be handled with care to minimize processing defects. Ideally, equipment reduced in scale to handle small birds would be desirable. Laboratory models of equipment designed to handle chickens or turkeys can, however, be adapted for quail, especially those 1618 weeks of age. Small rope or string shackles were made and proved quite satisfactory for holding the birds during the bleeding process. Since the quail were bled using an outside cut, a number of heads were pulled off during feather removal, thus true dressed weight of each individual quail was difficult to obtain. No problems were encountered during the scalding process. The rotomatic scalder with rotating basket contained the quail well for this operation. The water temperature of 55 0 C, plus 1 min. elapsed time during scalding were sufficient to result in satisfactory feather removal. Problems were encountered in attempting to remove feathers with a cyclamatic batch picker. The small birds (10-14 weeks of age) became lodged between rubber fingers and did not rotate and turn suf-

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"scraped" off after scalding at 148°F. He reported that ". . . if it (water) is much hotter or colder, feathers will not come off easily." Greenberg (1949) reported that Bobwhite quail reach adult size at about 9-10 weeks, with sex not readily distinguishable. At 12-14 weeks of age they are well feathered. Although ragged and bobtailed when 14-16 weeks of age, they are fully grown and easily sexed with distinct feather markings. This study was conducted to evaluate processing procedures and to determine the meat yield characteristics of 10-18 week old Bobwhite quail prepared for human food. A report on the meat composition and quality attributes will be published in a subsequent paper.



GRAMS 190 180

• O




160 150 -

J T ^ *


140 130

.--£ 10

j8=^ © ^ READY-TO-COOK

12 14 16 AGE (WEEKS)


FIG. 1. Average live, dressed and ready-to-cook weights of Bobwhite quail, 10-18 weeks of age.

ficiently for adequate feather removal. The quail 16 and 18 weeks of age, however, were fairly well cleaned except for a few protruding pin feathers and some primary wing feathers. These were removed with a minimum of hand labor. The use of Duxwax following the mechanical picker for quail 10-14 weeks of age increased effectiveness of removing all feathers and protruding pin feathers. Two dips were more effective than one. When removing the wax from these young birds, extreme care was necessary to prevent skin tearing.

% TABLE 1.—Average weights of live, dressed and ready-

to-fook Bobwhite quail, 10-18 weeks of age


• — • O—o



X) N°-

rv««« G rams

Standard deviation

T.oTn N


Grv*™.. rams

Standard deviation

10 12 14 16 18

25 22 27 28 32

155.7± 162.3 171.2 172.8 187.8

Live Weight: 26 14.0 28 16.5 22 13.0 21 16.8 19 18.9

156.0± 167.1 175.6 171.0 182.0

13.4 12.2 13.9 20.9 14.8

10 12 14 16 18

25 22 27 28 32

138.7± 146.5 155.2 158.3 174.1

Dressed weight: 26 13.1 28 14.9 22 11.6 21 15.4 19 17.8

139.2 + 151.4 159.5 156.4 168.6

11.8 11.4 11.3 18.8 12.2

10 12 14 16 18

25 22 27 28 32

Ready-to-cook weight 26 109.7± 11.4 110.1± 28 112.8 13.2 117.6 22 122.2 10.6 124.7 21 122.3 14.6 122.4 19 136.7 13.7 132.3

10.2 11.0 10.2 17.1 12.0





82 78 R-T-C -r

74 70



// 10

12 14 AGE(WEEKS)



FIG. 2 . Dressed and ready-to-cook (RTC) yields


for Bobwhite quail, 10-18 weeks of age.

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120 110

Meat yields: At 10 weeks of age, males and females averaged 156 grams live weight. Mean weights of live birds increased 4 to 5 g. per week from 10 to 14 weeks of age, leveled off to 16 weeks of age, then increased to 18 weeks of age (Fig. 1). Female weights averaged less than males from 10-14 weeks of age but greater at 18 weeks of age. Weights of individual birds varied considerably, as shown by standard deviations reported in Table 1. This is possibly due to the lack of genetic homogeneity in the parent stock or other environmental conditions. The relatively small number of birds per sample (19-32) is certainly a factor affecting standard deviations; however, it is quite apparent that large differences in weights occur between birds. Weights of dressed and ready-to-cook quail followed similar patterns, with females weighing more than males at 18 weeks of age. Percentage yield of dressed and readyto-cook birds from live weights, and readyto-cook yields from dressed weights are shown in Fig. 2. Average percentage yields of males and females for all age groups



were essentially the same. Average yield from live weights varied from 69 to 72%. These yields were slightly higher than values for 6 week old "miniature" broilers as reported by Henderson et al. (1956), but lower than yields for most chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese (Swanson et al., 1964). These latter, however, included necks and giblets.

14 weeks of age, males outweighed the females, but at 18 weeks of age, females averaged about 5 g more than males. Yields of dressed weights (from live weights) were the same for males and females, and increased from 89% at 10 weeks of age to 92.5% at 18 weeks of age. Readyto-cook yields (from live weights) increased slightly from 10 to 18 weeks of age, averaging?^.


Crispens, C. G., Jr., 1960. Quail and Partridges of North America. A Bibliography. 12S pp. Greenberg, D. B., 1949. Raising Game Birds in Captivity. D. Van Nostrand Publishers. 224 pp. Henderson, E. W., L. E. Dawson, H. C. Zindel and E. H. Farmer, 1956. "Michigan Miniature" broiler production. Michigan Agr. Expt. Sta. Quart. Bui. 38: 547-554. Marsh, A. F., 1967. Quail Manual, 4th Ed. The New British Range Quail. 40 pp. Swanson, M. H., C. W. Carlson and J. L. Fry, 1964. Factors affecting poultry meat yields. North Central Reg. Res. Pub. 158 (Minnesota Agr. Expt. Sta. Bui. 476).

Number and Morphology of Muscle Spindles in the Transversus Abdominis Muscle of the Chicken1'2 P. D. DEWET, 3 PATRICIA R. FARRELL4 AND M. R. FEDDE Neuromuscular Laboratory, Department oj Physiological Sciences, Kansas State Manhattan, Kansas 66502


(Received for publication February 8, 1971)


LTHOUGH muscle spindles have been . found in most mammalian skeletal muscles (Barker, 1962), Dogiel (1902) could not find these structures in the transverstis abdominis muscle of man, rabbit,


'Supported by USPHS, NIH grant NB-05786 and by the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station. 2 Contribution No. 73, Neuromuscular Laboratory, Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, KSAES, Manhattan.

and monkey, and Shehata (1961) found no spindles in the caudal belly of the biventer cervicus muscle of the chicken. Contradictory reports indicating that these receptors are absent in certain muscles may be explained by the fact that some investigators 'Present address: Department of Veterinary Anatomy, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210. 4 Present address: Department of Biology, Northwest Missouri State College, Maryville, Missouri 64468.

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Male and female battery-reared Bobwhite quail were processed at 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 weeks of age. Chicken processing equipment and procedures were evaluated and/or modified. String shackles replaced the chicken shackles, and birds 10 to 14 weeks of age received a double coating of Duxwax to assist in removal of feathers and protruding pin feathers missed by the picker. At 10 weeks of age, live weights of males and females averaged 156 grams. At 12 and