E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Quey Calves are dear Veal.
Quey calves are female calves, which should be kept and reared for cows. Calves for the butcher are generally bull calves. The proverb is somewhat analogous to killing the goose which lays the golden egg. (Danish quie, a heifer.)