Everything You Need to Know About Quail Eggs

Everything You Need to Know About Quail Eggs

Aside from the fact that quail eggs are gloriously adorable, there are quite a few other reasons to consider getting your hands on these little gems.

Quail are easy birds to keep and care for, and since they are considered game birds, they can also be kept in some cities where chickens are not allowed.

Someone dying to raise their own meat and eggs but lacks the space for chickens can easily keep a handful of quail to satisfy their desire to be more self-sufficient.

Incredibly, there are many different types of eggs globally, yet most people only eat chicken eggs.

Some are even uncomfortable thinking about eating any other egg than the ones found in the grocery aisle.

Unfortunately, those are also the people missing out on the taste and nutritional benefits of different kinds of eggs, specifically quail eggs.

quail eggs

What Do Quail Eggs Look Like?

If you are raising quail and chicken together, you’ll definitely notice how different the eggs are.

When comparing a quail egg to a chicken egg, you will have to hold back your instinct to “awwww” at the adorable little speckled eggs.

They are reminiscent of a malted milk ball in the shape of an egg during the springtime candy surge.

Compared to a duck egg, the quail’s egg looks like a little jelly bean, and if you have Button quail, they are literally the size of a jelly bean.

However, the Button quail are not kept for egg production and slightly more pet than anything else.

everything you need to know about quail eggs

Size

The quail’s egg is considered a pee-wee-sized egg and is shaped like a chicken egg—just smaller. They are cream-colored with a variety of speckles and spots splashed over the shell.

The eggs look like a three-year-old took a paintbrush and splashed brownish paint all over the little eggs.

Frequency

Since everything else about quail eggs is smaller than a chicken egg, you might think that there are also fewer of them.

On the contrary, quails are prolific layers, and some breeds can lay up to 300 eggs per laying season.

What’s more, is some breeds will begin laying eggs at 6 weeks of age.

Compare that to the 24 weeks it takes for chickens and ducks, and you will quickly see how nice it is to have fresh eggs quickly.

While it can seem impressive for a quail to outlay some chickens, it is worth noting that a quail’s life span is approximately 2 years compared to the lifespan of a chicken or duck at around 8 years.

So you get a lot of eggs in a short amount of time, especially if you have a breed like the Japanese quail, which has been known to lay an egg per day.

Additionally, as you will see, you need more quail eggs to make up for a single chicken egg and even more for a duck egg.

So, you have to weigh out whether you think you are getting a deal or not for your quail eggs.

On the other end of the spectrum, ducks usually lay half the amount of quail eggs per year (around 180), but again, you need many more quail eggs in place of a large duck egg.

Collecting Quail Eggs

Now you know your quail lay a lot of eggs, and maybe even more than chickens you raise, but where do they lay them, and how do you find them?

Unlike chickens, and more like ducks, quail are ground birds and enjoy nesting in the ground amongst grasses and shrubs.

With that being said, quail aren’t very picky about where they lay their eggs and don’t need to have a nesting box like chickens do.

Instead, they would prefer a bit of straw or even sand to lay their eggs in if they feel organized.

Otherwise, they may plop their eggs wherever they happen to be at the time.

If you raise quail in a quail cage, you can purchase cages with a built-in tray with a slant that allows new eggs to roll down gently and out of the cage. The tray prevents the tiny eggs from getting dirty and trampled by quail and makes them easier to collect.

If you keep your quail in a ground pin or free-range, you may have a harder time tracking down your lovely little eggs.

Your best bet is to check quiet areas that are grassy or have a lot of straw.

Depending on your hens’ personalities, they may not even seek a special place to lay unless they are broody.

What Do Quail Eat?

You might wonder why this is relevant to eggs, but it really is because what your birds consume has a lot to do with the nutritional value and taste of the eggs you eat.

Quail get most of their diet out of seeds and grains, with other proteins like bugs and grubs.

If you are free-range your quail, chickens, or ducks, their eggs will be much richer than what you might find from a grocery store egg.

When birds have access to their natural diet, you can usually tell the difference in the eggs due to color and flavor. Yolks are brighter, more orange, and the taste isn’t as bland as store-bought eggs.

The thing about quail eggs is that they aren’t straightforward to come by, so most of the quail eggs you find will be from neighbors, friends, farmer’s markets, or high-end food stores. This probably means that any quail eggs you eat will be relatively fresh and non-commercialized.

However, most keep quail in cages rather than ground pens or as free-range due to their size and the number of natural predators a quail has.

quail eggs

Taste of Quail Eggs

There is a common misconception that these eggs taste different than chicken or duck eggs when in reality, all three eggs have very similar tastes (depending upon how you raised them).

Quail eggs are not gamey in flavor, as some might suggest. The most significant difference isn’t in taste but inconsistency.

Similar to eggs of a Guinea fowl, quail’s eggs have a high yolk-to-egg white ratio. This means the eggs come out much thicker and creamier when used for cooking or baking.

There are plenty of converts who have tasted these eggs and will never go back to chicken eggs just due to the creaminess of their texture.

Quail eggs are lighter in flavor than duck eggs and creamier in composition than chicken eggs, to sum it up.

Which Breed is Best for Eggs?

There are about 5 different breeds that are most common amongst quail owners, and some are more suitable for egg laying than others.

For example, the Button Quail is more of a pet and won’t often be raised for their teeny tiny eggs.

The Coturnix quail is a fantastic meat bird due to its rapid growth and meat-heavy carcass.

quail eggs

The quail most often touted for its ability to lay many eggs and early is the Japanese quail.

Like the Coturnix, this breed matures at about 6 weeks of age and begins laying shortly thereafter.

The Japanese quail will live about 2 years and lay around 200+ eggs their first year.

Selling Quail Eggs for Profit

If you are thinking of selling your quail’s egg at farmer’s markets, grocery stores, or restaurants, you can usually ask a premium for them, as they are still considered to be quite exotic and rare.

They even appear a tad more expensive than a chicken or duck egg, so don’t be afraid to ask a little more for them.

Selling eggs from your home can be an excellent way to recoup feed costs or make a little extra cash, but some states have permits and licenses that are required before you can sell your eggs.

This is to ensure the safety of the consumer when purchasing your products.

Local, state, and even federal laws can vary, so always do your research before setting up your roadside stand or contact restaurants.

Usually, there’s a bit of red tape involved, but it becomes much easier and less stressful knowing you follow the rules once you have it out of the way.

The Benefits of Quail Eggs

Quail eggs pack a protein punch, especially for their size. And according to the USDA Food Composition Database, when comparing chicken eggs to quail eggs, they are higher in B12 and protein.

When reviewing these charts, remember to take into consideration ratios of eggs due to size differences.

Vitamins

Considering the size of the quail eggs, they have more vitamins and minerals in a smaller package.

However, due to the high yolk-to-egg white ratio, they are higher in cholesterol.

But this is considered good cholesterol and not as harmful as initially thought.

Plus, you can always skip the egg yolk and beat the egg whites instead. However, it will take quite a few quail eggs to make up a complete meal of egg whites!

Eating quail eggs may help support the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems. This is due to their high vitamin content.

These eggs are considered to be antioxidants that assist in the elimination of harmful toxins.

everything you need to know about quail eggs

Iron-Rich

These tiny eggs may help those with low red cell counts, or anemia, by increasing the red blood cells. In comparison to chicken eggs, this egg has two times as much iron!

Homogenate

Some studies show quail eggs may assist in combating allergies due to the homogenate structure of the cells in the eggs. You can read more about this research here.

Protein-Packed

Lastly, the protein punch packed by these eggs is impressive. Just go easy on them because they do still have that large amount of cholesterol.

How to Eat Quail Eggs

Oh, let me count the ways. You can eat quail eggs precisely the same way you eat chicken or duck eggs.

The only caveat is that you need more of them if you are looking to replace a chicken or duck egg with a quail egg.

Substituting Quail Eggs for Chicken or Duck Eggs

If you are replacing a chicken egg with quail eggs, you need at least three eggs. And if you have a large duck egg, you will need even more.

If you are in a situation where a recipe calls for a specific amount of chicken eggs, you can always use a food scale to weigh your eggs to ensure your recipe doesn’t flop.

Cracking Your Quail Eggs

Though they may be small, these eggs are not as fragile as you might think. In fact, the membrane inside the shell is much firmer than a chicken or duck egg.

To open a quail egg, you cannot merely crack it on the side of a bowl or your countertop. Instead, it would help if you used a serrated or paring knife to saw the top of the egg off.

How Long to Boil Quail Eggs

It takes a lot less time for a little quail egg to boil than a chicken egg.

You should only boil your eggs for 2 minutes.  Then remove them from the water and run them under cold water.

Boiled quail eggs will be a bit more difficult to peel than a chicken egg. Because they are now firm, the membrane does not pose as much of a problem as a raw egg.

Imagine using your small hard-boiled eggs in salads. Also in sandwiches as a garnish, pickled, and as poppable deviled eggs. Yum!

How to Use Quail Eggs for Baking

As long as you compensate for the size difference, you can replace chicken eggs with quail’s eggs for baking anything.

If the dish is extremely egg-heavy, and you’ve had to use many of these eggs, you can consider adding a few minutes to the timer due to the heft of the yolk-to-white ratio in your  eggs.

Overall, these eggs aren’t much different than other types of eggs we consume daily. With that being said, they do have their benefits.

Aside from being adorable and fun to serve, these little eggs will provide your family with tons of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

So, why not start your own small covey of quail?

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everything you need to know about quail eggs

8 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Quail Eggs

  1. When my coturnix quail began laying, we started to replace our chicken egg consumption with quail eggs. We loved the taste. Now for the problem, after a week of eating only quail eggs at breakfast we started having upset stomachs, especially my husband. I had not read of this issue in any of the articles and blogs about quail before I started raising them. I have now discovered that this is an issue because of the nutrient dense quail eggs. It may take 3-4 to equal a chicken egg in size, but not in nutrition and from what I have read, this is what is causing the stomach upset and that we should eat them in moderation.
    Disappointed, after acquiring iver 60 birds, expensive coop and food to raise them and now my have to switch to chickens, which I didn’t want. Any advice.

    1. Keep the birds, use the eggs in moderation. With anything. If you’re making a 3 egg chicken omelet that’s 9-15 quail eggs for adjustment. Use in addition.
      Or sell them. That’s pretty easy as well. Many people buy them

    2. Oh man that’s disappointing for sure! I’m allergic to chicken eggs and that was my daily breakfast for years! I haven’t had a chicken egg in 15 years and miss them so bad! A friend told me to try quail eggs so I’ve been on the hunt for them but know I’m a little worried. :-/

    3. Where are you located. Perhaps I can buy some birds. What kind of quail breed do you have?
      How many eggs a day are yours laying?

  2. I’m getting solid white quail eggs and spotted quail eggs. What’s the difference and will they hatch if incubated ??

  3. My coutanix quails not laying eggs since they are 120 days old. Getting proper sunlight and ventilation and food.
    Could you please advice on this

  4. My Cotournix quail are 1 1/2 years old. I have 3 now. Sadly the 4th, an ivory coloured one, died suddenly a few months back. There is one who does not lay at all. Another one lays an egg every day. The third one lays every two days but she either pokes a hole or there is a soft spot in the shell, rendering the egg inedible. What am I doing wrong that she is producing these damaged eggs! This is recent … about one month. No changes in the environment or feed. Anyone have any advice?

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