Quail eggs. These small but mighty foods pack a serious nutritional punch.
They are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
If you are someone who loves quail eggs, then you must have wondered about their shelf life.
And if you’re raising your own quail for eggs, you’re probably even more curious about how to keep these pint-sized treasures fresh!
In this blog post, we will talk precisely about how long quail eggs last and share some tips to help you keep them fresher for longer.
How Long Do Quail Eggs Last?
The shelf life of quail eggs depends mainly on storage conditions and whether they have been washed before storage.
Unwashed and refrigerated quail eggs can last up to three weeks.
On the other hand, washed quail eggs have a shorter shelf life and typically last only 7-10 days.
This is because washing eggs strips them of the “bloom,” which we’ll discuss next.
Pro tip? Know that quail eggs can also be frozen for up to six months!
To help your quail eggs last as long as possible, you need to store them properly.
Never leave quail eggs out of the refrigerator for an extended period.
This is especially important in hot and humid conditions, as it increases the risk of bacteria growth.
What is the “Bloom”?
The bloom is a natural protective layer that prevents bacteria from entering the egg.
Without the bloom, eggs are highly perishable.
Freshly laid quail eggs always have a bloom, but the bloom wears off over time, making the egg more prone to bacteria.
Therefore, it is essential to know when your quail eggs were laid to help determine their freshness and longevity.
How Long Can You Keep Fresh Quail Eggs on the Counter?
To answer the question of how long fresh quail eggs can be kept on the counter, it’s important to understand their composition.
Quail eggs, like other types of eggs, have a porous shell that allows for air exchange.
This means that the eggs can lose moisture and evaporate through the shell, which can affect the quality of the egg over time.
As a result, it’s always a good idea to keep quail eggs refrigerated to maintain their freshness and quality.
The room temperature plays a key role in how long the eggs can last.
Ideal temperatures for fresh eggs are between 50-70°F (10-21°C).
If the room temperature is higher than this range, the eggs may start to spoil more quickly.
Humidity levels can also affect the eggs, as too much moisture can encourage bacterial growth.
The cleanliness of the eggs is important when storing them outside of the fridge.
Make sure to collect the eggs from the coop in a clean container, and avoid washing the eggs before storage.
As we mentioned earlier, washing can remove the protective natural coating on the eggshell, which helps to prevent bacteria from entering the egg (more on washing later).
The eggs will last longer on the counter if they are fresh, to begin with.
Check the dates on the carton or ask the farmer when the eggs were laid.
Ideally, you want to use the eggs within two weeks of being laid for the best quality.
Lastly, if you do choose to keep your eggs on the counter, make sure to store them in a cool, dry, and dark place.
This could be a pantry, cupboard, or another area away from direct sunlight.
Avoid storing eggs near strong-smelling foods or in areas with fluctuating temperatures.
How Long Will Quail Eggs Last in the Refrigerator?
Quail eggs, when kept in the fridge, can last up to 21 to 30 days.
It’s important to store them in an airtight container to prevent moisture and air from getting inside, which can cause bacterial growth that leads to spoilage.
The best way to store quail eggs is to place them in a container, cover them in water, and keep them in the refrigerator.
The water helps to maintain the right level of humidity and temperature required to keep the eggs fresh.
The older the quail eggs get, the more their quality deteriorates.
They gradually lose their moisture content, and the air pocket inside the egg grows.
As a result, an older quail egg becomes more susceptible to bacterial growth and is likely to spoil quickly.
Generally, it’s best to use quail eggs within two weeks of purchase (though you can go longer if these are eggs from quail you raise yourself).
Do You Wash Quail Eggs Before Storing?
Remember – the quail egg has a bloom.
The bloom is a protective coating that covers the pores of the eggshell, keeping the egg fresher for a more extended period.
Washing the egg removes this coating, exposing the egg to air and bacteria.
This exposure is why commercial quail egg producers wash and refrigerate the eggs shortly after collection.
However, when it comes to farm-fresh quail eggs that have not been commercially processed, washing can be a bit trickier.
The general rule of thumb is that if the egg contains any visible dirt or debris, it’s safe to wash it in warm, soapy water before drying and storing it.
But if the egg is clean, experts recommend storing it unwashed in a cool, dry place or the refrigerator.
Moreover, the storage method can impact whether or not washing quail eggs is necessary.
If you’re storing quail eggs in the refrigerator, it’s best to wash, dry, and then refrigerate.
But if you’re storing eggs at room temperature, you’ll want to forego washing and just store them as-is.
Washing can remove the bloom and create condensation, which promotes bacterial growth and reduces the egg’s shelf life.
If you plan to use the eggs within a few days, leaving the bloom intact is best.
On the other hand, if you plan to store the eggs for over a week, you may want to consider washing them as it can help remove bacteria that could otherwise shorten their shelf life.
Regardless of whether or not you choose to wash your quail eggs, it’s crucial to handle them with care.
Quail eggs are fragile and can crack easily, so make sure to avoid jostling and handle them gently.
Store the eggs in a well-ventilated container to prevent them from becoming damp and moldy.
At What Temperature Should You Store Quail Eggs?
Temperature is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to storing quail eggs.
If you want to store eggs for hatching, they should be kept between 50-70°F.
Anything higher than 70°F can trigger the embryo’s development inside the egg, resulting in decreased hatch rates.
On the other hand, temperatures below 50°F can kill the fertilized embryos, which will also decrease your hatch rate.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your stored eggs within this temperature range.
Now, if you don’t plan on hatching baby quail from your eggs and just want to eat the eggs themselves, then the temperature range will be different.
Room temperature is still okay, but you’ll find that your eggs last a bit longer once stashed in the refrigerator.
When it comes to using quail eggs in recipes, it’s better to keep them at room temperature for an hour or two before cooking.
Otherwise, cooking them straight out of the refrigerator can cause the shells to crack and for the eggs to stick to the shell, making it difficult to peel.
When cooking quail eggs, it’s essential to follow the recommended temperature and time guidelines to ensure that they are safe to eat.
How Long Do Quail Eggs Last for Hatching?
Quail eggs that are used for hatching must be fresh and viable to achieve the desired results.
When storing quail eggs, it’s crucial to maintain specific environmental conditions that help retain their freshness.
Quail-hatching eggs must be stored in a cool and dry place with a temperature range of 50 to 60°F and relative humidity between 60 to 70%.
It’s also helpful to store them upside down so the egg yolk doesn’t touch the shell’s inner surface.
Quail eggs for hatching last between seven to ten days if stored under the ideal environmental conditions mentioned above.
Eggs with cracks, dirt or blemishes, uneven shapes, or abnormal sizes are unsuitable for hatching.
Generally, quail eggs have a hatch rate of 70-80% or higher if they’re fresh and viable.
Anything below this range may indicate poor genetics, poor incubation practices, or poor egg quality.
General Tips for Storing Quail Eggs
Here are a few more final tips to help you properly store your quail eggs.
1. Refrigerate ASAP (Unless You’re Hatching Them)
Quail eggs need to be refrigerated as soon as possible after they are laid unless they are being used for hatching.
It is essential to keep them at a constant temperature of around 45-50°F.
You can store them in an egg carton, which will help to keep them fresh and prevent them from rolling around.
Make sure to place them in the refrigerator as soon as possible after they are collected to prevent any bacteria from developing.
2. Keep Them Dry
To preserve the bloom layer, keep your quail eggs dry.
Avoid washing them if they’re not actually dirty, as this can damage the protective layer and make them more susceptible to spoilage.
Instead, use a dry cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust gently.
You can wash if you plan to refrigerate or freeze your eggs, but know that removing the bloom does reduce the shelf life.
3. Store Them in a Carton
Storing your quail eggs in an egg carton is an excellent way to keep them fresh.
The carton prevents them from rolling around and helps to keep them at a constant temperature.
Make sure to label the carton with the date they were collected so that you can keep track of when they need to be used.
4. Put Them in the Coldest Part of the Fridge
Quail eggs must be stored in the coldest part of your fridge, typically at the back.
This helps to keep them at a constant temperature and protects them from any fluctuations in temperature that may occur when you open and close the fridge door.
Make sure to avoid placing them on the door shelf, as this is usually the warmest part of the fridge.
5. Consider Pickling, Boiling, or Water Glassing for Longer Storage
If you have a surplus of quail eggs that you cannot use before they spoil, you may want to consider pickling, boiling, or water-glassing them.
Pickling involves soaking them in vinegar and spices, which preserves them and adds a tangy flavor.
Boiling quail eggs and storing them in an airtight container can also help to keep them fresh for longer.
Water glassing is another method of preservation that involves storing them in a solution of water and sodium silicate.
How Can I Tell if My Quail Eggs Are Still Fresh?
The first step in determining the freshness of your quail eggs is to look at the date they were laid.
Quail eggs typically stay fresh for about three weeks after they are laid.
If you have kept track of when your eggs were laid, then you will know if they are still good to eat.
If you are unsure about the date, then there are a few other things you can do to check for freshness.
One way to check if your quail eggs are still fresh is to do the float test.
To do this, simply fill a bowl with water and gently place the quail egg in it.
If the egg sinks to the bottom and lays flat, then it is fresh. If it stands up on one end or floats to the top, then it is no longer fresh and should be discarded.
Another way to check for freshness is to crack the egg open and examine the contents.
Fresh quail eggs will have a thick white and a bright yellow yolk.
If the white is runny or the yolk is pale, then the egg is not fresh.
And if the egg has a foul odor or an off-color yolk or white, then it should be thrown away.
How to Store Quail Eggs: Final Thoughts
Storing quail eggs is simple – and it requires minimal effort.
If you’re used to raising chickens or ducks and already have a supply of those eggs on hand, then the good news is that storing quail eggs isn’t too different!
By following these tips, you can easily store your quail eggs in the best possible way to maintain their freshness and quality.
Remember to clean eggs immediately, store them in a cool location, label your containers, handle them gently, and dispose of old eggs when necessary.
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll always have a constant supply of delicious quail eggs at your disposal.
Interested to learn more about raising quails for their eggs? Check out our recommended reads below!