Quail eggs are those glorious eggs that you see in those Easter egg videos. And it is understandable why people love these eggs so much - besides all the nutritional benefits of eating them, they are also very cute to look at.
I know most of my audience is all about being more self-sufficient, or at least want to raise chickens and eggs as a hobby, those of you who live in the cities and don't have a backyard, you can raise Quail too.
The best part is, these birds are very easy to take care of, and since they are considered game birds, you can even raise them in cities where they don't allow people to raise chickens.
And if you are someone who has never heard of quail eggs, then get ready to be surprised at how good they look and taste. And the next time you head over to the supermarket, make sure you pick a couple of these eggs and try them out.
Benefits of Quail Eggs
Just like chicken eggs, quail eggs pack a good amount of protein and vitamin B12. But when compared to chicken eggs, quail eggs have a higher amount of protein and B12 and Riboflavin in them, according to the USDA Food Comparison Database.
One thing you should keep in mind is that eggs come in different sizes. Keep that in mind when you're reviewing those charts on the USDA comparison page.
Packed With Protein
It's impressive how much protein these eggs have. And if you're into fitness or just want to stay healthy, this should be enough of a reason to switch over to quail eggs. But not so fast, you also need to be mindful of the high amount of cholesterol in them.
So, if you do end up eating quail eggs for a while, make sure you consume them in moderation.
When you compare the size of quail eggs and chicken eggs, you'll notice that quail eggs are actually smaller compared to chicken eggs. But they manage to cram in more vitamins and minerals into a smaller body. Which is always a great thing for you. But you also have to know that quail eggs have a higher yolk-to-egg ratio. This means there's typically more cholesterol in them than chicken eggs.
But it isn't harmful cholesterol as it was previously thought. It is actually healthier for you if you consume an appropriate amount of it.
And if you're all about that protein, vitamins, and minerals, then you can just skip the yolk part and eat egg whites instead. But remember, quail eggs are smaller, so you will have to consume a lot more eggs to get a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.
Another thing quail eggs are known for is antioxidants. So if you're thinking about doing a detox, skip apple cider vinegar and go for quail eggs because you will be doing that detox in a much healthier way.
And those detoxes don't work anyway. Just check out the articles I link to at the bottom of this article.
Want a Simple Guide to Learn How to Raise Quail?
Should You Replace Chicken or Duck Eggs With Quail Eggs?
It all depends on how many eggs you eat every day. If you eat 2 chicken eggs every day, then you will need 3 quail eggs. And if you eat 1 duck egg (duck eggs are usually larger than chicken eggs), then you will need even more quail eggs to replace it.
But if you're only doing it for the taste and not planning to stick with it for a long time, then you should just use a food scale to weigh your eggs. That should be a good enough guide to make sure that whatever you're cooking gets the right amount of eggs.
So What Do Quail Eggs Look Like?
Now that you know the nutritional value quail eggs provide, you want to know what they look like. Well, let me warn you beforehand, they look a LOT different than your usual chicken or duck eggs.
How Many Eggs Do Quails Lay Every Season?
Now that you know how cute quail eggs look, and you also know that they are smaller than chicken and duck eggs, you would think there are a lot fewer quail eggs in the world compared to other eggs.
You would a lot of money if you bet on it because Quail are some of the most prolific layers out there. In fact, some breeds of Quail can actually lay around 280 to 300 eggs per season which is mind-boggling.
Do you want to know something even crazier?
Some breeds of Quail can start laying eggs at 6 weeks of age. Compare that with 24 weeks it takes for chickens and ducks to start laying eggs.
Now you see the reason why people who have tasted quail eggs and grow Quail themselves are so passionate about it? They get to raise Quail and also get to have fresh eggs WAY quicker than raising chicken or ducks.
But all the superhuman egg-laying capacity does come at a cost. The lifespan of Quail is much shorter than chickens and ducks.
On average, Quails like for 2 years. Compare that with 8 years for chickens and ducks. So don't get too attached to your egg laying beast because you will miss them in about 2 years. If they are born in your coop.
If you're like me, you will take into account the size of the quail eggs and chicken eggs, and see if it makes sense for me to raise Quail or chickens. Or even ducks. Because it takes several quail eggs to make up for 1 chicken egg, and even more quail eggs to make up for a large duck egg.
Duck eggs are usually larger than chicken eggs.
But then ducks also lay half the number of eggs than quails do.
What Do Quail Eat?
It might seem like a different topic because what does the diet of quail have to do with eggs? Everything actually.
You see, just like a human mother, the diet a quail consumes decides what kind of nutritional value you will get in the eggs that they lay.
Most of their diet consists of seeds and grains, so you don't have to complicate things for yourself. And you should also mix in a variety of protein sources for them. Bugs and grubs should do the trick.
And it goes without saying that if you have enough space in your backyard to free-range your quail, the eggs they lay will have a higher nutritional value than the ones you buy from the supermarket. Because the eggs at the supermarket come from quail that are not free-range.
They are fed a diet to lay as many eggs as they can, regardless of their nutritional value.
Not only that, with free-range quail, you will notice that their eggs taste and look a lot different. The egg yolks will be more orange and won't be almost tasteless like the ones you buy from the supermarket.
Now, you want to hear the good news?
Quail eggs aren't that easy to come by.
Gee, you'd think that if these things are laying 300 eggs per season (Fun fact: Japanese Quail is known to lay 1 egg per day!), they would be more widely available than chicken or duck eggs. Well, you'd be wrong because most people prefer eating chicken eggs, duck eggs are a close second.
And most of the quail eggs that you'll come across will either be from your friends, neighbors, or high-end food markets. This means most of them will be non-commercialized. But here's the bad news, most of these sources will have their quail caged and not free-range. So you won't get to taste the "real" quail eggs.
It does make sense for people to want to keep their quail caged though because these little birds have a lot more natural predators than chickens or ducks.
How Do Quail Eggs Taste?
If you're talking about hard-boiled quail eggs, then all 3 of them taste similar. In fact, when I think about it, all eggs taste similar if you buy them from the supermarket. It only changes when the bird is raised differently.
And as I mentioned above, quail eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio than duck and chicken eggs. This means that quail eggs in general will be thicker and creamier than duck and chicken eggs when they are cooked.
I have heard a lot of people say that they'll never be able to go back to chicken eggs just because quail eggs are creamier in composition. But that all depends on personal preference I'd say.
Eating Quail Eggs
You can eat quail in all the same ways you do your chicken or duck eggs. The only thing different here is that you will need more quail eggs to substitute 1 chicken or duck egg.
How Long Should You Boil Quail Eggs?
Due to its smaller size, it takes a lot less time to boil quail eggs than it takes to boil a chicken or a duck egg. Usually, most people boil chicken eggs for about 12-14 minutes.
When it comes to quail eggs, you should only boil them for 2 minutes and then run them under cold water to peel them.
Cracking Your Quail Eggs To Make An Omelette
You might think that these small, cute little eggs might be fragile. But you'd be surprised.
To open a quail egg, you can't just crack it on the side of a bowl or the pan you're going to making your omelet in. You'll need a serrated knife to saw off the top of the egg.
That's how hard the inner membrane of the shell is.
Can You Use These Eggs For Baking?
Absolutely! In fact, as long as you have enough of these eggs, you can use them to replace the chicken/duck eggs for every dish you want. As I said before, these eggs aren't that different than others.
But you should keep one thing in mind - if you are going to use a lot more eggs to cook or bake something, then you should add a couple more minutes to the cooking time because there will be a lot more yolk in the dish. And so it takes more time to get the same taste and texture as you are used to when using chicken/duck eggs.
Best Breed to Raise For These Eggs?
If you want the most amount of eggs in the shortest amount of time, then go for the Japanese Quail. They are known to lay 1 egg per day and will live for about 2 years. It takes them 6 weeks to mature and once they do, they start laying eggs. In their first year, you should expect them to lay at least 200 eggs. Which is a lot in my opinion.
But if you are looking for meat, then go for Coturnix. It is not known for its ability to lay a lot of eggs, but it can grow rapidly and can quickly become meat-heavy.
Another breed of quail that you might be interested in is Button Quail. Most people raise it as a pet and not for its meat or eggs. So if you're looking for a pet companion that doesn't cause as much of a mess as your dog or cat, the Button Quail might be for you.
Now that you've decided which breed of Quail you're going to go with, it is time to think about where they will lay their eggs and how you're going to collect them.
The good news is that you won't have to build or buy nesting boxes. Because unlike chickens, quails are similar to ducks, aka, they are ground birds and they like to lay their eggs in the grass.
But it would be easier if they did like to lay eggs in nesting boxes because then you would only have to look for eggs in one place.
But there is a way around this. If you're raising them in a quail cage, most of them come with a built-in tray that will gently roll down the eggs out of the cage where you can easily collect them.
This avoids the quail trashing and trampling their own eggs.
If you are raising your quail in a free-range then you will need to go out on a treasure hunt and search for these beautiful eggs all over the place. In most cases though, quails will lay their eggs in a grassy area or someplace where there are a lot of straws. So make sure you put them in one specific place. That will give you an overall idea of where to find most eggs.
But to be honest, you will still have to search the whole area just to be sure because it really depends on the personality of the quail and where they like to lay their eggs. Some of them might be organized and will only lay them in grassy areas, while others might just pop their eggs wherever they happen to be at that time.
And that is all the information you need to know to fully enjoy quail eggs. Let me know what you think of them and if you plan on raising them? Will you switch to only eating quail eggs? Or will you still have chicken and duck eggs but only eat quail eggs when you're in the mood for them?