Quail eggs have been farmed since the times of the early Egyptians when they realized that the quails themselves were excellent sources of protein. Of course, along with raising quail for meat, eggs were produced as well. Not only were quails an excellent source of protein, but their eggs were also considered to be medicinal in value and were thought to help fight off respiratory diseases. Many countries consider quail eggs as a delicacy and are enjoyed for their delicate flavor.
Quail Egg Trivia
- Quail eggs are the smallest eggs that are commercially produced and sold.
- Considering their size, quail eggs have disproportionally larger yolks than whites.
- Quails are cannibals, if they get overheated or if they don’t get enough protein in their feed.
- Quail Eggs have three to four times the nutritional value of eggs.
- Quail Eggs provide as much as five times the iron and potassium as regular chicken eggs.
- Quails can lay up to 300 eggs in a laying season.
Quail Egg Buying Guide
Since quail eggs are usually packed by dozen or two, there’s really no way to choose quail eggs before you purchase them. Although, there are some guidelines to determine if a batch of eggs is good.
Quail eggs are good for at most 4 weeks from when they were hatched if they’re stored at room temperature and up to 6 weeks if refrigerated. Always check the package of quail eggs for either a best-before date or a production date and compute from there.
Quail Egg Production & Farming in Texas
Quail is fairly popular in Texas as well as quail eggs. So popular that there is a local quail breed created by Texas A&M University that’s called… you guessed it… The Texas A&M quail. While this quail breed was made specifically for meat consumption, they still produce a good number of eggs and while they are butchered at 8-9 weeks old, they do start to lay eggs at around the 4-5 week mark so there is still some quail egg production involved.
Aside from the ease of raising quail, a lot of homesteads choose to raise quail instead of chicken because they’re quiet. Unlike chickens that make a constant racket, raising quails for eggs is very peaceful.
In Texas, quail eggs can be bought at any supermarket or farmers’ market and even some roadside stalls near farmsteads.
Quail eggs are packed in quail egg trays made out of rigid plastic. The two most common sizes are for a dozen quail eggs or two dozen.
Enjoying Quail Eggs
To prepare quail eggs, it is best to do the water test on them before cooking them. To test your quail eggs, fill a bowl with cold water and place the quail eggs in them, discard any that float.
To enjoy quail eggs, think of them like regular eggs, only much smaller. They can be fried, boiled, scrambled, and even made into omelets. Just be ready for a lot of cracking, or you can buy a specialized quail eggshell opener. If there’s a single-task tool that we can recommend, it’s a quail eggshell opener.
Quail eggs can be stored at room temperature for up to four weeks, so it’s very important to know when the eggs were laid.
How to Cook Quail Eggs:
Because of their size, quail eggs cook much faster than regular-sized chicken eggs. Here’s a quick guide on how to cook quail eggs.
Sunny-Side Up Quail Eggs
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add about a teaspoon of olive oil. Crack the egg on a small bowl or a tablespoon for easier pouring into the pan once the oil is hot. Once the oil is hot, pour the cracked quail egg on it and leave for 30 seconds. By 30 seconds, the edges should be crisp while the yolk should be about halfway cooked. This is the equivalent of a runny sunny-side-up egg. If you want a well-done egg, leave for an additional 10 seconds.
Hard-Boiled Quail Eggs
- Just like a regular egg, start with cold water. Add the eggs and bring them to a boil and keep boiling for three minutes. After three minutes, turn off the heat and cover. Let the eggs stand for another three minutes. After that, dump the eggs into an ice bath to stop the cooking and to make the eggs peel easier.
Scrambled / Omelet
- Just break enough eggs to get the volume required (3-4 eggs per regular sized egg) and cook as you would chicken eggs.
A good way to demonstrate the nutritional value of quail eggs is to present it side-by-side with chicken eggs, you be the judge if they’re worth the extra effort of cracking open multiple eggs to get the volume of a regular egg. For the chart, we will be measuring the eggs by weight.
|Item||Quail Eggs (100g / 10 quail eggs)||Chicken Eggs (100 / 2 eggs)|
|Vitamin A||543 IU||540 IU|
|Vitamin B12||1.58 mcg||0.089 mgh|
|Vitamin D||55 IU||82 IU|
|Riboflavin||0.79 mg||0.45 mg|
|Folate||66 mcg||47 mcg|