Quail are medium-sized, round birds that belong to the pheasant family. They are bred in countries around the world as a source of meat and eggs. A quail commonly lays six to 18 eggs in its nest before sitting on them so they hatch. Collecting these eggs provides an interesting, valuable food source.
Quail eggs are considerably smaller than chicken eggs, weighing less than half an ounce, while a large chicken egg generally weighs 2 ounces. They are tan with dark brown speckles. The yolk of a quail egg is usually a darker orange than typical commercial chicken egg yolks.
Where to get Quail Eggs
Quail eggs can be difficult to find and are dependent on regional availability. Check farmers' markets for local producers of quail and their eggs. Asian specialty grocers and gourmet food suppliers often carry quail eggs. If you are unable to find quail eggs in these locations, ask other community members or call a local non-commercial poultry farm to ask about availability.
Quail eggs contain about 14 calories and are slightly more protein-rich than chicken eggs. Quail eggs also have more vitamins A, B1 and B2. Additionally, quail eggs contain more iron and potassium than chicken eggs. While one small quail egg provides 25 percent of the average person's daily value of cholesterol, most of this is "good" HDL cholesterol. Quail eggs are low in the "bad" LDL cholesterol, making them a quality nutritional source of protein, vitamins and minerals while minimizing health risks from high cholesterol.
Cooks prepare quail eggs in the same types of recipes as chicken eggs, and the flavor of the two types of eggs is similar. Quail eggs are excellent appetizers in poached, truffled or deviled form. They can also form a main course in quiches or omelets. Quail eggs are versatile cooking ingredients and are an easy, healthy substitute for chicken eggs.
While many of quail eggs' supposed health benefits remain unverified by scientists, many societies prize them as healthful, healing foods. For example, some people argue quail eggs ensure against digestive tract disorders, remove toxins from the blood, inhibit cancerous growths, eliminate kidney stones, strengthen the immune system and improve sexual potency. Whether these health claims are true remains to be demonstrated by scientists. However, quail eggs are known to be a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals.