Quail eggs, now what?

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Jenni, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Ok, so I have some (2) quail eggs now what...

    1. Do you or how do you check/test eggs before you eat them?
    2. How long can you keep them in the fridge before eating?
    3. Can they get salmonella like chicken eggs?
    4. My eggs are currently small because females are just starting to produce. Can you eat them this small.
    5. How do you manage your eggs? Meaning do you date your containers of eggs per day or week (depending on number of birds of course)?
    6. If you miss collecting the eggs for a day or so does this mean you can't use the egg?
    7. Does anyone eat them raw?

    Another question which I didn't ask the supplier. When I purchased the fertile eggs for incubation he scratched the surface of the eggs for........ anyone know the reason?
     
  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Others may have more or different answers to your questions Jenni but here's mine:

    Just before you eat them you can place the eggs in water and discard any that float because they have gone bad. However, I generally don't "test" any egg before I eat them because just like a chicken egg from the supermarket it's unlikely to be bad if they are fresh.

    3 months or so - the worst that happens is they dry out... Actually, quail eggs left in the fridge for a week or two are much easier to peel after boiling than fresh eggs. Fresh quail eggs are murder to peel after boiling but they make great snacks or dinner party nibbles.

    Yes, but any food particularly meats or proteins can become contaminated with bacteria. You can sterilise eggs but then this introduces chemicals into the mix and the likelihood of getting sick from your own eggs is really low.

    Yep, no problem.

    Collect them daily if you are eating or using them for breeding. Discard any cracked, dirty, or eggs exposed to moisture. For breeding I collect eggs over a seven day period and then incubate the batch because after 7-10 days fertile eggs start to lose their vitality. I never date my eggs but I do order them into what's new and older as they come in so we eat the older ones first.

    No not really. Realistically, you could leave the eggs for several days in the pen before collecting as long as they are in good condition and not exposed to the elements (direct sun or rain). Chickens can be a little different depending on if the eggs are fertile and you have a broody hen because if you leave fertile chicken eggs for several days and they are sat on by a hen they will start to grow but if the eggs are infertile then it doesn't matter if you don't collect them daily. Of course, the longer you leave an egg in the pen or nesting boxes the more chance it has of becoming dirty or broken.

    You shouldn't no. Eating raw eggs either backyard or commercial can be risky due to bacteria. Cooking eggs kills bacteria.

    This is a complete guess - maybe to test their quality and find out if they are chalky? Eggs should be glossy and smooth but it's common to get chalky shells which could mean a lack of calcium. I've never heard of people scratching the shells before and I can't see why this is necessary but he obviously must have some reason...

    Edit: I forgot to mention if you do have a collection of eggs that are no good for some reason or are just too old for your liking you can boil them up and feed them to a dog or crush them (shells and all) and feed them back to chickens or quail for extra protein and calcium.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
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  3. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Do quail get into a routine..
    Do they lay eggs at certain times of the day?
    Do you find you should disturb then at certain times?
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    They may find their own territory and hang around that area mostly. Some will roam everywhere too. The main benefit of keeping quail in a pen as opposed to a cage is the variety of things they can do like scratch around in the dirt, dust bath, hide, forage, get away from conflict, etc all these things are important and you'll see them all enjoying these freedoms each day as part of their daily routine.

    Quail lay according to daylight hours, I can't remember exactly but it's something like 10 to 12 hours of daylight is needed a day to bring quails onto the lay. Commercial breeders provide lights to extend daylight hours and make their quail lay all year round otherwise in late autumn and through winter they won't lay much (if at all). I believe quails go off the lay for a reason and that's to give their body a rest - they lay a big egg for a small bird and usually one every day! Therefore, I leave my quail go off the lay through winter. As for what time of day, quail are usually finished laying by mid-day, however, they can drop an egg at anytime really and aren't as predictable as chickens or ducks (which usually only ever lay in the mornings).

    Quail are easily spooked so you should approach where they can see you. If you startle them, quail have a defensive action of flying straight upwards at pace and this can result in the bird getting injured by flying into walls or the roof. I don't really think there's any "right" time to disturb them and they do tend to get quite used to you after awhile just the same as chickens. Some of my quail come right up to me and check/peck my boots to see if I have dragged anything into the pen :D
     
  5. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yeah I have noticed that... They have the whole pen and space but they still seem to congregate on top of each other for most of the day. Yesterday 3 of them were digging/bathing in the same hole. Silly buggers.. At night they seem to spread out.

    Sounds good idea. I will do the same.

    Classic.. These girls are still very wary.

    At what age do they start full production of eggs. These Quail are at just about 7 weeks I think. So only 4 eggs in total so far..
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Quail can technically start laying and breeding at 6 weeks but they get into a regular laying cycle at around 9 weeks and I think 9 weeks is really when a quail is fully matured. It just so happens, 9 weeks is also the best time to eat them ;)
     
  7. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Well the girls are now off the lay... Maybe their first batch of eggs were from other males and this little fella is a bit young. ( I presume he is needed unlike for chickens?) I have seen him giving it a try but maybe he hasn't worked out how to use it correctly yet. :readit:
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Nah, the quail hens will lay without a male and you'll just get infertile eggs (same as chickens). It could be possible they are still settling into a regular laying cycle and that will come as they fully mature over the next several weeks.
     
  9. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Ohhh really.... Then must be settling in or just having way too much fun. No time for eggs. All so new for them.

    They seem to be playing around the whole pen now, rather than just staying in one corner. They are jumping around and flapping their wings. Running through the plants, eating insects and dusting in the sand.

    What a great life...

    P.s the pvc feeder works quite well. Little waste.
     
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  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Very interesting to know! A quail diy pvc feeder well there ya go - nice one :thumbsup: Might have to make one if I can just get some spare time...
     
  11. Jenni

    Jenni Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Hi @Mark did you say you pickled your quail eggs... If so have you posted how to do it somewhere?
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I thought I did write a recipe somewhere but I can't find it either!

    It's a good question though and definitely worth writing down for reference so I'll knock up a step by step guide tomorrow on how I do it.

    The process is similar to pickling chicken eggs but there are a few extra points which are quite interesting to note about quail eggs.
     
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