Chicken Egg VS Quail Egg – Which is Better?

chicken egg vs quail egg
If you’re encountering a quail egg for the first time, you might wonder how a chicken egg vs quail egg compares. How are quail eggs similar to familiar chicken eggs, and how are they different? Quail eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, have a slightly different nutritional content, come in a wider variety of colors, and taste richer and gamier than chicken eggs. Here’s everything you need to know about chicken eggs vs quail eggs.

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What is a Quail Egg?

quail eggs in nest
This photo is a great visual of what quail eggs will look like both fresh from the Quail and also in the grocery store.
  A quail egg is an egg laid by a quail, which is a type of bird that is similar in size to a pigeon. Like chickens, quails fly, but they spend most of their time walking on the ground. Quail eggs are similar in appearance to chicken eggs, except that many quail eggs have a spotted or dimpled outer shell. Quail eggs come in a variety of colors. They are also much smaller than chicken eggs Most quail eggs come from the Japanese quail, a common poultry species. Quail are kept on farms in order to produce quail eggs commercially. Some hobbyist communities also raise quail in order to produce their own quail eggs at home. Read More: How Long Do Quails Live? We explore the 6 species of quails found in the United States and their lifespans in this guide (with pictures and a video!)

Disadvantages of Quail Eggs

Although quail eggs are delicious and often considered a delicacy, they do have some disadvantages. Because fewer farmers raise quail than raise chickens, quail eggs are often more expensive than chicken eggs. They can also be harder to find. Here are some other disadvantages of quail eggs vs chicken eggs:
  • Because quail eggs are smaller, you’ll need to use more of them when cooking many dishes
  • Quail eggs can be more challenging to peel
  • Quail often lay fewer eggs each year than chickens

Do Quail Eggs Taste Better Than Chicken Eggs?

In general, quail eggs contain many of the same elements as a chicken egg. Like a chicken egg, a quail egg has a hard outer shell, an egg white, and a yolk. The flavor of quail eggs differs from chicken eggs in a few key ways.
  • Quail eggs tend to have a stronger, richer flavor.
  • Some people find that quail eggs have a gamier, meatier flavor than chicken eggs.
  • Quail eggs are often eaten in a single bite, causing the flavor of the white and yolk to combine.
The varying size of a quail egg vs a chicken egg is the biggest driver of the difference in flavor. Because quail eggs are smaller, they have less white relative to their yolk, which leads to their stronger flavor. Read our related article, Chicken Egg vs Duck Egg Taste, to see how these two types of eggs compare!

Are Quail or Chicken Eggs Healthier?

chicken eggs
Both quail eggs and chicken eggs contain nutrients that are great for your health!
From a nutritional standpoint, quail eggs are about as healthy for you as chicken eggs. Quail eggs are a good source of nutrients, including fats, protein, and carbohydrates. The main nutrition difference between quail eggs and chicken eggs is a difference in fat content. Quail eggs tend to have more fat relative to their size than chicken eggs, which makes them somewhat different nutritionally. Like chicken eggs, quail eggs also contain a variety of other nutrients:
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Zinc

What’s the Best Way to Eat Quail Eggs?

The most novel aspect of a quail egg vs a chicken egg is the quail egg’s tiny size. Most cooking methods for quail eggs focus on playfully showcasing the egg’s small size. The best way to eat a quail egg is to either boil it or cook it sunny side up in a pan. These cooking methods show off the egg’s small size, delighting many diners who are unfamiliar with quail eggs. This video shows an example of frying a quail egg:

  You can scramble quail eggs if you want to, but it’ll definitely take more eggs and more time than if you were to use chicken eggs!

Boiling Quail Eggs

Whereas chicken eggs often need to boil for 10 minutes or more in order to be fully cooked, quail eggs need far less cooking time. You should boil a quail egg for 2 minutes in order to reach a soft-boiled consistency, 3 minutes for a medium-boiled egg, or 4 minutes for hard-boiled quail eggs. Here are a few other things to keep in mind when boiling quail eggs: 
  • Make sure your water is at a rolling boil before dropping the eggs in.
  • Keep an ice bath ready for when the eggs are done.
  • Because of their small size, quail eggs can overcook quickly.

How Many Quail Eggs Equals a Chicken Egg?

quail and chicken eggs
Seeing the size difference between a chicken egg and a quail egg can help you understand the requirements when cooking with either of them.
If you’re planning to cook with quail eggs or trying to determine how they fit into your diet, you might wonder how many quail eggs equals one chicken egg. 3 quail eggs are equivalent to 1 chicken egg. This conversion is based on the eggs’ smaller size. Keep in mind, though, that 3 quail eggs will have a slightly higher level of fat than 1 chicken egg since quail eggs have slightly more fat than chicken eggs.

How Much Cholesterol is in a Quail Egg?

If you’re considering adding any kind of egg to your diet, you’ve probably thought about eggs’ cholesterol content. Both chicken eggs and quail eggs contain cholesterol. A quail egg contains about 76 milligrams of cholesterol. That’s slightly more by size than a chicken egg.  As with chicken eggs, most of the cholesterol in a quail egg is contained in the yolk. Eating only the white of a quail egg will greatly reduce the amount of cholesterol you consume.

How Long Do Quail Eggs Take to Hatch?

quail eggs together with one opened
Quail eggs can take a different amount of time to hatch based on the breed, but chicken eggs take about 21 days to hatch.
If you’re looking for a consistent source of quail eggs at home, you might consider raising your own quail. You can purchase fertilized quail eggs in order to raise your own quail. In general, quail eggs take between 17 and 23 days to incubate and hatch.  On the other hand, chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch. Several factors can determine the amount of time that a quail egg takes to hatch:
  • Variation between different eggs
  • The breed of the quail that laid the egg
  • How the egg was stored and handled before being incubated
Read our related article on How to Care for Quail Chicks! This guide has everything you need to raise healthy quails from day 1.

How to Incubate a Quail Egg

The best way to incubate a quail egg is to use an incubator for quail eggs.  Incubators allow you to precisely control the environment for your quail eggs, leading to the most consistent results. It’s also possible for a mother quail to incubate and hatch an egg. This natural process is more variable than using an incubator, however, and can only be done at certain times of the year (April, May, and June for the Northern Hemisphere).


Quail eggs and chicken eggs are similar in terms of the basic parts they contain and the fact that both are laid by poultry birds. Quail eggs are different in that they are smaller, have a different nutritional profile, and have a gamier taste.

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