How Long Do Quail Eggs Last? Shelf & Storage Life

Do you have a surplus of quail eggs? You need to know how long do quail eggs last?

Quail eggs are a popular delicacy in many parts of the world, and raising coturnix quail has been a great decision for our homestead. They are small, flavorful, and packed with nutrients. However, some people may be hesitant to consume quail eggs due to concerns about their shelf life. How long do quail eggs last, and how can you ensure that they stay fresh and safe to eat?

Our quail are more productive than our chickens. When our girls slow down in the dog days of summer, our quail continue to produce. These small eggs come into our house in droves, so it made me wonder – how long do quail eggs last – and how long can I keep them on my counters?

Quail eggs aren’t chicken eggs, after all.

Quail eggs have a relatively short shelf life compared to regular chicken eggs. While chicken eggs can last for several weeks or even months under the right conditions, quail eggs typically only stay fresh for a few weeks.

That’s one of the reasons they aren’t often found in grocery stores. You may find these at your local co-op, Asian food markets, or specialty stores.

Although, I recently saw quail eggs at Costco, and I was shocked!

This is because coturnix quail eggs have a thinner shell and a higher yolk-to-white ratio, which makes them more susceptible to spoilage. However, with proper storage and handling, you can extend the shelf life of quail eggs and enjoy them safely for longer.

Related: 13 Benefits of Raising Quail That May Surprise You

How Long Do Quail Eggs Last?

The shelf life of fresh quail eggs depends on how you store them, which is similar to chicken eggs. Storing the quail eggs in the fridge keeps them good for longer, whereas storing them on the counter reduces the length of time quail eggs stay fresh.

Quail eggs should not be washed before storage. Like chickens, quail lay their eggs with something called a bloom covering the eggshells. The bloom is a natural coating that seals the eggshell pores, protecting the egg from outside bacteria.

If you wash your eggs, you remove the bloom, and that’s fine if you want to store them in the fridge. If you plan to keep your quail eggs on your counter, they need the bloom.

Quail eggs are quite porous; the bloom may coat the pores, but as soon as it’s removed, your egg’s shelf life is reduced. That’s the truth for storage in the fridge as well!

How Long Do Quail Eggs Last on the Counter?

When storing unwashed quail eggs on the countertops at room temperature, they will stay fresh for around two weeks. Do NOT store washed eggs at room temp!

It is possible for eggs, around two weeks old, to still be fine to eat, but they may have lost some of their freshness. Their flavor may not be as enjoyable.

Typically, when I have plenty of quail eggs, I store them in the fridge rather than my counters.

How Long Do Quail Eggs Last for Hatching?

If you decide you want to incubate your eggs rather than eat them, you need to keep them on the counters. In general, eggs should only be 7-10 days old, at maximum, before putting them into the incubator.

The older the egg, the lower the chance you have of hatching the egg. The fertility drops as the egg ages, so hatching eggs should be as fresh as possible.

Related: Incubating Quail Eggs: What You Need to Know

How Long Do Quail Eggs Last in the Fridge?

Storage life in the fridge depends on whether or not you washed the eggs. Unwashed quail eggs store in the fridge for up to three months; remember, the bloom is still present and prevents bacteria growth inside of the egg.

Washed quail eggs, on the other hand, have a significantly lower shelf life in the fridge, lasting only six weeks. The protective bloom is gone, so bacteria can start to grow faster.

Even if you follow the guidelines, always make sure to smell the eggs after you open them and check the coloring. I’ve found that quail eggs crack easier than chicken eggs, so you need to check before eating them.

I use these plastic quail egg cartons!

At What Temperature Should You Store Quail Eggs?

The temperature you store quails eggs matters; it determines the longevity (or fertility) or the eggs.

In general, if you want to store eggs for hatching, they should be kept between 50-70°F. Temperatures higher than 70°F may trigger the development of the embryo inside th eegg, and that will decrease your hatch rate. On the other hand, eggs kept below 50°F will kill the fertilized embryos and decrease your hatch rate.

Quail eggs should be stored in the fridge at the ideal temperature between 33°F and 40°F. This temperature range helps to slow down the growth of bacteria, which can cause the eggs to spoil quickly. It is important to keep the eggs away from any strong-smelling foods, as they can absorb odors easily.

How to Store Quail Eggs

You have a few options for storing quail eggs properly, as long as you follow the general freshness guidelines.

  • Unwashed – Room Temperature
  • Unwashed – In the Fridge
  • Washed – In the Fridge
  • Water Glassed
  • Pickled
  • Boiled

Quail eggs are delicate and can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Here are some tips on how to store quail eggs to ensure they last as long as possible:

  • Refrigerate immediately: As soon as you get your quail eggs, put them in the refrigerator. This will help slow down the process of spoilage and keep them fresh for longer.
  • Keep them dry: Moisture can cause quail eggs to spoil quickly. Make sure to wipe any excess moisture off the eggs before storing them.
  • Store in the carton: Quail eggs should be stored in their original carton. The carton helps protect the eggs from damage and helps keep them organized.
  • Store in the coldest part of the fridge: Quail eggs should be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, which is usually the back. This will help keep them at a consistent temperature.
  • Do not wash the eggs: Quail eggs have a natural protective coating that helps keep them fresh. Washing them can remove this coating and make them more susceptible to spoilage.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your quail eggs stay fresh and last as long as possible.

How to Tell if Quail Eggs are Still Fresh

If you’re like me, you lose track of when your quail eggs came into your house. The best – and easiest – way to determine the freshness of an egg is to use the float test. A float test checks the freshness of quail – or chicken – eggs.

It’s so easy!

To do this, fill a bowl with cold water and gently place the eggs in the water.

Eggs that sink and sit on the bottom of the bowl are fresh and good to eat. If they float, toss them out. It’s not worth the risk of getting food poisoning!

The reason for this is that as egg ages, the air cell inside it grows larger, causing it to become buoyant and float. A fresh egg has a small air cell and will sink to the bottom.

It is important to note that if an egg floats, it may not necessarily be bad. It may still be safe to eat, but it is best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

How Long Do Hard Boiled Quail Eggs Last?

Hard-boiled quail eggs are a popular snack and ingredient in many dishes. My husband likes to make a big batch and bring them to work as a snack or toss them into his salads.

They’re yummy little bites!

They are small and easy to prepare, making them a convenient addition to any meal. However, it is important to know how long they can be stored safely.

The shelf life of hard-boiled eggs depends on how they are stored. If they are kept in the refrigerator, they can last for up to one week, as long as you don’t peel the shell off.

Shells hold moisture inside and prevents the inside eggs from absorbing outside flavors and odors. If you prefer to peel them for convenient snacks, store the eggs in a glass container.

How Long Do Pickled Quail Eggs Last?

Pickling is another method of food preservation that I use regularly, and pickled quail eggs are a yummy snack. They’re just like pickled chicken eggs, but it’s like the perfect bite.

It’s important to remember that pickling eggs is not considered a shelf-stable way to store eggs for the long-term. The safest way to store pickled eggs is to store them in the fridge, and they last for up to four months.

How Do You Cook Quail Eggs?

Whenever I tell people that I raise quail, the first thing they ask me is how we eat quail eggs. You can enjoy quail eggs however you enjoy an average chicken eggs.

Options include:

  • Hard-Boiled
  • Soft-Boiled
  • Fried
  • Poached
  • Scrambled

Plus, they work for baking recipes!

Their small size makes them perfect for bite-sized snacks and the cutest deviled eggs. Their flavor also makes them great for pickled eggs or added to salads.

When you use quail eggs in recipes, take their size into consideration. Any recipe that calls for eggs can be substituted for quail, but you will need to use the ration of 3/4 quail eggs for one chicken egg.

Here are some details on our favorite ways to enjoy quail eggs.

Boiled Quail Eggs

Boiled quail eggs are a popular way to enjoy these tiny eggs.

Wash and clean the eggs, and fill a pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and use a slotted spoon to gently place the eggs into the boil water. It’s a good practice to gently stir as they cook, because it keeps the yolks in the center of the shell.

The cooking time for soft-boiling takes 2.5-3 minutes. If you want hard-boiled eggs, cook the eggs for 4-5 minutes before removing with a slotted spoon and putting into a boil of cold water.

Boiled eggs should be cooled completely before trying to peel. When peeling, crack the side of the egg and pinch the membrane under the shell. Then, gently peel the shell away in a spiral motion.

Another option is to let them soak in vinegar. Quail eggshells are quite thin, so vinegar dissolves them. However, this will change the taste of the eggs, so I suggest only using this when the eggs will go into a pickled brine.

Fried Quail Eggs

Fried quail eggs are another delicious option. To fry quail eggs, heat a small amount of oil in a pan over medium heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Scrambled Quail Eggs

Scrambled quail eggs are a great option for breakfast. To scramble quail eggs, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them together with a fork. Heat a small amount of butter in a pan over medium heat. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are set. Season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Quail eggs can also be used in a variety of recipes, such as quiches, omelets, and salads. Experiment with different cooking methods and recipes to find your favorite way to enjoy these tiny eggs!


Based on the research conducted, quail eggs can last for up to 5 weeks when stored properly. The shelf life of quail eggs is influenced by various factors such as temperature, humidity, and storage conditions.

It is important to store quail eggs in a cool and dry place to prevent bacterial growth and spoilage. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or in a place where the temperature fluctuates frequently. If you are unsure about the freshness of the eggs, you can perform a simple test by placing them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom, while stale eggs will float.

Keeping quail eggs fresh isn’t as hard as you may think.

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