How Long Will Quail Eggs Last?
There is always a concern among quail farmers about the longevity of their quail eggs in various states. One of the most common questions I get, especially from the farmers that do not have an established market base yet, is how long quail eggs last.
This usually varies from fertilized eggs to unfertilized eggs, to refrigerated and unrefrigerated eggs, and eventually to quail eggs that have been boiled. Though it may seem like a complex question, it is not. Let us dive into the issue in detail.
How to Keep Quail Eggs Fresh?
The storage of quail eggs is slightly delicate in comparison to chicken eggs. To keep the eggs fresh for longer, it is always a good idea to store them properly and ensure that they remain viable for hatching and edible for consumption.
Whether you are storing the eggs in the open or a cold location, never wash them before storage, as this destroys the egg’s longevity. Leaving them unwashed is the best way to ensure that the protective coating around the shell remains, keeping the eggs viable for longer.
If hygiene and germs are a concern, then you can mist the eggs generously before storage. There are some liquids that you can use to mist your quail eggs. Each of them should be mixed half and half with distilled water.
The liquids of choice are Listerine (common mouthwash), hydrogen peroxide, and rubbing alcohol. Do not rub the solution on the egg, or wipe down the eggs with the solution, just mist them down.
How to Store Quail Eggs?
There are several ways to store quail eggs and the method of choice depends on the intended use. If you are looking to gather eggs for hatching, then a good way is to simply store them on the counter. This should only be used if the eggs are to be put in an incubator within seven to nine days, otherwise, they will start to lose their viability with each passing day.
A better way to store eggs for both hatching and consumption is to use a cooler or your fridge. If the eggs are for consumption, then simply putting them in the cooler is enough, just remember to add an icepack to the cooler to maintain the temperatures.
If they are to be incubated for hatching later, then it is essential to ensure that the eggs are stored at a 30-degree angle of incline. They should then be turned in the opposite direction once or twice every day. This will ensure that the embryo remains viable.
A good way to achieve this is to put your eggs in a storage container and prop up one end of that container on something like a piece of wood within the fridge or cooler. You can then change the propped-up end to the opposite side every morning and evening to ensure that the eggs remain viable for incubation and hatching later on.
How Do You Know if Quail Eggs are Spoiled?
It is easy to tell if a quail egg is viable for consumption or has gone bad. This can be achieved with the use of water and a large bowl. To do this, take a bowl and fill it with water up to a good height. Put all the eggs in question in the bowl.
You can do this one at a time or with a group of eggs depending on the size of the bowl. Any eggs that sink to the bottom of the bowl are viable and good to eat. Those that float are spoiled and should be discarded. With this simple method, you can be able to sort your eggs before you eat or incubate them once you remove them from storage.
How Long do Hard Boiled Quail Eggs Last?
A good point to note is that once you boil your egg, then it becomes unviable for incubation. Boiled eggs, whether hard or soft boiled, are only good for two days if stored on the counter. Any longer than that and you risk getting food poisoning from the egg. In the case of refrigeration, a boiled egg is good for up to one week. Any longer than that renders it unsafe to consume.
The reason for this short period is that washing, bleaching, or boiling eggs takes away the protective outer coating that naturally keeps the bacteria away from the eggs. Without this coating, they are unable to stay fresh for long as they can be invaded by bacteria and germs through their porous shell.
If you boil your eggs and peel them, then they are only viable for one day if stored on the counter. In the fridge, they will remain viable till the fifth day and should be consumed before then. Always cover the container that you store your eggs in with a clear film or a cloth.
Do not store peeled eggs in open containers even if they are being put in the fridge as the shell is no longer offering any protection from the elements.
How Long Do Quail Eggs Last in the Fridge?
In the fridge, eggs last about 30-40 days. The longer time is for unfertilized eggs. The eggs should be viable for consumption during this whole time. However, as stated earlier, some measures have to be taken to ensure that the yolk does not stick to the wall of the egg if they are intended for incubation at a later time.
Following these measures keeps your hatch rate high and prevents your embryos from dying while in storage.
How Long Do Quail Eggs Last on the Counter?
If you have a cool enough house, the counter storage is a good way to go if you are collecting fertilized eggs for incubation. The shelf-life of such eggs is usually about 7-10 days after which they should be taken to the incubator. Longer than this affects the fertility of the eggs as it begins to drop. This reduces the number of quails that you can hatch from the eggs drastically.
If the eggs are for consumption, then their shelf life on the counter is usually about 20 days. This is only if they are stored without being washed first. Unfertilized eggs may last longer than this, about 30 days, but this is a result of the inactive nature of the yolk.
At What Temperature Should You Store Quail Eggs?
I would like to cover this last aspect of egg storage. This is the issue of the temperature of storing the eggs. The temperature is important as it also determines the longevity of the eggs during storage.
Optimum temperatures will ensure that you get the most out of your eggs be it consumption, hatching, and selling. The best temperature to store the eggs that you are collecting for hatching is about 50-70 deferred Farenheight.
This is the ideal temperature as any temperatures far above 70 degrees trigger the development of the embryo within the egg and this will lead to the death of the embryos and decrease the hatch rate of the eggs in question.
Too much below 50 degrees is also detrimental to the eggs as the cold temperatures will kill the embryos and this will negatively affect the hatch rate of the eggs as well.
Quail eggs are a delicacy that should be enjoyed by all. Generally, quail eggs last depending on the humidity levels of the environment that you are in. In the summer, when the humidity is high, eggs tend to last longer. In the wintertime, eggs don’t last as long due to low levels of humidity.
The cause of this is the evaporation of the moisture inside the egg with time. This rate is faster where the air is dryer. Never wash your eggs before storage and as a rule of thumb, store your eggs pointy end down at all times.