Like many poultry birds, quails are raised for either their meat or their eggs, as both products are popular for their great taste. The egg-laying ability of quails varies based on the breed, causing some quail breeds to be preferred over others.
What Breeds Of Quails Are Best For Eggs? While the Coturnix quail is indisputably the best quail breed for eggs, other impressive breeds include the Bobwhite quail, the European quail, the California quail, and the Button quail. The Coturnix can lay up to 300 eggs a year while the others lay annually only around 200 eggs.
Best Quail Breeds For Eggs
Egg production is a priority when it comes to raising poultry birds, and quails are some of the most notable species that are bred for this purpose. Below is a breakdown of some quail breeds that are outstanding for their egg production, and the reasons why they stand out from the rest of the bunch.
The Coturnix quail is the first on our list of quail breeds that are the perfect choice if you want to raise quails for eggs. This quail breed has other commonly used names such as the Japanese quail and the Pharaoh quail.
The first reason why the Coturnix quail is a popular egg breed is that a healthy female can lay up to 300 eggs in a single year. This is usually the highest number of eggs that you would get from a Coturnix quail, but the lowest number is around 200.
Among all the breeds of quails, the Coturnix is one of the smallest, with the adults often getting to a maximum height of about 7.1 inches (18 cm). The Coturnix make up for their small size with a speedy growth rate, as they can mature at just 6 weeks of age.
When it comes to egg production, the Coturnix starts quite early, producing eggs at just 6 to 8 eight weeks old. The eggs of Coturnix quails taste a lot like chicken eggs, even though they are a lot smaller.
Spotting eggs laid by a Coturnix quail is simple. The shells are cream-colored and spotted with brown patches. Raising Coturnix quails is very easy since they are gentle, and their calm temperament makes them a farmer’s favorite.
Remarkably, the Coturnix quail can also be raised for meat. Their meat is nice-tasting, and a lot of chefs eagerly include them in their dishes.
Asides from the regular Conturnix, there is another breed called the Jumbo Coturnix that grows a lot larger, serving as a better meat option.
Next on our list is the Bobwhite quail. This quail breed does not lay as many eggs as the Coturnix, but its average yearly egg count ranges between 150 and 200, which is quite high. This quail breed is well known, with the Northern Bobwhite quail being, perhaps, the most popular.
The Bobwhite quail is slow to mature and it begins to produce eggs a lot later than the Coturnix, with the average age being around six months. The eggs of Bobwhite quails are very large when compared to many other quail breeds.
The Bobwhite quail is not the most impressive when it comes to the number of eggs, but the size of its body and eggs make up for it. The Bobwhite quail is easily one of the largest breeds, having a body weight between 150 and 250 grams.
In terms of appearance, the eggs of the Bobwhite quail are either creamy white or dull-colored.
Raising the Bobwhite quail is generally regarded as a difficult task, and it can be hard to manage. Bobwhite quails are quite aggressive, and it is encouraged that they should be raised in pairs.
Due to how large a Bobwhite quail can get, they are famously raised for meat. If you consider that they provide a fair number of eggs and an impressive amount of meat, it is understandable why they are recognized as one of the best quail breeds.
The button quail is yet another breed that outputs a good number of eggs. Routinely, they lay one egg almost every day, and it is common to find a button quail that lays 5 eggs in a week. This figure amounts to about 200 eggs yearly.
Despite the fact that button quails tend to lay a lot of eggs, they are not raised by a lot of people for their eggs because of how small the eggs are. Button quails are known for being one of the smallest quail breeds, weighing just about 57 grams.
Button quail’s eggs are also very tiny. They are also called King quails and they do not live very long. Their small size is often a discouragement if you are thinking of raising them for meat.
Despite these seeming disadvantages, the Button quail matures very quickly, and they can begin laying eggs between 8 to 12 weeks age. Their eggs come in a wide variety of colors including green, cream, and brown, and often have spots.
The small size of button quails is made up for by their personality. Raising button quails is very easy, as they are quiet and neat. Considering the size and temperament of button quails, breeding them can be enjoyable, and a lot of people choose to raise them as pets.
Another common name for the California quail is the Valley quail, and it is officially crowned as the state bird of California. These birds are popular for their distinct appearance, and under the right conditions, their remarkable egg-laying capacity.
If raised properly, in a good environment, and on a suitable diet, a California quail hen can lay over 200 eggs in a year. Their eggs are usually white or cream-colored and are decorated with brown markings.
California quails are not small in size either and they can grow quite large when bred and fed correctly. The height of an adult California quail can get to 9.8 inches (25 cm) while the weight ranges between 150 and 190 grams.
Depending on their gender, California quails come in shades of gray and brown, while their black face might be adorned with white stripes. On their chest, the markings are also appealing, sporting a combination of cream, white, and chestnut brown.
The California quail is a social breed that is easy to raise and it spends most of its time on the ground, not bothering to fly. With the combination of their social behavior and beautiful appearance, the California breed is often used for ornamental purposes.
The Common quail is the last on our list of quails that stand out for their egg production. One other name that is used for the Common quail is European quail.
As corresponds with its name, the European quail is popular in Europe, but it is also found in some parts of Asia and Africa.
There are different types of the Common quail and the hens among them that do not attempt to hatch their eggs can output over 200 eggs within a year. These eggs are similar in appearance to those of the Coturnix, having a creamy-white shell that is spotted with brown markings.
Raising Common quails is straightforward and simple, as they do not have an unpleasant temperament when compared to other poultry birds. So, even if you are new to quail farming, going for the Common quail should not be a problem.
The size of a Common quail is moderate, as they are not very large or very small. The average height of an adult Common Quail is between 6.3 and 7.1 inches (16 and 18 cm). The weight of fully grown Common quail is often between 70 and 140 grams.
The Common quail has a lifespan between 2 and 5 years. Even if they do not live for very long, they make up for it by reaching maturity a lot quicker than most other quails.
Some Common quails begin laying eggs when they are around 6 weeks old.
Among the quail breeds listed and explored above, the Coturnix stands far and above as the best breed to raise if eggs are your priority. The Coturnix also gets mature early, meaning it can start producing eggs way ahead of its competition.
The other breeds do not quite lay as much as the Coturnix and start at much later ages, but they cannot be discredited either. Some of these other breeds have advantages over the Coturnix because their eggs are larger and because they grow to a larger size, making them better suited to be raised for meat.