What Is The Difference Between Quail, Duck, And Chicken Eggs?

Chickens are the most popular poultry birds and their eggs are found in most people’s food. Chicken eggs experience a larger level of consumption relative to quail and duck eggs, and the physical, chemical, and nutritional qualities of these eggs are very different.

What is the Difference between Quail, Duck, and Chicken Eggs? The main difference between quail, duck, and chicken eggs is in their size, with duck eggs being the largest and quail eggs being the smallest. Duck and quail eggs have more fat and a higher yolk-to-white ratio than chicken eggs. Duck and chicken eggs are always of plain color while quail eggs often have patterns.

Size Differences Between The Eggs

While there are a lot of factors that make eggs from ducks, quails, and chickens different, their physical appearances are very distinct. Their ranking in terms of size is; duck, chicken, and quail.

Quail eggs are a lot smaller than chicken and duck eggs, with a chicken egg being about thrice the size of a quail egg. Within the shell, the egg yolks also differ in density and shade. 

Learn how to raise your own quail and have an unlimited supply of eggs and meat.

duck eggs

Quail eggs have a deep yellow color, and despite their size, quail eggs amazingly have a large yolk-to-white ratio than chickens.

Chicken eggs are, by far, the most common poultry product and look like duck eggs, only not as big. On the inside, chicken eggs have a pale to a bright yellow shade while duck egg yolks have a rich golden orange color and are the largest of the three.

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How Much Do They Lay?

The number of eggs quails, chickens, and ducks lay depends on the breed and living conditions.

The Pharaoh D1 and Manchurian Cortunix are the most commercial quail breeds. They produce up to 300 eggs per year since they stop laying eggs only when days get really short in the winter. 

They start laying from as early as seven weeks and remain fertile until well after two years before egg production begins to decline.

A healthy, highly fertile backyard or free-ranging chicken hen lays between 240-260 eggs yearly on average, and the modern gender-linked hybrid chicken can lay up to 350 eggs under the best conditions.

Ducks generally lay fewer eggs than both chickens and quails, despite having the largest egg size of the three. However, the production rate of dual-purpose commercial duck breeds can reach between 300 and 350 eggs annually. The period between each egg production for most domestic breeds is too far-spaced for mass distribution.

Is There a Difference in Taste?

Quail and duck eggs generally taste very similar to chicken eggs but have a distinct, more intense flavor. Duck eggs have higher fat content and a larger yolk when compared to chicken eggs, making them less runny and chewier.

Duck eggs also taste richer and creamier when poached or scrambled, and are delightful for baking. Eggs laid by quails are tiny but have a more prominent yolk-to-white ratio and higher cholesterol levels than duck and chicken eggs. Quail eggs also contain more fats and taste richer than chicken eggs.

Which One Is More Nutritious, Healthy?

Before we move on to making a detailed comparison of these bird eggs’ nutritional profiles, here are a few things to take note of.

  • Duck eggs are 1.5 to 2 times the size of a large chicken egg.
  • Quail eggs are one-third the size of a chicken egg, and one chicken egg has the same weight as 5.5 quail eggs.

With the size of a quail egg relative to a chicken’s or duck’s in consideration, it is easy to organize a nutritional chart showing the most significant nutrients each cooked egg offers per serving.

 Quail EggsChicken EggsDuck Eggs
Mass9 g49 g70 g
Protein1.2 g6.2 g8.9 g
Omega-34 mg37 mg71 mg
Omega-684.5 mg570 mg391 mg
Cholesterol76 mg210 mg618 mg
Phosphorus20 mg95 mg154 mg
Choline24 mg94.8 mg184 mg
Selenium3 mg15.7 mg25.5 mg
Iron0.3 mg0.9 mg2.7 mg
Calcium5.8 mg41 mg44.9 mg
Vitamin A49 IU241.9 IU472 IU
Riboflavin (B2)1.6 mg0.6 mg0.6 mg
Vitamin B50.2 mg0.7 mg1.3 mg
Vitamin B60.01 mg0.1 mg0.2 mg
Folate5.9 mcg23.31 mcg56 mcg
Vitamin B120.1 mcg0.65 mcg3.8 mcg
Vitamin D4.95 IU17.38 IU52 IU
Vitamin E0.1 mg0.49 mg0.9 mg

Both quail and chicken eggs pack a low carb and fiber content and are rich sources of protein and fats. In proportionate servings, (5 or 6 quail eggs to 1 chicken egg), quails are slightly higher in cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals. Otherwise, quails offer just about the same nutritional value as chicken eggs.

While duck eggs are the trophy winners for the number of nutrients delivered to the body, they also have a very high cholesterol content; twice the amount of cholesterol recommended for daily consumption, to be specific.

This automatically means that eating too many duck eggs is very unhealthy, especially for people battling heart disease or high cholesterol levels. 

Moreover, some nutrients are assimilated in small amounts, so downsizing to chicken or quail eggs might be preferable, especially if large eggs make you queasy.

Which One is Heavier?

As mentioned in the earlier segments of this article, duck eggs are the heaviest of the three, weighing about 70 grams on average. Their apparent size is partially responsible for the augmented quantity of nutrients compared to chicken and quail eggs.

Chicken eggs follow closely behind, with the highest egg weight reaching up to 57 grams. The average chicken egg weighs 49 grams, and smaller ones fall between 35 grams and 42 grams.

At a mere 10 grams on average, quail eggs are the lightweights of the pack. The heaviest eggs never exceed 16 grams, less than one-third the mass of a chicken egg.

Is There a Difference in Shape and Color?

The most glaring physical dissimilarity between chicken, quail, and duck eggs is the size of each. All the three egg types share the same familiar oval quality, but with varying shape indexes or degrees of roundness.

Quail eggs have the highest shape index or sharpest elliptical base, while duck and chicken eggs tend to be slightly more rounded.

Color-wise, chicken eggshells come in a wide range of colors, contrary to the common belief that they only exist in shades of white or brown. Unknown to many, chicken eggs come in shades of dark gray (rarest color), dark brown, cream, pink, blue, and even green. 

Like chickens, ducks also lay a wide variety of colored eggs. Some of the many shades of color of duck eggs include white, gray, green, blue, and black.

Quail eggs have unique outer shell patterns, particularly because no two are the same. These cute, tiny eggs have a base shell color ranging from white to green and blue. The base color is the background upon which brown blotches appear around the eggshell’s surface.

quail eggs

Is The Difference Proportionate to Size?

Poultry bird eggs are naturally elliptical, regardless of size. An egg’s shape has nothing to do with its size, but rather, has everything to do with its shape index.

Egg color usually depends on the genetics or breed of the poultry bird. The egg’s size does not influence whatever shade or color it takes after laying/production.


Sam is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves spending time in the garden and learning about animals. His motivating forces are his wife and 5 beautiful children. When he doesn't get it right, he will go and try again!

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