Learn More About Bobwhite Quail Eggs

Learn more about Bobwhite quail eggs, when they produce and their nesting behavior in captivity.

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Amazing Bobwhite Quail Eggs

Bobwhite quail eggs are amazing because that pop of white is a reminder that nature is working.

These eggs are different than other breeds so let’s dive in and see if bobwhites will be a good option for your quail journey.


We begin with outdoor temperature and hours of daylight, because they both have a huge impact on quail egg season for all breeds.

Our weather is unpredictable, so when quail begin to start laying varies. This year it was the later of part of  April.

Bobwhite quail normally begin egg production between March/April, then end around Oct/Nov.  Their fertile season is almost compatible with daylight savings time and temperature has a huge impact.


If you’re looking to raise bobwhites for the purpose of eggs it’s really best to establish your flock in the late summer or early fall.  This way you can expect your females to begin egg production the following spring.

It takes 16 weeks for Bobwhites to reach maturity and almost 24 weeks for the females to begin laying eggs.

Its unlikely spring chicks will begin producing eggs that first season, keep in mind this doesn’t always hold true, some will begin laying if they were hatched early in the spring.

Egg Production and Active Females

One female will lay about 100 eggs their first season, this isn’t fantastic compared to the coturnix who lay almost double.

For this reason I raise my bobwhite quail for meat and some are released to nature, helping increase population.


We’re approaching a fun time in the sanctuary because the females are very active as they hunt for bugs between finding a safe place to lay their eggs.

During this time the females will also choose their mate.

That’s right the females decide who they will pair off with and sometimes they’ll select up to three different males per season.

Nesting Space

Since quail naturally hide in tall grass this is also where they build their nests.

It makes sense that spring is breeding season because this is when the grass is tall and thick.  Warmer temperatures and extended daylight is the final ingredient for amazing egg production.

In the above photo, this nest that was made inside their shelter box.

If the quail hatch this egg nest, the female may choose to raise the off spring by herself or with her mate.


On occasion I see bobwhite pairs roaming the sanctuary as they weave between the grasses to where I’m assuming is another nest area.

This pairing off is interesting to watch and it very common to see a male and female incubate and raise the chicks together.  Sometimes however the females will leave the nest for the males to raise alone.

It’s been my experience the female will stick around until the chicks are at least 6 weeks old.

When new life hatches in captivity, it’s pretty incredible and a great way to keep your flock growing strong in a natural environment.

Bobwhite quail are not for everyone, but I sure do love having them near my garden space.


Smiles and Sunshine, Carole West

Amazing Bobwhite Quail Eggs

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  1. Mike Hinds says:

    I have a PRO SERIES DIGITAL INCUBATOR Model # 4250 – 44 eggs auto turner. I got Bob White quail last spring and placed eggs in
    25 days ago. The first egg hatched at 20 days and died. All eggs are good as I did candle them, I chipped open a egg to day and I have
    a live chick. Too much blood yet still alive. Chipped another egg and same thing live chick, stopped chipping egg. I had the incubator
    in the garage about 50. To day I move it in the house, any chance I get any chicks? Should I just start over? I am 65 years old and have
    raised pigeons from 3 years old, as well as many other game birds. I have used incubator’s in the past and have never seen this before.
    Help if you can, Thank You, Mike.

    1. Carole says:

      Hello Mike – I’ve never incubated quail eggs, I buy direct from the hatchery or let the birds incubate their own eggs in their sanctuary. Had success with the Bobwhites doing that twice and it was amazing. I have however used that incubator for chicken eggs and found it to be temperamental as far as controlling temperature so make sure you go back and read all the directions. We ended up keeping our incubator in the house because we could maintain room temperature better which didn’t interfere when we opened the lid to turn eggs. Later we got an egg turner, not sure if an egg turner would even work for quail eggs though. If it was me I would let that batch you brought inside run it’s course. Then start over after that and don’t give up. Raising quail is very different than other birds and you have to pay more attention to details which means patience are required. I learned this the hard way but man it was worth every step and brought such value and appreciation to my life. Honestly the process just made me a better person. Valley Vet online may have a quail egg turner, the benefit here is you don’t mess with temperature when opening and closing that lid which is huge. Also check out incubators.org – they have a nice selection and when I purchased coturnix quail from local breeders they were all recommending the cabinet incubators for quail. Hope that helps… Carole

  2. Andrew says:

    Hi! I recently read your book Quail Getting Started. I was pleased to learn you’re also from Texas and the shout out you gave to Canton, which is where I live. I’m interested in quail primarily as a food security thing. My wife is allergic to chicken eggs and so can’t eat the wonderful eggs our chickens produce without bad side effects. Plus the relatively short time period to reach maturity, lower food cost, etc. make it an attractive potential meat source.

    However, I’m also interested in possibly marketing quail for sale via eggs, hatching eggs, chicks, live birds and small-scale processed birds. It seems to me those who are in the market don’t know much about marketing. Anyway…glad I found you on here and I look forward to reading more from you.

    1. Carole says:

      Not that far from y’all – we’re in Delta County. We just sold our farm in Greenville and I’m in the middle of getting ready to start over again. I plan to get my quail flock back up in the spring. I love these little birds and would recommend beginning with coturnix, especially since you’re thinking of marketing their eggs. I didn’t go into marketing details in the book because I wanted the focus to be on raising on the ground naturally. You’re right the marketing efforts are overlooked by many and I may write an article about it. I would approach small restaurants, privately owned. Quail would be an awesome for a menu special and the eggs are perfect as a salad garnish. I’ve seen some sell the eggs pickled at farmer’s markets and another overlooked element is the wings after you harvest the bird. Some people use the feathered wings to train hunting dogs but I like to make neat wreaths with with them. Meaning floral shops might be interested in them. The thing with successful marketing you have to think outside the box. Thanks for sharing and thank you for purchasing my book.

  3. Laurie silvia says:

    I see you say you release to help population. I was interested in raising for eggs and for release but read a lot saying they 1-won’t survive after being kept
    2- captive birds can make wild birds sick.
    Thoughts ?

    1. Carole says:

      I’ve had great success, they’ve even come back to visit which is really neat. It’s all how you raise them and why I always have them in a natural environment. You basically have to raise them hands off for it to work correctly. Raised in cages could cause extreme failure if you plan to raise for release.People raise bobwhites and release all the time and their’s really no way to prove that captive birds make wild birds sick. Releasing them when their a strong flock at 6 weeks or older has always worked great for me. My last release was a hoot, they basically refused to leave then eventually did after a few days. thanks for stopping by and hope I’ve helped.

  4. Stacey Keeling says:

    You are like a little Science teacher..you know that, right? I love that you are living the dream! 🙂

    1. LOL – Not sure I would go that far but I do enjoy the beauty nature provides and learning more inspires me to do a better job caring for the land.

  5. Joyce Olson says:

    These are such pretty birds and you know I find this article particularly interesting as my husband heard some wild quail 2 days ago-I suppose it is because they are in the active stage of their lives right now.
    Such wonderful information that you have shared today, Carole.
    Thank you!

    1. Spring and summer is their active time, they go doormat from say Oct – March. I love these little birds they bring me a lot of joy.

  6. Karen King says:

    It always amazes me to read about the detailed observation of particular animals – there’s so much we miss unless we take the time to really pay attention and learn. These little birds are fascinating and I look forward to hearing more about these eggs.

    1. Hey Karen, hope you’re having a good week. These birds are neat, I do prefer the bobwhite over the coturnix because they seem to enjoy life. They force me to slow down and pay attention and I simply love the detail. It’s been a positive experience and it’s true I enjoy the quail way more than our chickens. Thanks for stopping by always nice to hear from you!

  7. nature gurl says:

    How fascinating! It makes me tired thinking of her laying over 100 eggs! Whew!

    1. Good Morning Daisy – Their reproduction system is amazing. I recently processed some coturnix and thought I was just thinning out the male population but a female was in the batch. So when I was removing the insides I was introduced to eggs and had the opportunity to see the process. Quail are such efficient birds to raise, she had a string of 4 eggs basically, the beginning stages of one, another in development, after that another forming the shell and a fourth ready to drop. It was neat!

      1. nature gurl says:

        What a fun way to learn!

    2. Foyez says:

      Hi i am very interested about “Bobwhite Quail” do tell me how can i get or buy for farming i am from Bangladesh we also farming Japanis Quail can u get the information where i can get it & how Thanks. this little tiny eggs really looks very pretty !

      1. Carole says:

        You would need to do some research as bobwhite’s are a native breed and I’m not sure they would be shipped outside the states. If you have craigslist over there check there otherwise do an online search for hatcheries to see how far they ship.

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