Eggs containing live Japanese quail embryos were imaged using micro-magnetic resonance imaging (µMRI) at 24-h intervals from Day 0 to 8, the period during which the main body axis is being laid down and organogenesis is taking place. Considerable detail of non-embryonic structures such as the latebra was revealed at early stages but the embryo could only be visualized around Day 3. Three-dimensional (3D) changes in embryo length and volume were quantified and also changes in volume in the extra- and non-embryonic components. The embryo increased in length by 43% and nearly trebled in volume between Day 4 and Day 5. Although the amount of yolk remained fairly constant over the first 5 days, the amount of albumen decreases significantly and was replaced by extra-embryonic fluid (EEF). 1H longitudinal (T1) and transverse (T2) relaxation times of different regions within the eggs were determined over the first 6 days of development. The T2 measurements mirrored the changes in image intensity observed, which can be related to the aqueous protein concentrations. In addition, a comparison of the development of Day 0 to 3 quail embryos exposed to radiofrequency (rf) pulses, 7 T static magnetic fields and magnetic field gradients for an average of 7 h with the development of control embryos did not reveal any gross changes, thus confirming that µMRI is a suitable tool for following the development of live avian embryos over time from the earliest stages.