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Monday, May 21, 2012

Duck Eggs


We raise Pekin and Saxony ducks on our farm here in Virginia, right alongside our chickens.  We have four Pekin ducks, Penelope, Sasha, Sonia and Brigid and one drake, Gregory, and collect between 3 and 4 eggs every day, right through the winter. In fact, the ducks out laid our chickens this past winter !



Our Saxonies haven't started laying yet, but we have two drakes, Sebastian and Gretel and a duck, Custard.


The ducks are a lot of fun to raise, but what we love best about them is their eggs.  I had never eaten a duck egg before our ducks started laying them for us, so I didn't know what to expect.  

Turns out, they are pretty similar to chicken eggs.  Of course the duck eggs are larger - about 30% larger to be precise.  Our duck eggs usually weigh in right around 3 ounces, which is considerably heavier than even jumbo chicken eggs. 

Duck Eggs are an alkaline-producing food, one of the few foods that leave your body more alkaline. This is of great benefit to cancer patients as cancer cells do not thrive in an alkaline environment. Chicken eggs are an acidic food leaving your body more acid.

Duck eggs contain slightly less water and more fat which makes them superior for baking.  They make cakes and breads rise better. On the flip side, overcooking them makes them rubbery, so they aren't best used for frying or scrambling, although we do eat them both ways with care taken not to overcook them.  I find the eggs do have a bit stronger 'egg' taste than chicken eggs which makes them stand up better to strong cheese such as Swiss or sharp cheddar, say in an omelet.

I always use our duck eggs in a one-to-one ratio in recipes that call for chicken eggs (I try and use the smallest for baking), but since a large chicken egg contains roughly 3 Tablespoons, you can also lightly whisk the duck eggs and then measure out 3 Tablespoon amounts to equal the number of eggs the recipe calls for.

Duck eggs stay fresher longer than chicken eggs due to having thicker shells.  Their whites are firmer, and ounce for ounce they contain more calcium, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D than chicken eggs. They contain less Vitamin E and about the same amount of protein as a chicken egg, and one duck egg delivers almost a full day's serving of cholesterol.   Neither duck or chicken eggs contain any Vitamin C.  One duck egg contains about 130 calories, half of which are fat calories.  

Their larger size and thicker shells make blown duck eggs coveted among the pysanky crowd.  I sell some of our hand blown eggs in our etsy shop ...

to be made into beautiful ornaments such as these beautiful pieces of workmanship by EggstrArt.

Overall, the large, rich duck eggs make a nice contrast  in color, size, taste and composition to our chicken eggs and  I feel blessed to have both provided by our backyard flock.

Purchase hand blown duck eggs HERE.

14 comments:

  1. At what age do ducks generally start laying? My ducks are 16w, 15w, and 12w. I have no idea when to expect them to start laying.

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    1. I don't remember exactly when the ducks started. I think it was a bit later than the chickens we had that were the same age....you should be seeing eggs from them in the next month or so tho.

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  2. Great information, thanks. I don't know much about ducks, I just hear them on the weekends. A few live up the road from us. They are loud but it's nice hearing them :)

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  3. I had Pekins as a child. They followed me everywhere and sat in my lap, even as adults. I just purchased four Indian Runner ducklings. At what age can I determine the drakes? Three of the ducklings are bigger than the fourth...I hope I don't have 3 drakes. Is the quack sound the only sex determiner?

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    1. There is a way to vent sex ducklings I believe, but best left up to the professionals. Drakes also have curly tails. I don't remember when exactly they show up. Maybe you just have one runt ! My drake wasn't appreciably larger than the ducks until they were many many months old.

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  4. Really interesting article. Thanks, Lisa!

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  5. ooh...i wonder if ducks count as livestock with our bylaws...if yes, sadly i can't but...tempting...

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  6. We just had a couple wild mallard ducks decide our backyard pond is their home. They are pretty friendly, but leave every night so I assume they are going somewhere else to sleep. I don't think they will nest, but still fun chatting with them all day. I give them a bit of birdseed with sunflower seeds in it.

    Hopefully the city doesn't think I am raising ducks! It has been a pain just to allow urban hens. They would overreact and probably table the whole ordinance.

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  7. I love duck eggs! We use to have ducks and ate the eggs all the time. Great post.

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  8. My grandfather always prepared duck eggs because he didn't have chickens. Love duck eggs!!!

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  9. I love duck eggs! We had several ducks in our flock when I was a kid and ate them regularly.

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  10. Great article!I will add a few ducks to my next flock,thanks for posting this great info!

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  11. Really interesting ! We really enjoy reading your blogs.!!

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Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl
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