Duck eggs are not nearly as popular as their hen-made counterparts, but that’s surprising considering how beneficial they are. While raising ducks isn’t as hands-free as caring for chickens, their eggs can make the extra work seem more worthwhile. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you may want to think about having a couple of ducks around the homestead in order to have easy access to their eggs.
As a general rule of thumb, duck eggs are almost twice as big as chicken eggs. They also have nutritional content that is proportionally greater as well. Their yolks are also far bigger than chicken eggs, and they contain more albumen, or the gooey substance that produces egg whites. The additional albumen also helps to prevent damage to the yolks, which makes them less-likely to break when cracking or cooking the egg.
Duck eggs have thick shells, which make them not only stronger, but this added protection helps to keep microorganisms out and freshness in. Consequently, a duck egg will last longer and probably contain a higher level of nutrients because they don’t degrade from exposure to the environment as quickly. While they are not impervious to cracking, this added strength makes them a little bit more forgiving when being mishandled. They are also easier to crack open, and the shells are not as likely to break into small fragments that accidentally end up in food from time to time.
Due to the large size of the yolk, a couple of duck eggs provides us with a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins and good cholesterol. They are also have a high fat content, which translates into more carbohydrates that can provide an energy boost. These carbs are also the good kind that burn more slowly than sugar, starches or grains.
Ducks have a laying season that can range from around 35-40 weeks per year, with some species capable of producing eggs up to 45 weeks per year. On average, healthy duck can produce between 150-180 eggs during their first couple of seasons. Again, productivity will vary depending on the species of duck, and you also have almost as many breeding choices as you do with chickens as well.
Best of all, duck eggs taste like regular eggs, but their taste is a little more, for lack of a better word, complete. They’re a little bit richer and flavorful, with deep-colored yolks and more translucent whites. In terms of handling, storage and preparation, you can follow the same steps that you would with chicken eggs.
The only real drawback is their price, and you can expect to pay at least double for duck eggs compared to ones from chickens. However, that cost will dramatically drop if you decide to raise some ducks alongside your hens. Give duck eggs a try for yourself. Learn more about the ins-and-outs of raising ducks on the homestead or during a period of self-sufficiency, because chances are that you’ll be glad you did over the course of time.