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12 Reasons Why Duck Eggs are Better than Chicken Eggs

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I've got twelve reasons for you why duck eggs are better than chicken eggs.

We've been raising ducks for more than ten years - as long as we've been raising chickens - and I'm constantly amazed at how many times I'm asked what we do with our duck eggs? 

Duck eggs are pretty much just like chicken eggs, except they are larger and richer. They're higher in fat and lower in water content.

And people are fascinated with them. I get questions like these all the time... 

  • Ducks lay eggs?
  • How often do ducks lay?
  • Can you eat duck eggs? 
  • What do duck eggs taste like?
  • What do you do with duck eggs?
  • Do you need a male duck in order for the females to lay eggs?

To answer your questions, "yes, almost daily, yes you can, a bit more "eggy", cook and eat them, and nope!"

But if you've ever wondered what the real difference is between duck eggs and chicken eggs, here twelve reasons why duck eggs are actually better than chicken eggs.

12 Reasons Why Duck Eggs are Better Than Chicken Eggs

1. Duck eggs stay fresher longer

Because duck eggs have a naturally thicker shell and inner membrane (most likely because wild ducks tend to lay their eggs next to water, so the shell needs to keep out moisture and mud), they will stay fresher, longer. 

They are also less likely to break if you drop one by accident. 

I've actually had duck eggs bounce off the ground after dropping them!

2. Duck eggs are richer and creamier

Due to their much larger yolk and higher fat content, duck eggs are richer and creamier, and taste less watery than chicken eggs. 

The whites of duck eggs are super thick which makes for a great poached or fried egg.

3. Duck eggs are more "eggy"

The taste of any type of egg does depend on the overall diet of the bird, but I find duck eggs to be more "eggy" and flavorful. 

Others have described the taste of a duck egg as "gamey". 

Ducks are great foragers if you can allow them some time on grass and will rival your chickens in how many insects, worms, slugs and bugs they will eat.

4. Duck eggs contain more  protein + "different" protein

Duck eggs contain more protein than chicken eggs - about 30% more - and it's a different protein, so those allergic to chicken eggs can often eat duck eggs and vice versa.

5. Duck eggs are more nutrient-dense

Any bird allowed to free range or graze on pasture will lay eggs with more nutrients than caged birds.

But ounce for ounce, duck eggs contain more Omega-3, Vitamins A and D, fatty acids, choline, folate, and iron than chicken eggs. 

6. Duck eggs are better for baking

Because duck eggs contain more fat and protein - and less water - and also have a higher yolk/white ratio than chicken eggs, they tend to produce fluffier cakes, higher meringues and souffles, lighter breads and cookies.

Duck eggs are just as versatile as chicken eggs for cooking and can be cooked and eaten any way you would cook chicken eggs. Just be sure not to overcook them. 

Their low water content can make them rubbery if they're fried or scrambled too long. Cook  them just until the whites are no longer watery and you should be fine.

7. Duck eggs sell for higher prices

Due to their relative scarcity and superior qualities for baking especially, duck eggs will often sell for a premium to pastry chefs, Asian restaurants or foodies. 

While chicken eggs generally sell between $2-3/dozen (with organic closer to $5 a dozen) nationwide, duck eggs often fetch $6-12 a dozen.

8.  Lower feed conversion

In addition to being able to sell your duck eggs for higher prices than your chicken eggs, ducks generally have a lower feed conversion ratio - meaning a duck needs to eat less feed than a chicken does in order to produce one egg. 

That will save you money on feed.

9. Duck eggs are larger

To make duck eggs even more economically beneficial, while ducks generally lay one egg about every day, more or less like chickens, since their eggs are about 30% larger, ounce for ounce you'll end up with more egg volume-wise from your ducks.

10. Ducks lay year round

Ducks also tend to lay better year round than chickens. 

Because they need a bit less light to stimulate their ovaries to release a yolk, our ducks continue to lay through the winter without added light in their house and are unconcerned by dark, wet days.

11. Ducks have a longer productive life

While chickens will only lay at their peak for a year or two and then production will start to drop off, ducks often have a longer, more productive laying life than chickens, laying fairly well for 4-5 years.

12. Ducks are low maintenance with a lower mortality rate

Ducks are honestly so much lower maintenance than chickens. 

Ducklings have a far lower mortality rate, not being susceptible to Mareks, Avian flu, or Coccidiosis like baby chicks. 

Ducks are also far also cold-hardy, more heat-tolerant, healthier overall, not as susceptible to parasites, and don't destroy your lawn or landscaping nearly as much.

One Downside to Duck Eggs

One downside to duck eggs is that they only come in three basic colors: a greenish "duck egg" blue, cream or white, and charcoal gray/black. But on the flip-side, those large white eggs are great for coloring at Easter time and more durable and less brittle if you want to blow some out to make ornaments or for Pysanky.

And all the benefits still make it well worth it to add a few ducks to your backyard! 

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