The Duck Egg-A Beginners Guide

Seeing as our name is Muddy Duck Ranch, I guess it is not a big surprise that we have ducks. The ducks that we have, the best product from them, in my opinion, are the eggs.  Here we have primarily Khaki Campbells and Metzer Farms Hybrid 300 Layers, with a few Pekins mixed in.  The Khakis and Hybrid 300s are both known for being prolific egg layers.  When I say prolific, reports put them both over 300 eggs a year.  That is a lot of eggs.

Well, I guess that begs the question, what is the difference between duck eggs and, let’s say, the ubiquitous chicken egg.  Let’s dig right into that question.

I would like to make all of this clear from the start, I am not an expert at any of this.  I am learning as I go, but here is what I know, or the research has shown me.

For me, duck eggs are a delicious step up from chicken eggs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken eggs, but there is nothing like duck eggs.

To start, duck eggs are nutrient dense.  Of course it helps that they are larger than chicken eggs, so that helps to make the numbers look larger.  So many people want to just look at the numbers, egg to egg.  I don’t think that is fair, rather look at things by volume.

From my calculations, there are slightly more calories and twice as much cholesterol in ducks eggs.  To me this isn’t a bad thing, as the low fat craze is just that, crazy.  The thing that people don’t seem to realize is, fat is necessary to healthy brain function along with many other body functions.  That is a conversation for another time.

Additionally, it is claimed that duck eggs are higher in many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.  While I believe this is true, I would like to temper this also.  Like so many things in life, the true answer is, it depends.  It depends on what the animal, be it duck or chicken eats.  If I fed a duck the same feed as a factory chicken then compared it to a free-range organic chicken egg, the free-range organic egg will beat it.  Obviously, I support buying from local vendors, especially when you are interested in knowing what goes into your food.  With that being said, ducks tend to have a more varied and wide ranging diet that contributes to higher vitamin and mineral content, like Vitamin A, D and E.

Chicken Egg Facts (Large Egg, 50g)

Calories: 71                                                         1.42/g

Total Fat: 5g                                                        0.1/g

Cholesterol: 211 mg                                        4.22

Sodium: 70 mg                                                  1.4

Total Carbohydrate: 0 g

Protein: 6 g                                                         0.12

 

Duck Egg Facts (70 g)

Calories: 130                                                       1.86

Total Fat: 10 g                                                    0.14

Cholesterol: 619 mg                                        8.84

Sodium: 102 mg                                                1.45

Total Carbohydrate: 1 g                                 0.014

Protein: 9 g                                                         0.12

 

As if this wasn’t enough, duck eggs are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  They are also high in Choline and Folate (B9).

Choline is an essential micronutrient that helps with healthy liver function.  Choline is found in abundance in duck eggs, organ meats, wheat germ, soy foods (yuck) and Brussel sprouts.

Folate (B9) is best known as a supplement for pregnant women to prevent birth defects.  It is also important for normal nerve and brain functioning.

All of this adds up to a very nutritious alternative to the traditional chicken egg.  This begs the question, is that all that duck eggs bring to the table?  Oh, no, wait there is more.

While the eggs are larger, they also have a thicker shell.  Remember this when you are trying to crack them, because you are going to wonder if you might need a hammer.  This thicker shell obviously should help to keep the egg intact through more of life’s little bumps (try not to test it).  It is also said that this helps to keep the eggs fresh longer.

Now all of this sounds good, but let’s get to the really important thing, taste.  How do they stack up against chicken eggs?

In my experience, when scrambling the eggs, they are may be a little creamier, but I don’t really notice a big difference.  If you fry them, that is where I start to notice a difference.

Fried duck eggs start to show their rich, deep flavor.  One thing to be aware of, duck eggs have a lower water content when compared to chicken eggs.  It is because of this factor that when frying duck eggs, do it on a very low temperature setting.  Take a little time when cooking these little pieces of delight.  Cooking duck eggs on too high of heat will leave you with a rubbery texture.

Remember, duck eggs are richer than chicken eggs, so consider how much you really want to eat.  If you normally eat 3 chicken eggs, have only 2 duck eggs. It’ll be enough.

One last piece of advice about frying, Try taking a nice piece of sour dough bread, cut a circle in the middle with a cookie cutter, and fry your egg inside. Oh, so, good.

If you like hard boiled eggs, duck eggs offer a creamy texture with deeper flavor than chicken eggs.  All of this is in a good way. No, a great way.  Something to consider, using a little older eggs (one to two weeks old) seems to make the shells come off a bit easier.  It also helps to put a bit of vinegar into the water that the eggs are boiled.

While cooking and eating duck eggs is a pleasure, where they really standout is in baking.  Due to the fact that the yolk is bigger, it has a higher amount of albumen. When used in baking, a lighter, fluffier delight is created.  Due to their larger size, don’t forget to account for differences in recipe requirements.  As a general rule, consider two chicken eggs to equal one duck egg.  You might have to experiment a little to get just the right balance.

Now, with all that goodness, how do we use it?  Keep an eye out for upcoming articles and recipes on MuddyDuckRanch.com.

 

Sources:

http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/poultry-poultry/are-ducks-the-new-chickens-10-facts-about-ducks/

http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/eggs-meat/egg-facts-duck-eggs-vs-chicken-eggs/

http://paleoleap.com/eat-duck-eggs/

http://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/supplements-remedies/choline/

http://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/vitamin-b9-folate/

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