Have you ever wondered about duck eggs and how they compare to chicken eggs? Find out the real difference when it comes to duck eggs vs chicken eggs and which one is better for you!
Here on our homestead we raise both chickens and ducks.We love both kinds of poultry and love their eggs equally as well.
Almost everyone is familiar with chicken eggs, but what about duck eggs? What’s the difference between duck and chicken eggs? And how do duck eggs they compare to chicken eggs in terms of nutrition, taste, and preparation?
Duck Eggs Vs Chicken Eggs: What You Need to Know
I’ll start with the most noticeable difference between duck eggs and chicken eggs- size. Our Khaki Campbell laid the large white duck egg on the left in the picture beolow, while the brown egg is from one of our standard sized chickens.
Even our newer layers- the Swedish Blue and Black- lay large to jumbo sized eggs right from the very start.
The size difference is just as apparent from the inside- the yolk is much larger in the duck egg than in the chicken egg.
Duck Egg vs Chicken Egg FAQ:
What do duck eggs look like?
Aside from the size difference, the shells of duck eggs are much tougher than chicken eggs, which can sometime make it hard to get a clean crack.
Their shell is thicker and has a waxy covering that protects them from water (since most ducks live near water).
Duck eggs are mostly white or off white, but some breeds lay different colors. We even have a cayuga duck that lays black eggs!
If you are raising your own ducks for eggs, be prepared for some dirty eggs. Ducks can make a mess and can often lay their eggs out of the coop in not-so-clean locations. They clean up really well though so it’s not a big problem!
What do duck eggs taste like?
Duck eggs have a richer and creamier taste than chicken eggs. To those with sensitive tastes, this may not be a welcome change.
But duck eggs are impacted by their diet. They are efficient foragers and all the healthy things they forage get transferred to you in their eggs!
Our duck eggs are highly sought after and may customers who try duck eggs never want to go back to chicken eggs.
Do duck eggs last longer than chicken eggs?
Due to the tougher shell, duck eggs have a longer shelf life than chicken eggs.
We leave our eggs out on the counter year round and the duck eggs always last longer, especially in the summer heat!
Duck Egg Nutrition (Compared to Chicken Eggs)
When it comes to nutrition duck eggs and chicken eggs are pretty similar in their contents. But in most cases duck eggs come out on top.
- Duck eggs have a higher (good!) fat content
- Ducks eggs are higher in protein than chicken eggs
- They also have a little bit more cholesterol than chicken eggs (again, this is a good thing!)
- They also contain more vitamins and minerals- such as iron, B12, folate and vitamin A
- They are full of Omega-3 fatty acids
Another potential bonus when it comes to duck eggs, is that many people who are allergic to chicken eggs can tolerate duck eggs. But be sure to talk to your doctor before giving that a try.
Here is an at-a-glance look at duck eggs vs chicken eggs:
Cooking with Duck Eggs
So obviously by now you should know the answer to the question: Can you eat duck eggs?
Duck and chicken eggs vary somewhat when it comes to cooking. I love using duck eggs in my breads and cakes. Hard boiled? Not so much. They get a little rubbery.
Though Anna at Salt in My Coffee has some tips for perfect hard boiled duck eggs!
Duck eggs have a richer flavor, which can be a positive or negative depending on your tastes. This difference in taste is most likely due to the higher fat content and the diet of the particular bird.
When we cook eggs plain we usually use a mix of duck and chicken eggs. But when I do cook them separately I can’t tell too much of a difference when I have a plate full of scrambled duck eggs or a plate full of chicken eggs.You might have a more sensitive palate than I do though.
Where do duck eggs shine? In baked goods!
Duck eggs contain more albumen, which gives them more structure, thus creating a very light, fluffy, and rich baked good with a higher lift than those made with chicken eggs.
Many professional bakers rely on duck eggs as a secret ingredient in their cakes, breads, and cupcakes!
Where to Find Duck Eggs
Duck eggs are becoming more and more common in local grocery stores and markets, but they can be harder to find.
I suggest checking your local farmers market for fresh duck eggs.
Farm fresh eggs will, of course, be fresher and will likely be from cage-free or free range ducks who have eaten a good, balanced diet.
Are duck eggs more expensive?
They can be.
When we sold our eggs at the farmers market we priced our chicken eggs at $3.50 and our duck eggs at $5.
Again, finding a small farmer is your best bet to find reasonable priced duck eggs. Specialty grocery stores are more likely to over inflate the price of the eggs for profit.
Raising Ducks vs Chickens
The easiest way to get a ready supply of eggs? Raise your own chickens or ducks!
When it comes to raising ducks there are a few more differences. They are a bit messier- especially around water. Most backyard breeds don’t need access to a pond, but would be very grateful to have access to something to submerse themselves in- such as a wading pool, barrel or washtub.
They do need to be able to get their head completely wet every now and then and they need water to swallow their food, so make sure there is always water available.
Ducks are easier on the garden too. They shovel and rake with their bills as opposed to scratching and pecking. So they take less toll on the yard and tend to leave the garden produce alone and go straight for the weeds and bugs.
If we weren’t so attached to our chickens I would consider giving them up completely in favor of ducks and save the cost of fencing the garden! (I don’t think my kids would ever allow that!)
Related Reading: What to Feed Your Backyard Ducks
When it comes to laying the comparisons will differ based on breed. Some ducks lay eggs year round, some are more seasonal.
Most chickens lay an egg a day or every other day for about 2 years before they taper off and lay more intermittently. Somewhere around age 2 is when our chickens are replaced with new hens and the old ones become dinner- for someone.
But if you want an amazing layer, the Khaki Campbell duck is the best one for duck eggs. Their eggs are huge, they lay pretty close to every single day year round, and our first one, who is close to 3 years old now, is still going strong.
So there you have it. The main differences between duck and chicken eggs. Have you tried duck eggs or raise ducks? How do you think they compare?