How are Duck Eggs Different from Chicken Eggs?
Aside from one coming from a duck and one coming from a chicken, how are duck eggs different from chicken eggs?
Duck eggs are usually slightly bigger than chicken eggs. Since we are a small farm selling directly to consumers, we don’t grade our eggs (duck or chicken). That means you will see some size variance in a dozen of our eggs. We candle our eggs to check for imperfections and hairline cracks. (And any eggs that don’t pass that quality check go to our pigs as a treat.)
The eggshell color for both duck and chicken eggs is determined by the particular breed. The breeds of ducks we raise typically lay white eggs. And the breeds of chickens we raise typically lay brown eggs. The texture of the shell is a bit different with duck eggs feeling a little more smooth.
Once you crack the egg open, you will see that duck egg yolks have a bolder color. All of our eggs’ yolks have vibrant color due to the birds foraging on pasture. While our chicken egg yolks are bright yellow, our duck egg yolks are a deep golden orange. And looking at the egg yolk to egg white ratio, duck eggs have a bigger egg yolk compared to chicken eggs.
The Eating Experience
Many people describe duck eggs as creamier and richer compared to chicken eggs. I suspect it comes from the relatively larger yolk, and the fact that duck eggs have more fat.
Overall, duck eggs have more fat and protein than chicken eggs, and less water. While we haven’t had our eggs nutritionally tested, since both our ducks and chickens are raised out on pasture, all of our eggs should also be higher in vitamins A, E and D, as well as omega-3s compared to conventionally produced eggs.
Interestingly, the protein in duck eggs is different from the protein in chickens. Meaning that people that have reactions to chicken eggs can sometimes eat duck eggs. Check with your healthcare provider.
How do you cook with duck eggs?
Duck eggs can be used in the same ways you use chicken eggs. With the lower water content, they can be easy to overcook when scrambling or frying - so be sure to watch them. Many bakers consider duck eggs superior in baked goods as they tend to make cakes and breads rise better.