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The Difference Between Chicken and Duck EggsAlthough chicken and duck eggs may seem similar at first glance, they’re actually quite different.
AppearanceChicken and duck eggs both can vary in color based on the breed of bird that laid them. The vast majority of both eggs are white, though they can be shades of brown, gray, and pastel shades. When comparing the two, one of the most notable differences is the size differences between the two types of eggs. A duck egg is generally about twice the size of a chicken egg. The internal structures of the eggs are also a bit different. The yolk of a chicken egg tends to be paler in color. A duck egg’s yolk tends to be a more golden, or even orange shade.
Nutritional ValueDuck eggs tend to be higher in nutritional value than chicken eggs. They contain more protein, fat, and many important vitamins and minerals. Here’s an abbreviated comparison between the two types of eggs:
|Duck Egg||Chicken Egg|
|Iron||20% of your daily value||7% of your daily value|
|Vitamin B12||168% of your daily value||32% of your daily value|
Are Duck Eggs High in Cholesterol?When you are comparing them to chicken eggs, duck eggs are significantly higher in cholesterol and fat. A single duck egg has more than twice the daily recommended amount of cholesterol, at 619 milligrams of cholesterol per egg. If you have or are at risk for heart disease or diabetes, duck eggs are likely not a healthy option for you, but always refer to your doctor for their recommendation. They do, however, have some excellent nutritional benefits as well, which should be weighed against their high fat and cholesterol content. Read More: Chicken Egg vs Quail Egg – Which is Better? We compare chicken and quail eggs and look at their taste, nutrition, size, coloring, and more!
Cooking With Chicken Egg vs Duck Egg2 duck eggs are equivalent to about 3 chicken eggs. Unfortunately, this is not the most simple conversion for something like duck eggs, as you may find it wasteful to crack open a duck egg and only use a part of it in a recipe that calls for less than 3 chicken eggs. There are anecdotes of people using the same number of duck eggs as chicken eggs in their recipe and noticing no difference in the outcome of their meal, so this may be a better option for you if you’re willing to experiment a bit. Read our related article on Everything You Need to Know About Chicken Eggs. This guide covers how eggs are fertilized and incubated, eating eggs, raising chicks, and MORE!
Can You Hard Boil Duck Eggs?Absolutely! Boiling duck eggs are much like boiling chicken eggs. The process is the same, the only difference is the cooking time for the duck eggs. As they are a bit larger, they will need to be cooked for a little longer than chicken eggs (about 2 minutes). It’s recommended to have the eggs boiled in the pot uncovered for about 1 minute and then covered for about 12 minutes. If you prefer a runny yolk, boil the eggs uncovered for less time. When peeling the eggs, be cautious. Duck egg shells are much thicker and harder than chicken egg shells, and have been known to cut people’s fingers! Read our related article, How Big is a Duck Egg in Inches? for the average size and weight of duck eggs compared to chickens.
Do Duck Eggs Taste Different?Duck eggs tend to be richer, gamier, and creamier than their chicken egg counterpart. Those who eat both types of eggs usually describe the experience of eating a duck egg as more intense and flavorful than a chicken egg. When eating the eggs plain, or as the focal point of a dish, you may notice a change in flavor between the two types of eggs.
Is There a Change in Meal Flavor?In general, when cooking with duck eggs over chicken eggs in a recipe, you should not expect a major change in the flavor of the meal. There may be some differences when baking with duck eggs over chicken eggs, but these changes are usually regarded as positive. The higher yolk to white ratio in a duck egg produces fluffier cakes, bread, and meringues.
Duck Egg RecipesYou may not be willing to experiment with replacing chicken eggs with duck eggs in a recipe that calls for chicken eggs. Never fear! Here are 12 duck egg recipes to get you started.
Where to Find Duck EggsUnfortunately, duck eggs are not as cheap or readily available as chicken eggs. Chicken eggs are found at almost any grocery store. Duck eggs are much more difficult to find. If you are looking to buy duck eggs, you will have to do some research to find out if there’s any company that sells them in your area. You may be able to purchase them from local farmers, farmers’ markets, and occasionally at a high-end grocery store. Because of the inconsistency in sellers, you will have to look around to find the best deal that you feel is the safest option. Make sure you are considering the sanitizing practices of the farm which you purchase eggs from. Read our related article on How to Make a Homemade Duck Egg Incubator. DIY incubators can work like a dream to hatch ducklings. Here’s how to make your own at home!
Should I Buy a Chicken or Duck for Their Eggs?Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question. Owning an animal is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. Before you even consider an animal like this extensive research should be done on their care. There also needs to be research into your local ordinances. Chickens and ducks are not pets, but livestock, and different considerations are made for keeping livestock than a cat or dog.
ChickensThe University of Florida has an excellent guide on getting started with and taking care of chickens long-term. Here are some key points to help you decide if chickens are right for you:
- Chickens are great for those who don’t want to branch out to the gamey flavor of duck eggs.
- They’re also great if you’re not looking to change up your recipes anytime soon!
- Some chicken breeds can’t fly due to their size. No chicken breed is built for long-distance flight, but you’ll still need to clip wings if you don’t want them hopping over fences.
- You can make some extra money with chicken eggs at your local farmer’s market.
- Chickens can produce around 250 eggs per year.
DucksThe RSPCA has a great resource on raising and caring for ducks. Here are some points to help you decide if ducks are right for you:
- Ducks are equipped to fly long distances, so you’ll need to clip their wings to prevent them from flying.
- Duck eggs are gamey, so you’ll have to decide if the flavor is right for you and your family.
- If you plan to sell them, you could make a decent profit compared to chicken eggs since they’re so rare.
- Ducks lay about 100 more eggs than chickens yearly (about 350)