Ducks eggs are, on average, the size of a jumbo chicken egg.  The yolks are a larger proportion of the egg and are higher in fats.  This means they don’t dry out as much when boiled and give baked goods a much richer finish.  Because our ducks are pasture-reared, the eggs also carry the benefits of a more complete diet that includes greens and bugs.  Generally speaking, because of the larger yolks, duck eggs are higher in omega fatty acids, cholesterol, choline and other vitamins and minerals that are found in the yolk.  And although the “higher in cholesterol” part can sound scary, this article does a good job of reviewing recent research regarding egg cholesterol and heart disease.

Duck eggs have very strong membranes under the shell.  Chicken eggs have the same membranes but they aren’t as thick. You’ll find that cracking duck eggs open is a little harder and that is totally normal.  Also, duck eggs are less “regular” than chicken eggs.  There are shell defects, irregular spots and discolorations, folds and calcium deposits more often than seen in chicken eggs.  Sometimes there are small streaks of blood on the yolks.  We candle the eggs to look for problems inside the eggs, but because of the small size of these streaks, we can’t see them sometimes.  These eggs, if kept refrigerated, are safe.  The blood streaks are NOT a baby duck starting to grow – they are just from the duck’s body laying the egg before completely resorbing the blood supply that helped grow the yolk.  You can usually remove them easily with a fork if you find them unappetizing.

For people who are allergic to chicken eggs, duck eggs can be an alternative, but please talk to your doctor before assuming it’s safe for you.