There are lots of reasons to raise ducks, not the least of which is that they are fun to watch. On a more practical level, many people raise ducks for their eggs. If you search the Internet for information on preparing duck eggs, you will find a great deal of conflicting information. Some people claim that eating duck eggs causes stomach aches, others will tell you that the yolk of a duck egg is orange (they never include photos!), sometimes the flavor of duck eggs is described as “gamey,” and some people say that duck eggs are only suitable for baking.
We will begin with a few facts:
- Duck eggs are perfectly edible.
- Ducks generally lay larger eggs than chickens.
- There is more fat and protein in duck eggs than in chicken eggs.
If you cook a duck egg and expect it to look and taste like a big chicken egg you will be disappointed. The texture of a duck egg is a bit different than a chicken egg prompting reports that duck eggs are “rubbery.” The increased protein and fat content of duck eggs make them richer, which in turn makes them particularly suited to baking, especially desserts.
Most of the time adjusting to slight differences in taste and texture to foods you have always eaten takes a little time. For example, if you grew up eating white bread from the store, then decide to begin baking your own whole wheat bread, it may take a while before you prefer the taste of the whole wheat bread. The same is true of duck eggs.
In order to enjoy duck eggs, you will first have to be open to trying them, then give yourself some time to get adjusted to them. If you have compared the taste of very fresh chicken eggs to those bought in a grocery store, you already have an idea of how much variation in taste can exist between eggs.
The diet of the duck that produced your eggs will also make a difference in the taste and coloration of the egg. The yolk may be darker and more orange colored or lighter and more yellowish depending on the season and whether the duck is eating more free range or more bagged food.
If you are interested in raising ducks for egg production we have a special hybrid we call White Layer Ducks specifically for egg production. For pure breeds we recommend the Khaki Campbell, Pekins, Blue Swedish, Runners, and Welsh Harlequins.