Duck eggs are notable because they’re almost 50% larger than a large-sized hen’s egg. They have a large, golden, creamy yolk, and many people love them for their rich, extra-eggy flavor.
Their shells are also treat for the eyes. Compared with white or brown chicken eggshells, duck eggs come in a range colors, including pale blue, blue-green, charcoal gray and occasionally white.
The color depends on the breed of the duck, though the shell color sometimes varies even within the same breed.
This article reviews duck eggs, including their nutrition, benefits, and any side effects you may experience eating duck eggs.
■ DUCK EGGS STAY FRESH LONGER
Duck eggs have a thicker shell. And a thicker shell means shell means duck eggs stay fresh longer than chicken eggs.
■ DUCK EGGS ARE DIFFERENT
Duck eggs taste a little different. The taste of a duck egg is a bit creamier and a bit richer that a chicken egg. Some people with chicken egg allergies even find they are able to eat duck eggs.
■ DUCK EGGS ARE BIGGER
DUCK eggs are bigger than normal chicken eggs. The egg white of a duck egg contains more protein (9 grams of protein with a duck egg; 6 grams for a chicken egg), and the yolk is larger is larger in proportion to the egg white compared to a chicken egg. The larger yolk has a higher fat content, more healthy fats and even a little more cholesterol.
While on the subject of size, if you are curious about other types of eggs, quail eggs are tiny, about half the size of a chicken egg, and goose eggs are enormous, about twice the size of a duck egg.
Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein. They supply all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build the proteins. The egg yolk is rich in fat and cholesterol, as well as many vitamins and minerals.
A duck egg is slightly more nutritious than a chicken egg – party due to its size. An average duck egg weighs about 2.5 ounces (70 grams), whereas a large chicken egg is closer to 1.8 ounces (50 grams). As such, you get more nutrients in one duck egg than you do in one chicken egg.
However, if you compare the two by weight, duck eggs still come out ahead. This tables shows the nutritional breakdown for a 3.5-ounce (100-grams) serving of each – about one and a half duck eggs and two chicken eggs.
However, if you compare the two by weight, duck eggs still come out ahead. This table shows the nutritional breakdown for a 3.5 – ounce (100 grams) serving of each – about one a half duck eggs and two chicken eggs.
Duck eggs have a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Most notably, they contain nearly an entire day’s worth of vitamin B12, which is needed for red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and healthy nerve function.
Duck eggs are a bit larger than large-sized chicken eggs. They’re also an excellent source of protein, fat, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DUCK EGGS
Eggs are often considered to be a perfect food because they’re extremely nutritious. In addition, they contain various compounds that may bestow other health benefits.
Duck egg yolks get their orange-yellow color from natural pigments called carotenoids. Theses are antioxidant compounds that may protect your cells and DNA from oxidative damage, which can lead to chronic and age-related diseases.
The major carotenoids in egg yolks are carotene, cryptoxanthin, and lutein, which are linked to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
The yolk is also rich in lecithin and choline. Choline is a vitamin-like nutrient that’s essential for healthy cell membranes, as well as your brain, neurotransmitters, and nervous system. Lecithin is converted to choline in your body.
Choline is especially important for brain health. A study in nearly 2,200 older adults showed that higher choline levels in the blood were linked to better brain function.
It’s also an essential nutrient during pregnancy, as choline supports healthy fetal brain development.
The white part of duck and other types of eggs is well known for being rich in proteins, but it may also protect you from infections. Researchers have identified many compounds in egg whites that have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
In addition to their essential nutrients, duck eggs have many other health-promoting compounds. They’re beneficial for eye and brain health, and they may protect you from infections and age-related diseases.
■ MORE HEALTHY OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS IN DUCK EGGS
Duck eggs oftentimes have more vitamin D, particularly if they are pasture-raised. Vitamin D supports Bone health and skin, as well as mood. Ducks who roam outside (also known as pasture-raised) are far more likely to have higher levels of vitamin D from sunlight.
■ MORE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Duck eggs may be higher in essential vitamins and minerals like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and retinol.
The egg yolk quality and nutrition depend on what the duck eats. Ideally, ducks have access to the outside to eat plants and bugs, just like chickens, and their eggs will reflect this.
■ DUCKS ARE EFFICIENT EGG LAYERS
Free-range ducks are more efficient at laying eggs. If you have a laying flock, ducks might be easier on your wallet when compared to chickens. The layer feed needed to produce a duck egg is lower than the amount of feed to produce a chicken egg, and ducks tend to lay throughout the year whereas chickens tend to slow down in winter or during molts.
■ DUCKS ARE EASIER TO RAISE THAN CHICKENS
Ducks can be so much easier to raise than chickens. Ducks are generally hardier, healthier, don’t scratch up the landscaping, and their manure need less aging than chicken manure before you apply to your garden.
They do need a source of water to swim in (a big tub or kiddie pool), and they are a little messier than chickens.
■ DUCK EGGS ARE A BAKER’S SECRET INGREDIENT
Duck egg whites will give you fluffier cakes, taller meringue peaks and lighter 🍪 cookies. The secret is in the higher protein content of duck egg whites than in chickens egg whites, which makes them easier to cook with.
■ DUCK EGGS ARE TOUGH AND BEAUTIFUL
Duck eggs are beautiful, durable, and range in colors from white eggs to green eggs to gray eggs, depending on the breed. The large and strong shell also makes for excellent Easter egg decorating.
CONCERNS FOR SOME PEOPLE
Despite their potential health benefits, duck eggs may not be a good choice for everyone.
Egg protein is a common allergen. It’s one of the most common food allergies in infants and children, although most children tend to outgrow egg allergies.
Symptoms of an egg allergy can range from skin rashes to indigestion, vomiting, or diarrhea. In severe cases, a food allergy can cause anaphylaxis, which can affect your breathing and be life threatening.
The proteins in duck and chicken eggs are similar but not identical, and there are cases of people experiencing an allergic response to one type of egg but not the other. This, even if you have a reaction to chicken eggs, you may still be able to eat duck eggs.
Still, you should always play it safe and check with your Healthcare provider before trying duck eggs if you have a known or suspected allergy to other eggs.
Duck eggs are quite high in cholesterol, but most studies agree that the cholesterol in egg yolks doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease in healthy people.
Egg yolks have been shown to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in some people, but they often raise HDL (good) cholesterol as well.
Still, because of their high cholesterol content, duck eggs may not be safe for everyone, especially if you have diabetes or a family history of heart disease. Some research also suggests that the choline in egg yolks may be another risk factor for heart disease.
The bacteria in your gut convert choline into a compound called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Some research has linked higher blood vessels of TMAO to an increased risk of heart disease. People who eat a higher fat diet produce more TMAO.
However, it’s unclear if TMAO is a risk factor itself, or if its presence is an indicator of heart disease risk. Some foods like fish, are naturally high in TMAO, yet eating more fish is recommended as a way to reduce heart disease risk.
Food safety and, in particular, the risk of food one illness like Salmonellosis from Salmonella bacteria is often a concern with eggs.
Salmonella infection outbreaks from eating duck eggs have occasionally been reported, including a widespread outbreak in 2010 in England and Ireland.
In parts of Thailand, high levels of heavy metals have been detected in duck eggs.
Duck eggs are popular in many places around the world 🌎, especially Asia. However, many other countries don’t have the same safety standards as those in the United States.
All processed shell eggs – as opposed to frozen, dried, or liquid egg products – sold in the United States are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which sets safety standards for shell eggs from farm to table.
They recommend choosing eggs with clean, uncracked shells and refrigerated them at 40°F (4°C) or lower at home and cooking them until the yolk is firm.
Also, infants, children, pregnant women, older adults, and anyone with a compromised immune system is at a higher risk of contracting Salmonella, so they should avoid undercooked eggs. No one should eat raw eggs.
Duck eggs may not be a good choice if you have an egg allergy or are at a high risk of heart disease. The USDA regulates duck eggs and advices that you store and cook them properly to avoid foodborne illness.
You can eat duck eggs the same way you would eat any other type of egg. They have a rich flavor and texture. If you want to bake with them or use them in a recipe, you may need to adjust your recipe to account for their larger size.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Duck eggs are a tasty treat that’s worth trying if you find them. You can use them as you would use chicken eggs and enjoy their richer flavor and fattier texture.
They’re larger in size and a bit more nutritious than chicken eggs. They also provide antioxidants and important compounds that may benefit your eyes and brain, as well as protect you from age-related diseases or infections.
Check with your Healthcare provider before trying them if you have an egg allergy or are advised to limit eggs for other health reasons.