We raise Pekin ducks on our farm here in Virginia, right alongside our chickens. We have four ducks, Penelope, Sasha, Sonia and Brigid and one drake, Gregory, and collect between 3 and 4 eggs every day, right through the winter. In fact, the ducks out laid our chickens this past winter!
The ducks are a lot of fun to raise, but what we love best about them is their eggs. I had never eaten a duck egg before our ducks started laying them for us, so I didn't know what to expect.
Turns out, they are pretty similar to chicken eggs. Of course the duck eggs are larger - about 30% larger to be precise. Our duck eggs usually weigh in right around 3 ounces, which is considerably heavier than even jumbo chicken eggs.
Duck eggs contain slightly less water and more fat which makes them superior for baking. They make cakes and breads rise better. On the flip side, overcooking them makes them rubbery, so they aren't best used for frying or scrambling, although we do eat them both ways with care taken not to overcook them. I find the eggs do have a bit stronger 'egg' taste than chicken eggs which makes them stand up better to strong cheese such as Swiss or sharp cheddar, say in an omelet.
I always use our duck eggs in a one-to-one ratio in recipes that call for chicken eggs (I try and use the smallest for baking), but since a large chicken egg contains roughly 3 Tablespoons, you can also lightly whisk the duck eggs and then measure out 3 Tablespoon amounts to equal the number of eggs the recipe calls for.
Duck eggs stay fresher longer than chicken eggs due to having thicker shells. Their whites are firmer, and ounce for ounce they contain more calcium, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D than chicken eggs. They contain less Vitamin E and about the same amount of protein as a chicken egg, and one duck egg delivers almost a full day's serving of cholesterol. Neither duck or chicken eggs contain any Vitamin C. One duck egg contains about 130 calories, half of which are fat calories.
Their larger size and thicker shells make blown duck eggs very much coveted among the pysanky crowd to hand paint or otherwise decorate.
Overall, the large, rich duck eggs make a nice contrast in color, size, taste and composition to our chicken eggs and I feel blessed to have both provided by our backyard flock.
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