Ducks and duck eggs.

Pretty blue and white rouen duck eggs.

I have chickens that lay eggs. We’ve been eating and selling our eggs for many years now. But let me tell you about another egg that is overlooked, and underrated. The duck egg. Yes, you can eat duck eggs (I often get asked that) and they are not just for baking, though they do well in baked goods because they retain moisture better than chicken eggs. They are delicious and nutritious on their own. They have the same nutritional value as chicken eggs but because they are larger, they have more of the good things. Duck eggs are high in vitamin B12, and vitamin A, an excellent source of protein, riboflavin, iron and phosphorus, they provide us with thiamine, niacin, folate, zinc and calcium.

Scrambled duck eggs for breakfast

The flavour is richer and creamer than a chicken egg. Though you may not notice this, depending on how you cook them. To me they are richer tasting when scrambled as opposed to being cooked sunny side up. The yolks are larger and the shells thicker. Sometimes I have a problem with my chickens eating their eggs, but as far as I’m aware, I have not lost a single duck egg to them eating it because the shells are far too hard for them to crack.

I was on the fence a long time about raising ducks. Honestly I couldn’t see the purpose. I didn’t think they would offer anything I couldn’t get from a chicken. But when I finally went ahead and got some, I can say I’m glad I did because I really appreciate and value their presence on the farm. I have Rouen ducks which are considered a dual-purpose breed (egg and meat). They look similar to mallards and the males are non-aggressive. The Rouens don’t require water for mating (some breeds do) so if you have just a small pond or pool like we do, it is sufficient for them. As meat or as eggs, they provide interesting variety at the table. In the farm yard, they are a source of entertainment. If you’ve ever seen a duck in water, you know what I mean. I house them with my chickens and they do not require anything special apart from a nesting box on the floor, as they don’t roost and can’t jump up to the chickens’ nesting boxes.

If you are also on the fence about getting ducks, you have to make your decision based on what is right for your family and your farm. They have been a wonderful addition to ours!

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday blog hop hosted by GNOWFGLINS, Culinary Bliss and A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.

And Fight Back Friday at Foodrenegade.

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19 responses

    • Yolanda, yes they live, eat and drink with the chickens. I just have a small plastic kiddy pool. Hard-sided, not the blow up kind. It’s small, only 2 or 3 ducks can get in at a time. But I can dump it and refresh it often. I was going to get a bigger one or a second one. We’d like to dig a pond at some point but not because we have to, we just want to. :)

  1. Pingback: Ducks, cont’d | Prairie Sunrise Homestead

  2. Pingback: Simple Lives Thursday #92

  3. Pingback: Simple Lives Thursday, #92 - A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa

  4. We love our ducks and their eggs. We have khaki Campbell and they lay very well. We let them free range when we are home and pen them in their pasture when we aren’t so they eat all kinds of bugs and greens. Ours only lay at night so we can collect eggs in the morning which is nice, do yours? They are so much fun to watch they love dipping in a big water bowl we have for our barn cats it is just the size for one and they take turns in it. Though they do have a little pool.

    Erika

  5. Years ago, I raised both chickens and ducks! I traded some of my hens eggs for raw goat milk with my sister. I got brave one day when I learned you could bake with duck eggs! May I say, it was a wonderful day when I did! I used 1 duck egg for 2 chicken eggs! It was wonderful!

  6. We are planning on starting a small coop within the next month and I was thinking about 4 chicks and 2 ducks. Can the ducks eat the same feed as the chicks or do I need something different for them? I see I need to have somewhere for them to swim as well which makes sense, but would I need to keep that apart from the chicks? Thanks for your help!

    • Some ducks such as muscovies seem to live quite happily without have anywhere to swim at all. It’s important that ducks have access to a water container where they can get their whole head underwater. They seem to get eye infections otherwise.

    • Hi Tracy, I kept the chicks and ducklings separate at first. One reason was they were eating different ‘starter’. I’m not sure what the difference is between chick starter and duck starter except the chick was medicated. They all eat the same thing now. With only 6 birds, it would be much simpler for you to feed them all the same thing. You can check with your feed supplier. I also kept them separate until they were similar in size just to be sure the pecking order was fairly established.
      I don’t have the pool for the ducks were chicks or ducklings have access to it. I raise the young ones separate from the main flock and introduce them when they are the same size. It doesn’t sound like you have an existing flock. I’d wait until the ducks are big enough to get in and out of the pool before giving it to them. Ducklings can drown if they can’t get out. My chickens drink from the pool but they don’t go in it.

      I hope that was some help to you.

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