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Are duck eggs or chicken eggs better? Let's explore the differences.

January 6, 2023

If you saw a duck egg and a chicken egg side by side, would you know how to spot the difference? 

I’ll give you a hint: the first difference you’d probably notice is the size. An average duck egg is substantially larger than an average chicken egg - nearly twice as big. In fact, it’s comparable to an extra-large, “jumbo” chicken egg. 

But the differences go beyond just the outward appearance. If we decided to look inside, you’d probably be surprised that duck eggs are harder to crack than chicken eggs. This is due to the thicker shell membrane, which not only requires a little extra effort to break them open, but also results in a longer shelf life. 

Once we look inside, however, you’ll continue to see more differences. Compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs have a larger ratio of yolk to albumen (egg whites) - in fact, the yolks of duck eggs are nearly twice as large as that of chicken eggs. Moreover, the color and consistency of the albumen differs. The egg “white” of a duck egg is just that - nearly clear - whereas the albumen in chicken eggs is slightly yellow. Duck egg whites are also thicker and less “runny” than chicken egg whites - and they contain peptides which help the absorption of calcium. 

Why do these differences matter? From a culinary perspective, a larger yolk means that duck eggs are better for baking, because they result in a richer flavor and fluffier, lighter consistency.

There are also important nutritional differences as well. Although chicken eggs and duck eggs are both high in choline, dietary cholesterol, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important nutrients, duck eggs have higher concentrations because they are larger. In fact, a single duck egg contains nearly 60% of your daily vitamin B12 intake, and more than a third of your selenium. 

Not sure why this is important? Both vitamin B12 and selenium are essential nutrients, which mean they must be obtained through our diet. Moreover, they’re integral to the regular functioning of our bodies.

B12 helps form healthy red blood cells and DNA, assisting in the function and development of brain and nerve cells. It binds to protein in the foods we eat for absorption into the body. 

Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for thyroid function. It also lowers oxidative stress in the body, which has been found to improve immune function, reduce the risk of mental decline, and support healthy respiration. However, like many nutrients found in foods, the percentage of selenium found in eggs fluctuates depending on how animals are raised. If chickens or ducks are raised on healthy pasture and frequently rotated, the land retains minerals like selenium for animals to absorb, and then pass onto us.

Of course, chicken eggs are still an excellent source of nutrition. But if you’re looking for new flavors, want to experiment with your baking, or eat eggs infrequently, we encourage you to try our duck eggs. 

Already tried both chicken and duck eggs? Let us know what differences you can spot - and whether you think they make your meals (or sweets) better. 

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Marie Reedell

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