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Are Duck Eggs Healthier Than Chicken Eggs?

As a lover of real food I am always on the lookout for new, whole foods to try. When our local farmer offered free-range duck eggs in addition to their awesome free-range chicken eggs, I immediately wondered if duck eggs are healthier than chicken eggs. I did a little research on the taste and nutrition information before purchasing them and found some interesting facts.

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Duck Eggs Versus Chicken Eggs

Duck Eggs Are Healthier Than Chicken Eggs Ounce-per-Ounce

Duck eggs are a little bigger than large chicken eggs. (The picture at the top of the page shows a duck egg compared to an extra large chicken egg.)  It would make sense then, that one regular duck egg contains more nutrition than one regular chicken egg based on size alone.  However, I found that ounce per ounce duck eggs contain more nutrition than chicken eggs.

One ounce of a whole, raw chicken egg contains 40 calories, 3 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein.  (Of course, I’m assuming that is a battery produced egg and not a wonderful pastured egg.)  The vitamin and mineral profile reflects that a chicken egg contains 3% of a day’s worth of Vitamin A, 1% of calcium and 3% of iron.

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(Those numbers are based on the government’s standard of Daily Values, with which I do not always agree, but it at least gives us some idea of which nutrients our foods contain.)

One ounce of a whole, raw duck egg contains 52 calories, 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 4% of the RDA for Vitamin A, 2% of calcium, and 6% of iron.

So, ounce per ounce, it turns out that duck eggs are more packed with nutrition than chicken eggs.  In addition, my farmer sells the duck eggs at the same price per dozen as the chicken eggs.  That’s more nutrition for less money. Win!

What Do Duck Eggs Taste Like?

I know what you’re thinking.  Great!  Duck eggs are slightly more nutritious than chicken eggs.  But – how do they taste? 

Frankly, duck eggs taste just like chicken eggs, to me.

When used in baked goods (you have to be careful to adjust your recipes accordingly, because duck eggs are bigger) there is no taste difference.  When eaten scrambled, I can’t detect any taste variance from chicken eggs.  When prepared over-easy, with the yolks still mostly raw, I find the duck eggs taste slightly . . . eggier? By that I mean the taste of a chicken egg yolk can be pretty subtle, but a duck egg yolk has a distinct egg flavor. That’s likely due to the increased amount of nutrients in a duck egg as compared to a chicken egg.

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If you can find a local source of free-living duck eggs, give them a try!  I think you’ll like them.

Feeling adventurous? Get goose eggs from your local farmer and make this lovely Goose Egg Custard recipe.

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