The subject of “duck eggs vs chicken eggs” seems to be a decades-long debate with no clear answer. Which is healthier? What are the benefits of each? Are they essentially the same?
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
Duck Eggs VS Chicken Eggs | Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Benefits of Duck Eggs?
Contrary to popular belief, duck eggs actually have a ton of benefits over chicken eggs. Some of these include:
- The shells of duck eggs are thicker than those of chicken eggs'. This gives them a much longer shelf-life compared to the latter.
- On average, they are 50% bigger than chicken eggs. In fact, two duck eggs are equal to about three chicken eggs.
- They also have more albumen compared to chicken eggs, which makes them great for baking. Albumen gives pastries a higher lift and more structure, which means your cakes will come out lighter and fluffier.
- Duck eggs have almost twice the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and fat content compared to chicken eggs. An average chicken egg contains 37 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids and 5 grams of fat – duck eggs have 71.4 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids and 9.6 grams of fat.
- They also have a higher protein content (8.97 grams vs. 6.28 grams in chicken eggs), making them great for those on a high-protein diet. This, combined with their higher fat content, makes duck eggs a great choice for those following Ketogenic or Paleo diets.
- Duck eggs are a great alternative for those allergic to chicken egg because the proteins they contain are slightly different. All the same, you should check with your doctor to make sure it is safe to use as a substitute.
Which is Healthier – Chicken or Duck Eggs?
The first thing people discuss when comparing duck eggs vs chicken eggs is their nutritional value. When it comes to this, duck eggs are the clear winner.
Duck eggs are significantly healthier than chicken eggs. Aside from the higher Omega-3 fatty acids, fat, and protein they contain, they also hold an array of nutritional advantages over chicken eggs.
They contain more magnesium, iron, calcium, and plenty of other nutrients. Studies also show that egg whites found in duck eggs enhance and promote the ability of the body to absorb essential minerals in the digestive system.
Duck eggs are also rich in various antioxidants that help prevent neurodegenerative conditions and heart disease. It contains selenium as well, which is an essential nutrient in strengthening the immune system – something that people really need these days.
Additionally, duck eggs also contain Vitamin B12 which is essential for DNA synthesis, the formation of red blood cells, and the healthy function of nerves. They also hold lots of Vitamin A, which is important in maintaining strong eyesight and healthy skin and blood.
Furthermore, duck eggs also contain choline which shields the liver from damage and cholesterol which aids in muscle control. While it is commonly believed that this cholesterol is what makes duck eggs the unhealthier option, studies actually agree that cholesterol found in duck eggs doesn't actually increase the risk of heart disease.
Lastly, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given them exactly the same regulations as other poultry eggs like chicken, ostrich, and quail eggs. So no worries, Homesteaders.
Do Duck Eggs Taste the Same as Chicken Eggs?
Assuming the two have a similar diet, duck eggs and chicken eggs actually have a very similar taste. However, ducks generally prefer a high-protein diet like bugs, slugs, and snails. While this makes them convenient for farmers, it does have an effect on the duck eggs' taste.
In general, however, duck eggs have a much richer taste and a creamier consistency. If you're not that sensitive, there really isn't that much difference to the flavor.
Can I Use Duck Eggs Instead of Chicken Eggs?
Yes, you can! There really isn't anything chicken eggs are capable of doing that duck eggs aren't. In fact, they are extremely popular in Asian cuisines like Vietnamese and Chinese.
However, because of their bigger size, higher fat content, and creamier consistency, recipes designed for chicken eggs can't easily be substituted for duck eggs. It will take some experimenting to figure out exactly how much duck egg you should use.
When it comes to baking, they are actually the better option as they give cakes and pastries that extra fluff.
In any other situation, you can easily cook them the way you would chicken eggs. They also poach, fry, and boil well. For starters, try cooking a basic scrambled egg to see how they compare.
Why Do We Eat Chicken Eggs and Not Duck Eggs?
As we saw above, when comparing duck eggs vs chicken eggs, the former has a clear advantage. However, chicken eggs remain the popular option for a couple of reasons:
- Duck eggs' thicker shells make them more difficult to crack. It might take some getting used to crack them clean and not have shell bits falling into your food.
- There is a common misconception that duck eggs are unhealthier because of their higher cholesterol content. However, as mentioned before, cholesterol found in eggs is not just safe but even has health benefits as long as the consumer lives a healthy lifestyle.
- Another misconception is that duck eggs are fattening because of their higher calorie content which is almost twice that of chicken eggs. These calories, however, are sourced from a higher mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- The egg white found in duck eggs is harder to whip because of their lower water content. This also makes them rubbery when hard-boiled for too long.
- They are also not as easy to find as chicken eggs, which are easily available in groceries everywhere.
- Because of their bigger size and higher nutritional content, duck eggs typically cost more than chicken eggs. However, for homesteaders, the cost of raising chickens and ducks is actually very similar, so harvesting those eggs should not be an issue.
Want to know more about the differences between duck and chicken eggs? Check out this duck eggs vs chicken eggs taste test video courtesy of Arms Family Homestead:
People always have a lot of questions when it comes to the benefits of duck eggs and how they compare to chicken eggs. Hopefully, the answers above can help settle this decades-long debate of duck eggs vs chicken eggs. Regardless of which you think is better, wise homesteaders know that they both serve their own purpose and are also equally delicious!
Do you have other questions about duck eggs vs chicken eggs? Ask us in the comments section below!
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