How do I tell the difference between

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10 years 8 months ago #35599 by ZummersetGirl
A duck egg and chicken egg?

I have 2 Pekin ducks (born jan 2013 approx) and I think one of them has started to lay - I have found an egg just sitting in the chicken coop rather than in the nest where I normally find the chickens' eggs. I have 2 newish chickens who may be responsible for the egg and I know what the other 3 chickens lay as they were laying before the winter and I know what they look like.

The egg is very slightly larger - just a smidgen larger, hardly noticeable - and is pale grey/white/beige colour - well, it is very difficult to describe!! It is almost shiny in some light.

I haven't ever eaten duck eggs - what will they taste like and how long can I keep them for?

Looking forward to your answer :)

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10 years 8 months ago #466240 by The dream
In my limited experience I would say duck eggs are bigger than chickens but no doubt there are some more experience egg-sperts around.

The man at the top of the hill didn't fall there! [:D][^]

7 acres, 10 sheep, 1 cow, 10 chooks, 4 goats, 3 very spoilt cats. Living the dream.

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10 years 8 months ago #466245 by LongRidge
My experience is limited too, but generally a duck egg from the same sized duck as her chicken friend will be bigger. The shell tends to be much thicker and the membrane a bit thicker. Depending what the duck has been eating in the pond and drain, the flavour will be a bit richer.
I love duck eggs but remember that ducks go into dirtier ponds and drains than chickens so can get more water-borne bacteria onto their feathers than hens, which can get onto the egg then into the egg. So cook duck eggs, and wash hands after handling them in the kitchen.

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10 years 8 months ago #466261 by kai
Pekin eggs are larger than chicken eggs in general and white in colour, not beige. If you crack open a pekin egg the yolk is larger in comparison to size of the white than that of a chicken egg.

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10 years 8 months ago #466280 by Ruth
Duck egg shells generally have a lovely waxy feel to the outside.

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10 years 8 months ago #466283 by Furball
Try and crack it. If it's really hard to crack and the membrane inside kind've holds it together even when the shell is very broken, and then when you finally get it open it has a huuuge yolk... it's a duck egg. After using duck eggs for years I now have real trouble handling and using chook eggs as they just seem so fragile and practically shatter to flinders with just a gentle tap.

I'm betting it is a duck egg because of the stupid place it was laid - all ducks except muscovies have a very laid back attitude about where to drop eggs and rarely put them safely in a nice nestbox, preferring to scatter them all over the place.

Also, don't get too hung up on the "duck eggs are dirty" thing. If it was that easy for bacteria to get inside the egg from wet feet/mud etc then no ducks would ever hatch a brood. I've had duck eggs for up to 2 months in the fridge and they have come out fine, without going bad. I've also found and used some very questionable ones from accumulating nests where I have no idea of the vintage (but for those I do crack each one separately in a cup, so if I do find a bad 'un it doesn't contaminate all the previously cracked ones.)

What you must never do, however, is wash them. Even if you find the poopiest egg in the world, just flick off the worst lumps and then store as usual. Washing removes the egg's protection, and then the bugs will get in.

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10 years 8 months ago #466286 by Poultry Valley and Lifestyle
Duck eggs are generally larger, and the shells are also stronger and have a more " waxy " surface and chicken eggs have a more porous ( chalky ) surface, if that makes sense [;)]

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10 years 8 months ago #466313 by thevarneys
Ditto to everyone else. Harder shell, often whitish/pale greyish, massive yolk, thick white, richer taste, laid in silly place, :D Yummy duck egg!

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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10 years 8 months ago #466314 by thevarneys
I too was interested in the 'duck egg germs' thing, and soaked a duck egg in a cup of food colouring. Next morning when I cracked it open it was the normal colour, not blue! Which suggests that particles as small as H2O can't penetrate the shell/membrane. But that's not to say that bad germs aren't smaller and could osmosis through the shell and membrane :)

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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10 years 8 months ago #466318 by kai
Interesting that you actually experimented. I personally thing there is a greater risk of bacteria entering when poo is left in contact with the egg than it being wiped and stored in the fridge. I would not like chicken poo being stored close other food in the fridge.

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10 years 8 months ago #466424 by LongRidge
Raw eggs have a substance in them (either avidin or biotin) which stops the biotin or avidin of the bacteria working, for quite a while. So inside of an egg can have quite a high bug count without the bugs being able to grow. But when the avidin is diluted in the intestine of something that eats it raw, the bugs might grow, if the conditions are right.
Duck eggs are most definitely porous to water, which is why they have to be kept moist when they are being incubated. On a dirty egg, the poo dries quite quickly, and then nothing can grow in it. But if it is moistened by washing it, especially with lots of warm water, bacteria can be absorped through the shell. So if they have to be cleaned, use a moist cloth and dry them as soon as possible after wiping them.

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10 years 8 months ago #466425 by Stikkibeek
Duck eggs have a waxy almost oily feel to them and have a slightly stronger odour as well. Also quite heavy feeling by comparison to a hen egg. Some like Muscovy eggs, have a creamy look, a b it like watered down milk, so there is a bluish tint on some as well. Mallard eggs are the same size as average hen eggs, but blueish.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 8 months ago #466440 by eelcat
Some of our duck eggs are duck egg blue, just like the paint colour [;)]

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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10 years 8 months ago #466475 by Blueberry

eelcat;468643 wrote: Some of our duck eggs are duck egg blue, just like the paint colour [;)]


oooh, eelcat, do you have Cajugas? :p :p

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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10 years 8 months ago #466482 by Sue
So now we have established the difference between duck eggs and hens eggs is it time for a lesson on the structure of a shell, its ability to keep out bacteria and the use/presence of Avidin in egg white?

Might come back to this a bit later!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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