When we think about eggs, we often assume that chicken eggs are the only option! However, waterfowl (birds that spend a lot of time in the water) like geese and ducks are often great egg layers, and their eggs carry significant nutritional benefits for human health. In this article, we will share some of these amazing benefits:
- Duck egg whites are often richer in albumin, a healthy source of protein that our bodies need to function. There is an added benefit too – cakes and other delicious treats made with duck eggs are often fluffier and richer in flavor.
- Ducks eggs have about twice as many Omega-3 fatty acids as chicken eggs! Omega-3s are great for our bodies. They help improve heart health by helping with blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and even reducing the risk of clots! Omega-3s can also help improve mental health and reduce inflammation in your body. Given that many people struggle with cardiovascular health issues worldwide, duck eggs may present a healthier alternative.
- In addition to albumin and Omega-3-fatty acids, duck eggs are excellent sources of other nutrients including protein, calcium, selenium, as well as vitamins B12, D, and E. The high nutritional value of these eggs makes them a great healthy option to eat.
- Duck eggs last longer! Their shells are thicker, which gives them a longer shelf-life than chicken eggs.
So, if we have convinced you to consider raising ducks for eggs, you might be wondering where to start. We suggest beginning by learning which duck species are great for egg-laying. Here are a few of our favorites to consider:
- Khaki-Campbells: are considered to be great egg layers that can average at least 250 eggs per year. They tend to be lightweight birds that do well year-round, even during colder months. They are also known to be quiet birds that do not make a lot of noise (great for friendly neighbor relations!)
- Welsh Harlequins: are descendants from the Khaki-Campbells, so unsurprisingly, they are also excellent egg-layers. They usually lay about 200 eggs per year, usually more. They make great backyard ducks and are known for being good foragers, meaning they are really good at finding food!
- Indian Runners are another breed that are excellent foragers and in fact, are known for being the most active foragers. They usually live long lives, usually about eight to ten years, which means they will be a part of your flock, and family, for a long time. Like the Khaki-Campbells and Welsh Harlequins, female Indian Runners are great egg layers and can produce as many as 300 eggs in a year.
Please note that if you have already been raising chickens, it is not recommended to mix ducks in with your chickens. Having a mixed-species flock increases the risk of disease transmission, making it potentially more challenging to control the spread of the disease if they were to get sick.
We hope that we have provided you with great information to consider about raising ducks for eggs. If you already raise them and have advice for those getting started, let us know in the comments below. If you have any questions about raising ducks, please check out our other articles or submit a question HERE.