The Chicken’s Egg
Most of us are familiar with the chicken’s egg as its most common in our North American culture. Laying breeds are proclaimed to produce up to 365 eggs per year! The chicken’s egg is usually the #1 choice for homesteaders, farmers and grocery shoppers! Prolific production and easy keeping leads to cheaper prices. This fowl’s egg can vary in coloring from white-cream, tan-chocolate brown, green-blue. Though eggs are smallest of the three egg producing birds, chickens are often preferred because of their constant production.
Among the prolific laying breeds, egg product slows between year 2-3. Heritage breeds may produce up to 5 yrs of age. If allowed to rest (aka no light is provided) over winter, hens will stop supplying for the kitchen but egg-laying lifespan will increase. Either you get all your eggs in 2-3 years time or slow the production and have it spread out for the next 4-5 years!
Of the three poultry breeds, the egg of the chicken is most acidic and also lowest in calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals. However, it is still packed with goodness! To see nutritional content, click here.
The Duck Egg
A single duck egg is larger than the chickens. How much? It depends on the duck and the chicken! A safe estimate is that the duck’s is 40%-60% larger. Colors vary from white-cream, blue to green, brown, light-dark grey. Duck eggs also have a tough, thick shell, much tougher than either the turkey or chicken. Approaching your egg cracking with more aggression will significantly help your case!
You’ll quickly find the duck egg has a larger yolk than that of a chickens, though not so large as the turkeys’. Though somewhat dependent on the bird’s diet, eggs generally have a distinct, strong flavor and for this reason, some dislike the flavor.
With a firmer texture, the duck egg can be slightly tough (sometimes referred to as rubbery) when fried, but it poaches beautifully and makes the best, light and fluffy scrambled eggs. Among bakers, it is often preferred egg because it is gummier in texture and helps hold goods together. Duck eggs are often preferred for long-term storage due to toughness of shell and skin.
Ducks will produce 5-7 years and laying breeds (though few) are said to be as prolific the chicken’s best breeds. While ducks may slow in winter, they prefer the outdoors. Put ducks and chickens side-by-side without a heat lamp and I’m willing to bet the ducks will outlay chickens every time! Of the three poultry types, ducks are least affected by wet and cold temperatures, will willingly sit outside on the snow in -30 C (-22F) temperatures.
The duck’s egg is higher in protein than the chicken’s and contains more cholesterol, calories and fatty acids. Check out nutritional content of the egg here.
The Heritage Turkey Egg
Turkey eggs are uncommon, but of the three discussed, are usually the largest. Large heritage breeds produce eggs that are generally 25%-30% larger than the duck egg. Smaller turkey breeds will produce an egg that is comparable in size. Egg colors are not so exciting as those produced by other poultry! Creamy white is the coloring, and a few breeds produce eggs with a spattering of red-brown speckles. Egg shells are slightly thicken than that of a chicken.
The turkey egg has a large yolk in comparison to whites within the egg and are significantly larger in size. Flavor is mild as with the chicken and texture is similar. For this reason folks who need an alternative to the chicken’s egg and don’t like the flavor of the duck’s choose the turkeys.’
Turkeys are not prolific layers but they do produce for 5-7 years. If kept from brooding and hatching out young, a hen can produce up to 100 eggs per year. While they are hardy birds and brave cold temperatures, hens generally produce from April-Sept and will lay every 2nd-3rd day. If using artificial lighting they will produce year-round. The Midget White breed is said to be one of the best egg producers.
Turkeys eggs are incredibly high in vitamins, fatty acids and are indeed highest in protein. They also contain more cholesterol than the chicken’s egg. Read about their nutritional content here.
Which egg intrigues you most? I personally prefer the turkey and the duck’s egg due to higher protein content and their being a less acidic food. But I’ll eat any of the three most willingly!
Our turkeys have been laying one egg per day. Usually starting mid February through November. Our ducks also lay one egg daily. Much more productive than our chickens, and much more friendly. I personally prefer the taste and smooth texture of the duck and turkey eggs. When our chickens leave us we will not be replacing them with more. We will always have turkeys and ducks though.
Great to meet someone who shares my love for a barnyard bird other than the chicken! Duck eggs are my favorite!
Another wonderful thing about duck and turkey eggs is that the yolks are so much bigger than chicken eggs. Great news for a person like me who loves dipping toast in the yolk. Soooo yummy.