Author Topic: Ducks, and all things being equal.  (Read 196 times)

Alan

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Ducks, and all things being equal.
« on: November 26, 2018, 06:34:19 AM »
I like ducks! I like duck eggs even better! but those statements don’t mean much without some explanation.

One of my permissions is owned by a well-known local veterinarian, and his family. They raise show cattle, and they have a rather impressive track record, including at least two, National Grand Champions. But like other exurban farms, they have their share of horses, chickens, and ducks! Ah! But they don’t eat the duck eggs.

When I found out they don’t eat duck eggs, I started to collect and eat them myself. The ducks they have (had), are a variety of mallard, and they don’t lay all year long. So earlier this Spring, I bought two Pekin ducks at the local Ace Hardware store. They were unsexed, but I took a chance. I was lucky, in that both turned out to be hens. Well guess what?

Pekin ducks are rather large (about 10 pounds), and lay extra-large-sized eggs, which are often double-yoked. Being layers, and not brooders, it’s easy collecting their eggs. On average, they lay 5 to 7 eggs per week, each. That’s a lot of eggs for one person to eat, so the neighbors get a few too! But there is a lot more to duck eggs than you would expect. Here is a site (https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/eggs-meat/egg-facts-duck-eggs-vs-chicken-eggs/) which gives you the details. There is one thing they don’t mention. Duck eggs have about 10 times the vitamin B12 that hen eggs have. That’s a good thing, as you need a lot more B12 as you get older.

Duck eggs also last longer (due to the thicker shell and membrane), and have a larger amount of albumin (white) making them great for cooking, especially for meringue pies. Their taste is a bit different than hen eggs, but most folks never notice the difference.

Personally, I like duck eggs hard-boiled, but their thicker shells make them really hard to crack open and to peel. There is a solution, however. Just cut them with a knife crossways, and spoon out the contents! At 130 calories each, two make a very good breakfast. If you want a taste treat, put a little gray pompon mustard and a dash of salt on them! Yummy for the tummy!

There is another benefit—I don’t have to feed them. I do, of course, when required, and I do make sure they have clean pond water. However, I pay for these eggs in a different way—Pigeons!

There have been reams of data printed about pigeons, but when you’re a cattle raiser, there is one aspect of pigeons which need to be addressed— coccidiosis! Coccidia is a protozoan disease, primarily affecting young animals. It affects not only cattle, it affects ducks (!), chickens, and other common farm animals. Treating coccidiosis is an expensive undertaking, often requiring antibiotics—a factual expenditure we all want to reduce in more ways than one!

So where does this fit into airguns? Simple! I shoot the pigeons, and in return, I get free duck eggs. I think I’m getting the bigger end of the stick!


  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

steveoh

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Re: Ducks, and all things being equal.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 03:24:19 PM »
Duck Eggs. Hmmmm, can you describe the flavor differences?

When I was in High School living in Japan, we'd sometimes buy chicken eggs from a local farmer. They had a rather different flavor though because these chickens were fed fish meal. And yep, the eggs were rather fishy tasting.

We have chickens and they usually get helpings of greens during the week. That makes for really tasty orange yolks. One chicken who is no longer with us used to give us rather funky tasting eggs. Don't know what was up with that, but when her eggs got mixed in with the other hen's eggs we'd have to open eggs one at a time and give it a sniff before combing with other eggs. Her eggs had a distinct fishy smell. The Dogs loved those stinky eggs.
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Alan

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Re: Ducks, and all things being equal.
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 05:09:50 AM »
My description of how duck egg taste, is they're more robust. Most hen eggs you buy in the store, even Eggland's Best are a couple of weeks old by the time you buy them. Compare those with your home-grown ones, and you get the idea how much better duck eggs are.

Yesterday, I brought home two hen eggs along with four more duck eggs. One of the hen eggs was just laid, and still warm when I got it home. My wife (Marilyn) fixed it for her lunch. She said it was perfect, whatever that meant!

  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

d_boom

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Re: Ducks, and all things being equal.
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 12:11:30 PM »
Thanks for sharing about yourself, I do enjoy reading about you and your hunting.
When my children were growing up we raised chickens both for meat and fresh eggs. 
We ordered chicks through the mail and always got called by the post office when the
chicks arrived here in Wichita.  Urban postmen did not know what to do with these live
chicks.  We had 2 acres with no close neighbors to complain about smelly chickens, so
all worked out.
  • Wichita, Kansas