The Truth About Duck Eggs, Hay Bales, and Snow Banks as High as a Moose Eye.


IMG_8786 Duck eggs

After a failed maple syrup expedition in New Hampshire, we could have died when a tractor in front of us kept dropping hay bales into the street narrowed by very high snow banks. We dodged the second bale and then thought “we must save others” and pulled alongside the truck on a straight-away country road to warn the driver.

“Do you know you’re losing hay bales? You’ve lost two in the short time we’ve been behind you.”

“It’s okay my wife is driving behind us picking them up.”

Not really okay, grinning dude, when you must have lost her three bales back and now unsuspecting out-of-staters who don’t anticipate things like having hay bales dropped in their path on a road that should be earmarked for vehicular traffic have to swerve to avoid them.

We could have gotten into a lengthier discussion but a car with two passengers honked and shouted profanity at us for stopping alongside the hay truck, even though we pulled to the curb as soon as we could tell the all smiles hay driver that his inventory control was faulty. Seriously, hay bales should require seat belts on this dude’s truck. The in-stater car folk honked again and for good measure shouted “Mass-holes” as they passed and drove off.

IMG_8785 Duck eggs

Wow, where was the love for saving their lives? So be it. Some people don’t know when they’re being helped and simply assume the worst. Multiple heads shook in disbelief within our vehicle, and that side to side motion brought into sight a sign pitched high in a snow bank. Duck eggs for sale. It wasn’t a farm, just  house, where a guy had a wife who wanted to see what it was like to live with two ducks. And well, 50 ducks later, they’re selling eggs.

Putting all our duck eggs in one basket

Putting all our duck eggs in one basket

I’d heard duck eggs are healthier and better for baking, as well as larger than chicken eggs. Last year we bought a few in Maine and made some super silky, rich scrambled eggs. We briefly discussed whether ducks lay eggs in winter or whether the mounds of snow would prevent them from getting off their roosts. But we needn’t have worried. Ducks, dozens of ducks greeted us. There were curly tailed, fluffy, up right walking, multi-colored ducks strolling the path to their little house nibbling at the snow banks as the traveled.

DUCK & EGG FACTS??

Duck eggs must have a bit of a mystique about them. Through the several sources I read there were many contradictions.

True: Duck eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs. Caveat: how much better they are is in dispute. Plus they have more yolk so more cholesterol, but also more protein.

IMG_8793 Duck eggs

True: Duck eggs have harder shells. Caveat: one source said duck eggs last longer because they have harder shells than chicken eggs, but another source said they last a shorter time because the heavier shell is more porous. To test for egg freshness with duck eggs use the same method as used with chicken eggs. Put an egg in a glass of water – if it sinks it’s fresh; if it stands on end, it’s not as fresh but still edible. If it floats – have oatmeal for breakfast.

True: Duck eggs are better for baking and mostly can be substituted one for one with large chicken eggs. Undisputed.  http://www.moosemanorfarms.com/cooking-with-duck-eggs.html

True: Duck eggs are often but not always edible by people who are allergic to chicken eggs. Check with your doctor first. Undisputed.

True: Duck eggs are larger (about 1/3 larger) than chicken eggs. Undisputed.

Amazing three-headed duck?

Amazing three-headed duck?

True: Ducks are more prolific egg bearers than chickens. The best egg layers coincidentally carry our family name. They are the Khaki Campbell which lays well over 300 eggs per year.Undisputed.

True:  Many domestic ducks are from the mallard line which sometimes makes identification difficult. Personal experience.

True: Donald Duck was modeled after a Pekin Duck, a large white domestic duck weighing 9-10 lbs. Pekin is a type of duck. Peking Duck is a Chinese dish. (Aside: Donald may be the cartoon character but I think Indian Runner Ducks are actually funnier.) Source: http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/Pekins/BRKPekin.html

Pekin Duck by my best estimation.

Pekin Duck by my best estimation.

True: Duck eggs are harder to find and more expensive than chicken eggs. Here are two sources for finding duck eggs in Massachusetts. Always call first and try to find the most local producer possible.

http://www.agrilicious.org/local/fresh-duck-eggs/massachusetts  http://www.farmfresh.org/food/food.php?zip=02114&food=288

True:  Ducks make nice friends.

OTHER RESOURCES:

Duck egg nutrition – http://www.ohadi.com/duck-egg-nutritional-facts.html

Duck identification –http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/BRKDucks.html

http://www.bigpictureagriculture.com/2012/03/six-duck-breeds-for-your-small-farm.html

Egg colors: http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/02/rainbow-of-egg-colors.html

(c)Alison Colby-Campbell

2 responses to “The Truth About Duck Eggs, Hay Bales, and Snow Banks as High as a Moose Eye.

  1. That hay bale incident sounded scary– next time, be sure to pelt the idiot driver with duck eggs!! : )

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