When a recipe calls for an egg or two, you probably don’t think twice about what kind of egg they’re referring to. Chicken eggs are the go-to for most people. They’re also typically the only type of eggs you’ll find in the grocery store. Even though they can be a challenge to find, duck eggs are an excellent alternative to chicken eggs, and some might even say they’re better!

In comparison to chicken eggs, duck eggs are larger and have thicker shells. They also have a lower water content, leading to a richer and creamier flavor. While the nutrition of duck eggs vs. chicken eggs varies based on the quality of the eggs, duck eggs are often more nutritious than chicken eggs as well.

If you’ve never tried duck eggs before, you may not know some of the similarities and differences between duck eggs vs. chicken eggs. Let’s look at what makes duck eggs stand out from chicken eggs and which would be best for your next recipe.

odd one out one man army duck egg amongst chicken eggs blue brown
Duck eggs and chicken eggs have many differences, including their appearance and size.

©Joshua Kirk/Shutterstock.com

Duck Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs: What Is the Difference?

Eggs are a staple in most diets and have a variety of uses. In fact, eggs are so popular that the average American consumes over 200 eggs each year. When you think of cooking eggs or including eggs in a recipe, you likely think first of chicken eggs. However, duck eggs are also a diverse type of egg that you can use in a variety of recipes.

Despite the popularity of chicken eggs, duck eggs are a great alternative and are more nutritious in many ways. When compared to chicken eggs, duck eggs have a thicker shell and richer flavor. They’re also much larger than chicken eggs.

The average chicken egg weighs 1.7 ounces whereas the average duck egg weighs 2.5 ounces. Even though chicken eggs can reach up to 2.5 ounces, that would be considered a jumbo size egg.

Another difference between duck eggs vs. chicken eggs is their shell. Along with the shell of duck eggs being thicker, they’re also a variety of colors. Chicken eggs are typically either white or brown but duck eggs can be green, white, brown, blue, or even speckled. The color of the eggs depends on the breed of the duck as well as the duck’s environment and nutrition.

What Are Duck Eggs?

They may be harder to find, but duck eggs are an excellent alternative to chicken eggs. You won’t find duck eggs in most grocery stores because they cost more money to produce and there’s not as high of a demand for them. However, they are often sold in high-end grocery stores, health food stores, and farmer’s markets.

Like chicken eggs, the duck eggs you purchase for consumption are not fertilized, which means the eggs won’t become baby ducklings or chicks. That is unless you’re in the Philippines where a fertilized duck egg, known as a balut, is a delicacy and common street food.

Duck eggs are made up of the yolk, egg white, and egg shell. They have a higher concentration of yolk compared to chicken eggs and are higher in protein. Duck eggs can be fried, boiled, poached, or scrambled like chicken eggs. You can also use them in baking recipes and they often give baked goods a lighter and fluffier texture.

What Are Chicken Eggs?

Chicken eggs are the type of eggs commonly found in stores. They’re used for cooking and baking and are the main event in many popular dishes such as egg salad or deviled eggs. These eggs are laid by hens and on most commercial farms, hens lay eggs without a rooster because the eggs are unfertilized.

Hens can lay up to one egg each day, but not all hens lay an egg every day. It generally takes at least 24 hours for the egg to be produced, and the environment and conditions the hen is living in directly impact their ability to lay eggs consistently.

Chicken eggs, like most other poultry eggs, are a good source of protein and fat. Many of the best nutrients in a chicken egg such as lipids and vitamins come straight from the egg yolk.

Nutritional Value of Duck Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs

Duck eggs and chicken eggs are similar in a lot of ways despite some of the distinct features that make duck eggs stand out. When it comes to nutritional value, there are some differences between duck eggs vs. chicken eggs. Here’s a comparison between the nutritional value of both types of eggs.

Nutritional ValuesDuck egg (100 g)Chicken egg (100 g)
Water66.75 g76.4 g
Protein11.96 g9.99 g
Total lipid (fat)18.53 g11 g
Carbohydrate1.36 g1.61 g
Fiber0 g0 g
Sugar.87 g1.39 g
Calcium60 mg66 mg
Iron3.59 mg1.31 mg
Magnesium16 mg11 mg
Phosphorus206 mg165 mg
Potassium208 mg132 mg
Sodium266 mg145 mg
Zinc1.32 mg1.04 mg
Copper0.058 mg0.059 mg
Riboflavin0.359 mg0.376 mg
Selenium33.9 µg23.5 µg
Thiamine0.117 mg0.04 mg
Vitamin A205 µg161 µg
Vitamin B60.258 mg0.134 mg
Vitamin B124.03 µg0.76 µg
Vitamin D1.6 µg72 IU
Vitamin E1.91 mg1.15 mg

Can You Substitute Duck Eggs for Chicken Eggs?

Chicken eggs are the easiest to find when you head to the store for groceries, but if you want to try duck eggs or even own ducks of your own, you might wonder what you can use duck eggs for.

Most of the time, duck eggs can be substituted for chicken eggs. Whether you’re poaching, scrambling, or boiling them, you can cook them the same way you cook chicken eggs. Most recipes aren't going to call for duck eggs but with a similar texture and use, they can be substituted.

Duck eggs do have a larger yolk and lower water content than chicken eggs so keep that in mind when switching them out since you may need to adjust the cooking time. They can also be used in baking recipes and the larger yolk often leads to a fluffier texture in cakes or similar baked goods.

Avocado Egg Sandwiches and coffee for healthy breakfast. Whole grain toasts with mashed avocado, fried eggs and organic microgreens on white table.
Eggs of all kinds can be beneficial when included as part of a healthy diet.

©Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock.com

Benefits of Eggs

Eggs have many benefits whether you’re using duck eggs or chicken eggs. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of including eggs in your diet.

Good source of protein

Protein is an essential part of every healthy diet. Your body uses protein as an energy source, and it helps build and repair muscles. Eggs are a good source of protein in your diet and one egg can contain between 6-10 grams of protein depending on the size and type of egg. 

May improve maternal nutrition

For pregnant women, nutrition is essential to keeping mom and baby healthy. Eggs are a great addition to the diet of pregnant women and can have many positive effects on maternal outcomes. Even after birth, the choline found in eggs can improve brain health in newborn babies when absorbed through breast milk. Eggs can also contribute to the healthy growth and development of infants.

High in Vitamin D

Eggs are also a good source of vitamin D and a couple of eggs a day can provide up to 9% of your daily value. Vitamin D is what helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, and is a necessary part of bone health. The high amount of Vitamin D in egg yolks may help prevent Vitamin D deficiency in adults and children.

Help with weight loss

Since eggs are high in protein, they help you stay full longer. In some studies, this has led to appetite suppression and an overall decrease in calorie intake. When combined together, eggs have been shown to enhance weight loss outcomes.

Duck Egg Recipes

Chicken egg recipes


Although chicken eggs are most commonly found in stores, duck eggs are an underrated alternative. Duck eggs and chicken eggs have many similarities as far as their properties and uses. However, duck eggs are considered to be more flavorful and have greater amounts of nutrients such as protein and vitamins.

They may be difficult to find, but duck eggs are usually sold in health food stores and farmer’s markets. If you haven’t tried duck eggs as an alternative to chicken eggs, you may be surprised by their many benefits and delicious flavor.

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