Nutrition – Duck Egg vs Chicken Egg

Is a duck egg or a chicken egg the healthier choice?

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Which should come first:  the chicken or the duck egg?

When we talk about the “eggs” we eat, most people are referring to chicken eggs.  Recently, I had the opportunity to try a duck egg – which some friends had raised.  Taste?  I was surprised that there wasn’t a lot of difference.  The duck egg had a slightly stronger taste, but not by much.  It did appear “fluffier” though.  That aside, I got to wondering which of the eggs was more nutritious?

A quick glance at the two types of egg side-by-side shows that the duck egg is larger than the chicken egg by about half again.

If we weigh the eggs, the sample I had showed the duck egg averages at about 76 grams and the chicken egg average at 54 grams.  So this tells us that the duck egg is about 50% heavier.

On closer examination though, it’s not a fair comparison as the duck egg shell seems harder to break – and therefore probably thicker.  Put another way, there is probably more shell weight on the duck egg than the industrial chicken egg in my sample.

Source:  Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21 via

The duck egg is about 50% larger than the chicken egg.

By weight the duck egg is about 50% heavier.

A number of websites will proclaim that a duck egg contains more of this or that.  Of course it does, if only because it contains 50% more “stuff”.  A fair comparison would be to find samples that contain the same weight and look at them.

Below is a comparison of 100g (about 1/4 lb) of each.  From a health perspective, the first thing you should notice is that both contain a rich source of vitamins and minerals.  Some other intresting things to note:

1)  Duck eggs contain no Vitamin D (chicken egg 9% of your %Daily Value).

2)  Duck eggs are a very rich source of Vitamin B12

3)  Duck eggs have a much more favourable Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of approximately 5.5:1 vs chicken eggs with a 15.5:1 ratio (perhaps because ducks typcially get more of their food from scavenging).

4)  Both eggs are high in cholesterol (which some people get concerned about).  Duck eggs have almost twice as much cholesterol as chicken eggs.

Note:  although most eggs are cooked and not eaten raw, the comparison is valid as most would cook duck and chicken eggs in a similar manner.  As such, we’d expect the cooked product to be similar in proportion to the starting (raw) egg.

In conclusion, the “winner” is the duck egg as long as you are not concerned with fat or cholesterol.

Peter Roperty

Peter has over 20 years experience as a writer. He typically concentrates on social and well-being issues.

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