Search Metzer Farms

March 13, 2011

The Growing Demand for Fresh Duck Eggs

Originally posted by John Metzer on Wed, Sep 01, 2010 @ 03:11 PM

What more can you ask for than endorsements from articles in Time and Sunset magazines?  Metzer Farms did not get the endorsement, but ducks and duck eggs sure did.
Time had an article titled "Urban Animal Husbandry" discussing how more and more city dwellers are raising livestock and poultry as a hobby for meat, eggs, manure and the simple pleasure of caring for them.  The garden educator of Seattle Tilth thinks that "ducks are better for gardens than chickens and that they provide tastier eggs. 'I think the duck is the future,' she says.  Game on, chicken lovers."
In a recent issue of Sunset magazine, there was a picture of a duck egg along with a short article. "Ducks are the new chickens.  They lay bigger eggs that are richer in flavor than chicken eggs.  Also, ducks may make for nicer backyard occupants. Owners are finding they'll eat slugs and weeds and have a less aggressive pecking order than chickens..."

Duck eggs are appreciated for a variety of reasons: richer flavor, better for baking, longer storage life and some people that are allergic to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs!  In many ways, duck eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs.  Duck eggs have higher levels of vitamins and minerals than chicken eggs for 12 of the 13 nutrients we have listed in the comparison chart on our website.

With the number of duck eggs we produce, we also have quite a few cracked eggs.  Most are given to a local soup kitchen for the homeless but in our home we use cracked duck eggs for everything.  Oh yes, this is another advantage of duck eggs.  As the shell membrane is so strong, the shell can be broken and no egg leaks out!  There is one thing to remember with duck eggs, however.  Make sure the whites are at room temperature and then add a little lemon juice or baking soda if you are whipping them up.
In England, the demand for duck eggs is growing rapidly.  Watercress Lane is a duck farm that sells over 2.5 million duck eggs per year to wholesalers, retailers and caterers - and demand has grown 45% in the past year alone!  A recent survey indicates that 1 in 13 supermarkets in England offer duck eggs.  "We hope that the campaign and other activities of a PR agency we have recently employed will increase the public appetite for duck eggs further," says co-owner Melandy Daniels.

Knowing the demand for duck eggs is growing and our desire to support our duckling customers, we have started a new page on our website, Our Customers That Sell Fresh Duck Eggs.  Drop by and see if someone near you is listed.  Or have us list you if you sell duck eggs locally!
We sell our duck and goose eggs to fifteen Whole Food Markets in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Whole Foods is the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods that prides themselves in obtaining as much local food items as possible.  We also sell our eggs by mail order to those that do not have a local supply of duck eggs.  Why don't you start supplying duck eggs to your local high end bakeries and food shops, Asian stores or farmers markets?  People want to try new foods - especially if they are produced locally!
Next week I will go over the steps you can take to prevent salmonellae from affecting your poultry and their eggs.


  1. I have a question regarding using ducks as egg layers. Do they lay an egg a day like a lot of the chicken breeds do?

  2. Yes, the better egg laying breeds of ducks can lay as well or better than chickens. In fact, the time it takes a duck to fully form an egg is less than the time it takes a chicken to form an egg. So a highly productive duck can lay more eggs than a highly productive chicken.

  3. I have a campbell and indian runner ducks (more or less 300 heads), they are about three months old now, do they really start laying eggs at age 4 months?

  4. They can if fed well and grow up in the spring when the days are getting longer. It is less likely if hatched from April through August as then they are growing up when the days are getting shorter.

  5. Thanks, Sir John.... my ducks are born from nov-dec and is about to be 4 months old this march... By the way I am from the trpoic country in the Philippines.... Thanks a lot for your time answering my question.

  6. Just stumbled this post, cool idea. Thank you

  7. Sir john, my runners and campbells seems to molt already before they started laying eggs, will it affect their laying or will not lay eggs at all and for how long? What can i do or feed them so that they will lay eggs. They are about 4-5 months now? will wait for your reply.

    1. Ducks naturally go through about three sets of feathers before they start laying. Normally that is much earlier in their life. If they are molting at 4-5 months, I am guessing there was a stress that put them in the molt. I would guess they will start to lay soon after going through the molt. Feed them a layer feed - a chicken or turkey layer feed is fine.

  8. Thanks sir, I actually already did gave them layer feeds 2 weeks before i ask you this question, I believe they had been stressed by some motorcycle going back and forth lately passing my farm... I put them in the middle portion of my place and guess what,... just yesterday March 15, i got my first 2 eggs.... shall i continue with the layer or i'll join them my drakes. thanks...

    Hope i don't bother you with my questions....

  9. Yes, I would continue with the layer feed until you want them to stop laying. Yes, you can put the males and females together. I hope this helps.

  10. john alfred a torresMarch 18, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Thanks again sir john,... What if i stop giving them commercially purchased layer feeds and instead feed my ducks with substitute feeds consist of rice bran, golden apple snails, chopped banana, chopped pine apple peelings and shell powder. Commercial feeds cost much in my country in the Philippines, so I just gave them layer feeds for 3 weeks and then started to give them substitute feeds as listed above... Will it affect the ability of my ducks to lay eggs, will it lessen their laying? Thanks again....

  11. I have no idea of that ration is balanced and provides everything ducks need. But if they have laid well before with that ration, it should still work. I would make a gradual transition from one ration to the other - over at least a one week period. If they can also hunt for things to eat in a pasture or forest, that is also good as they will be looking for those things that are missing in their diet.