Thursday, January 10, 2008

Duck and Goose Eggs

A reader inquired about what breeds of ducks and geese lay eggs well for commercial sale. He's considering this as a venture.
The table above compares production from several different kinds of poultry. It is from "The Book of Geese: A Complete Guide to Raising the Home Flock" by Dave Holderread, Mr. Holderread's book is an excellent reference and he is an acknowledged leader in waterfowl.
Runner, Harlequin and Campbell Ducks were developed with egg production as a goal, so they are all good egg producers. Muscovy Ducks are good natural layers, often laying as many as 20 eggs in a clutch, compared to the 12-15 typical of Mallard-type ducks. They may also lay a second clutch in the year. So they are also a good choice.
I grew up eating Muscovy eggs and they are delicious.
Geese have never been developed as market egg layers, so they do not lay year round. Their egg laying season is in the Spring. China geese are good natural layers that extend that season longer than other breeds.
Mr. Holderread's book notes that "Goose eggs are fine for most uses and are considered by many chefs to be the best eggs for baked goods. The albumen is firmer than in chicken eggs and normally does not whip as well."
I am seeking flock owners who are actively selling duck and goose eggs to find our what breeds they are raising and how they are managing. If you have such a flock, or know of someone who does, please contact me. Thanks!

1 comment:

IthacaNancy said...

I am starting this coming week with 10 Cayuga and 6 Indian Runner ducklings from Holderread Waterfowl. I am hoping to raise breeding stock, produce eggs, and probably meat. I haven't butchered before and I was a vegetarian for years, but I do eat meat, and I want to continue to increase my production and consumption of local foods. I've found mostly local and organic feed sources, and I'm really excited to see how this works out.