Thursday, October 03, 2013

Egg Ideosynchrasies

One year into their residency in our backyard, our ducks and chickens continue an improbable output, with the ducks laying daily and the Aracana chickens somewhat less productive. Most of the duck eggs are only slightly larger than the chicken eggs, but now and then the large Pekin duck lays a double yolk whopper, like the one on the left in the photo. Next to it is a chicken egg (more pointed), and a miniature duck egg perhaps laid by the mother mallard whose chicks are nearly grown. The red oak acorn is included for scale.

The duck eggs have thicker shells, which may owe to the ducks' great interest in filtering through dirt and mud with their beaks, which no doubt increases their consumption of minerals. We try to keep the dirt in the backyard as clean as possible, for their eating pleasure.

The miniature egg laid by the mother mallard--the first since she had ducklings--had no yolk at all.

A friend tells me that duck eggs "taste like other eggs only more." In a frying pan, the duck egg on the right is barely distinguishable, with only a slightly larger yolk than the chicken egg.

Once we found a cache of eggs in a tight spot in the coop that was out of sight. Since eggs slowly dry out over time, with air displacing some of the eggwhite, the older ones will angle up or become completely vertical in water, depending on their age. The eggs we found make a series, with gradations of tilt and, presumably, age, starting at ten o'clock and going counterclockwise.

The large influx of eggs crowding our frig causes us, counterintuitively, to eat fewer of them, much like the spectacular production of sunchoke tubers can reduce the desire to eat them. It's a reflex that has to be consciously countered.

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