I have 2 Swedish black ducks. They were supposed to both be female but it turns out one is a male. Anyway, the female just laid an egg. Can you please tell me what to do if I want to eat the eggs and what to do if I let the eggs hatch. I am totally new to all of this.
First TIme- Egg Help
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Congratulations and welcome!
For eating the eggs, just collect the egg every day. You can put it in the frij, or keep it relatively cool (I keep ours in the basement if we run out of frij room). That's it for eating. I cook them any way one would cook chicken eggs.
For hatching, I am not a hatcher but I have read a few things.
Don't hatch the first few weeks' eggs - these may not be as robust as those laid later
Domestic ducks don't always go broody, so select an incubator that will work for you
There are stickies on hatching waterfowl and Muscovy eggs - see the link in blue at the top of the index to the Duck Forum
It's just easier to keep track if you collect them every day. I put dates on the egg cartons (we have several layers) so I know which are the oldest.
No sanitizing is necessary. As long as the duck is healthy and their environment relatively clean (that includes some poop in the bedding, just not ancient poop), and you are not allergic, it should be fine.
Here's a test for freshness - place the egg in a clear container that holds about a cup and a half or more of water. Pour cold water over it.
If the egg floats, it's a goner, do not eat it.
If the egg lies on its side on the bottom of the container it is fine, may be about 2 weeks old or so.
If the egg stands up tall on the bottom of the container it is rather fresh and may not be easy to peel if you hard boil it.
I crack eggs into a clear custard cup so I can fish out egg shells if I get a little bit of shell in there.
Duck eggs have a protective coating on them called a "bloom." I have been advised not to wash the eggs off - it damages the bloom. If there is a little schmutz on the egg, just wipe it off with a dry cloth for that purpose. Then you can rinse it off well just before opening it when you cook it.
Edited by Amiga - 1/17/16 at 5:15pm
My chicken eggs are clean and go directly into the fridge or the counter or where ever I'm storing.
My duck eggs are usually poop covered, so they get a quick wash in hot water and then go in the fridge or counter.
If I share the eggs with neighbors, I date the egg, otherwise I just put them in the carton in order. or the counter bucket. If I am not sure how old, I float test them.
If they have not been incubated (warmed and turned), I don't think they'll have ducklings or be viable for hatching. Fertile eggs need to be handled a certain way for them to develop.
You might try candling - it's a way to see what's inside an egg. Your eggs will just have a yolk in them. You can probably see the yolk and the air sac. Good practice, since candling shows development, first of veins, then the embryo. That can be helpful if and when you decide to hatch.
It will be up to her. Most of my Runners and two of my three Buffs don't get broody.
Thanks for the help. This morning she laid an egg on the step next to the duck pool. I washed them, did the float test, and held them up to the light. They both were ok. I cracked them open to fry them and the older one had a long bloody something attached to the yolk. So I threw it away. We ate the other one.