$1000 Duck Egg ... Many questions now.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Brahmb, Feb 20, 2019.

  1. Brahmb

    Brahmb Chirping

    Oct 13, 2018
    Adirondacks, NY
    $1000 Duck Egg 01.jpg $1000 Duck Egg 02.jpg $1000 Duck Egg 03.jpg

    Hi! I'm a grandpa...of sorts.

    If you've seen me post before, you'll know I had 3 ducks originally called Huey, Dewey and Louie. Much to my chagrin they turned out to be mallards - not the Rouens I was expecting! They learned to fly, and fly away so well that they caught the attention of a barn owl. I know this because 2 of the ducks (Huey and Louie) never came back and I found the barn owl inside the duck house one morning going after Dewey! After shooing the owl away, I discovered it had scratched Dewey's beak and bloodied it. Other than that, there seemed to be no damage. Dewey, needless to say, was in shock and didn't want to leave the house for almost a week. I also trimmed her flight feathers after a few days - she didn't seem to mind after the initial attempt to take off.

    Now for the good part of the story. It has been about 2 weeks since the owl incident and Dewey is much more approachable - whether due to being the last surviving duck or bonding with me finally after having rescued her, I'll let you decide. And she has finally laid an egg!

    I call it the $1000 Duck Egg because I've spent at least that much on my duck setup already. I know - once the next egg comes out it will devalue them both to $500 eggs. I also know that price will keep going down until I have finally paid no difference between duck eggs at market and for them at home (as I plan to add more ducks again in the spring).

    As you can see, the egg is quite small. Is this because Dewey is a mallard? Is it because it's the first egg?

    Also, there is a crack in the egg. Keep in mind, she laid it sometime either yesterday early this morning. I found it frozen to her chest this morning (the weather fell to -4º F and I gave her warm water at 9PM last night). Is the crack likely due to: being frozen to her and her walking around with it?; the egg needing more calcium?; or, her first-time clumsiness sitting on the egg?

    I am feeding her Egg Layer Crumble (I think Dumor). Should I now start adding oyster shells? When can expect another egg? Will the eggs get any larger? (It really is teeny). How do I wash the eggs without damaging them, especially when the outside is cracked like this (I believe it is only the hard shell that is cracked). Is this egg any good to eat? Can I shellack it to preserve it or maybe soak it in vinegar?

    I'm pretty excited to finally see dividends on my investment (this is strictly a hobby to become more self-sustainable). Dewey obviously laid on the egg - it was stuck to her chest. I think that's a positive sign. She also did not fuss when I took it off her chest.

    Oh...and before someone comments - I am looking for a companion duck or two for her, I just don't have the time to brood them now. I just need to find a farm close by that would be willing to part with a domestic egg-layer.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia ~Delight yourself in the Lord~

    I do remember Huey Dewy and Louie and am sorry about your loss but how awesome you saved Dewy life and now she is much more approachable and is laying. Yes the crack is because the egg froze. I would toss that one. But now you can look forward to eggs. Might help is you put deep bedding inside her coop if you haven't. But still at -4 that is pushing it. I don't wash my eggs till getting ready to use them washing washes off the bloom that is the protective coating and keep the eggs fresher. If they are a little dirty just take a slightly damp sponge and lightly wipe of a dry paper towel if poopy then def get that off before storing. Cold water not hot. Refrig any eggs that have been washed.
    They always start out laying small eggs and they grow as they are laying.

    Congrats! Hope you can find Dewy some friends real soon. Hopefully craigslist or local farms in your area. also check the NY thread here at "where am I where are you"
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  3. Brahmb

    Brahmb Chirping

    Oct 13, 2018
    Adirondacks, NY
    Thanks Miss Lydia! You answered many of questions quickly! I will check out where from if I can't get a duck locally.
    WannaBeHillBilly and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia ~Delight yourself in the Lord~

    Hey can we see this 1000.00 dollar set up?
  5. Duckworth

    Duckworth Songster

    May 15, 2017
    U.S. Prairie
    As to the oyster shell, I provide mine in a separate dish so that my ducks can eat it free choice when they need it. My feed doesn’t have added calcium. Providing the calcium free choice, rather than incorporating into the feed allows the ducks to get what they need while avoiding getting too much.

    I agree that the egg probably cracked as a result of freezing. I throw mine out if the shell is compromised, since I don’t want to risk salmonella or other bacteria contaminating the egg. I tend to cook eggs at lower temperatures and I don’t want to worry that there are either live bacteria, or toxins they have produced, still active in my meal. An uncompromised shell is less likely to allow harmful bacteria to take hold. The bloom on the egg prevents a lot of bacteria from entering the egg, so I don’t wash the bloom off unless I have to. I try to delay the washing until I am about to crack the egg for use.
  6. Kkrista123

    Kkrista123 Songster

    Dec 2, 2018
    Hatboro PA
    My Coop
    After laying started, I offered oyster shell, grit and cracked corn in a separate bowl. She eat's it as she needs it!
  7. lomine

    lomine Crowing

    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    Ditto to what was already said, except I wash mine with warm water. I've read that cold water causes the contents of the egg to contract and that draws things (bacteria, water, etc) into the egg. Warm water causes them to expand which prevents things from entering the egg. I only wash right before I'm ready to use them.
    Miss Lydia likes this.

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