How to identify duck eggs

Written by sarah terry
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Duck eggs can be difficult to identify when compared with chicken eggs. If you find a nest of mysterious eggs in the wild and wonder whether they are duck eggs, there are some tips that will help you identify them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Flashlight

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    Key Characteristics

  1. 1

    Look at the size of the egg. Duck eggs are slightly larger than chicken eggs.

  2. 2

    Feel the shell. Duck eggs have a waxy coating on the shell. The shells are thicker than those of chicken eggs and a little rubbery.

  3. 3

    Note the shell's colour. Depending on the breed of duck, the eggs may vary in colour from dull green to off-white, but most have an off-white shell.

  4. 4

    Count how many eggs are in the nest. If you find eggs grouped together in a nest, keep in mind that ducks typically lay between eight and 15 eggs at a time. The nest is normally on the ground.

  5. 5

    Candle the egg by touching a small bright flashlight to the top of the egg. Depending on how old the eggs are, you may see formation of a duck.

Tips and warnings

  • If the egg is already cracked, you can identify a duck egg by its dark orange yolk.
  • Don't worry if you don't see the mother duck on or near the eggs. Ducks lay an egg every one or two days and won't sit on the eggs until they have all eight to 15 eggs.

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