A Veritable Variety: A Guide To Eggs Of 4 Poultry Species

Chickens, ducks, geese and quail all offer us incredible edible eggs. Here's our guide to size and other characteristics as well as nutritional value.

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So you’re planning on eating eggs for breakfast. Sound simple? Maybe not. Because we all love our chicken eggs, it’s easy to forget that other types of domestic birds also produce tasty, nutritious eggs of various sizes and types.

The funny thing about eggs is that most people say they all taste about the same. If you prepare a dish using duck, goose or even quail eggs, guests may notice subtle differences but usually will say it tastes like a chicken egg.” This is actually a good thing, because it allows you to incorporate the more unusual types of eggs into recipes without worrying about drastic changes in flavor. You will, however, need to adjust the amounts!

Let’s explore some of the accessible egg options. (Reprinted with permission from Cooking with Eggs [2015]).


quail egg eggs

Bigger isn’t always better. The diminutive, spotted egg of the quail is perfect if you’d like to experiment with a fun, unusual type of egg. At about 1 inch in length and 9 grams in weight, quail eggs are popular with chefs looking to make creative treats such as bite-sized deviled eggs.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 14
  • Protein: 1.2 grams
  • Cholesterol: 76 milligrams


chicken egg eggs

A standard 60-calorie chicken egg is about 21⁄2 inches long, weighs about 60 grams and can vary drastically in color, depending on the breed of chicken that laid it. This is the egg that Americans love most and the only egg that many have ever been exposed to.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 60 to 70
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Cholesterol: 187 milligrams


duck egg eggs

A bit larger than chicken eggs, duck eggs have a creamy, rich consistency, due to their larger yolk-to-white ratio. It also means that they have a higher fat content than chicken eggs. Duck eggs also contain more calories per egg and feature a harder shell than chicken eggs and have a potentially longer refrigerated shelf life.

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Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 130
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Cholesterol: 620 milligrams


goose egg eggs

Weighing in at about 5 ounces each, goose eggs are equivalent to two or three large chicken eggs. Once you master the trick of cracking these giants — tapping them against a bowl won’t cut it! — you’ll find them a delight to eat. Geese have a limited laying season of just a few months in the spring, and most birds lay only about 40 eggs per year, give or take

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 265
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Cholesterol: 1227 milligrams

Samantha Johnson and Daniel Johnson are a brother-sister writing team, and they have collaborated on several books, including The Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening (2013).

This story originally appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Chickens.

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