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Urban market for duck eggs?

 
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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Hello, All -

I've checked Washington state law, my city's municipal code, and based on my slice of urban land, I can have up to 20 ducks. I can sell their eggs without a license as long as the eggs are:

1. from ducks in my flock, and
2. I'm selling them on my property.

I have 10 Golden Cascade ducklings on their way from Holderread Farm. I expect them in March or April.

Thinking long term, what the heck do I do with the extra eggs? I haven't decided what type of adult ration I'll feed - probably not for layers, and they will run about and forage daily in a moveable pen. I'd like them to live as much as ducks like to live, if that makes sense. IOW, I don't know that I'll have a bunch of eggs, but I'm a crazy planner, and planning makes me feel calm, even if things go sideways. Adapt and change as needed, but start with some semblance of a plan

I'm getting a straight run, so...if the drake to duck ratio is too high, we'll be eating some overly amorous drakes.

Anyway, I'm wondering if there is a market for duck eggs in Lewis County (if I were to try to sell them at a farmers market or to the health food store, I'd need a state license).

I don't intend for this to be a side business. I work from home and I'd probably sell the eggs for $2/half dozen. About 1/4 or the people here are below the poverty line, and I would like to offer healthful food. I might give them away...

Does anyone have any advice, cautions, want some free eggs?
 
Posts: 34
Location: Northport, NS. Canada
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Duck eggs are very salable in urban areas. In fact they are larger than chicken eggs and richer/higher in protein. For this reason generally they sell at a premium price to chicken eggs. Especially desirable for baking or the Asian market. Generally once you find a few customers they are loyal as supply is limited.
 
pollinator
Posts: 207
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
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On a volume basis, I found one duck's egg substitutes for 3 large chicken eggs (YMMV).  The whites whip up nicely and make a great cake!  

I think you have to educate your market, but bet folks will become repeat customers if you give them one to try first!
 
master steward
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Up north of you, we've got quite a few people that buy eggs from our 10 layers. We often don't have enough to meet demand. We've got a lovely lady that buys them to decorate them, a Vietnamese guy that eats them, another person who's brother pickles them dozens at a time, and people who just like our eggs. We sell at $5/dozen for organic/pastured eggs, but should really sell higher. But since we're selling to my husband's coworkers and a 90 year old lady (she decorates them), we don't really feel like we can raise the price.
 
master pollinator
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I always choose duck eggs over chicken eggs and it's always hard to find supply. Usually when I do, they aren't charging enough when you consider the price of the much smaller chicken eggs. If you get twice as much, you should pay twice the price. But they mostly ask for 1.5 x the price of chicken eggs.

In a small village on Mindanao in the Philippines, ducks thrive without supplemental feeding beyond waste products. When they raise muscovies, they produce a carcass big enough to feed a family. Many chickens are too small. Ducks are kept mostly for their ability to eliminate slugs and snails from rice and other crops. All they seem to need is predator protection.
 
gardener
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I live in Lewis County, too.

I think that if you could sell them in Olympia they'd be a big hit, but then they wouldn't be "on your property." There might be a way to swing it. If they're raised chemical free you could probably get a decent price for them, even selling at the co-op or something.
 
Posts: 94
Location: Oakland, CA
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I once had muscovies and found a couple of hidden nests with a full clutch of eggs in them.  I set up in a part of town with a lot of foot traffic and sold them for $0.50 each, or $5 a dozen, now this was years ago in Olympia.  I did not have too many after that.  I am guessing you will find people interested in duck eggs by the time you have too many and between eating like a king and sharing you will not have too many.  Enjoy your ducks, they are great
 
gardener
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Can't directly help with your questions except to say that duck eggs are awesome. I would even consider buying some & I raise chickens. That should count for something. Had neighbor a few years back & she had no trouble developing a market for all she could raise.

Three cheers for feeding the hungry!!! Hip hip duck eggs. Hip hip duck eggs. Hip hip duck eggs.
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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You guys are AWESOME! Thanks for sharing what you know and for the encouragement.

I'll start with feeding the hungry! All the rest is icing on the cake. Later I'll check the laws regarding fresh/frozen ducks for peeps.

Hip hip duck eggs!
 
Posts: 182
Location: 7b desert southern Idaho
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A license to sell duck eggs....sucks.
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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Quack quack!
 
Posts: 1978
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Many people who are allergic to chicken eggs have absolutely no problem with duck eggs. I have sold many, many eggs to these people. Find a few and you'll never have "extra" eggs!
 
pollinator
Posts: 439
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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I love duck eggs, but right now I travel too much to keep a flock well cared for.  And I travel I-5 through Lewis county 6-8 times a month so PM me when you have eggs for sale!
 
pollinator
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My ducks eggs prefer to do their shopping online; they find urban markets to be not very accommodating of shoppers their size.
 
Posts: 97
Location: Frederick, MD zone7b
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We find that getting people to try the duck eggs the first time is the big hurdle :) while they arent for everybody, those who like them really do.

We have also found that they are a good way to stay in good graces with the neighbors. Also, duck egg quiche/ frittata is a great dish to bring to a potluck.

You can also mention to sellers at the farmers market that if they ever have people looking for duck eggs to call you. If there are bakers at the farmers market give them some to try and see if they find it special.

As far as im concerned if you drop them off in your car, thats still being sold from your property.

Cheers
Bryan
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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I love y'all too much! <3

I started reading about raising ducks about a year ago. When I thought, "Hmmmm, think I'll give this a go," I told my neighbor that I was thinking about getting ducks, and I asked her what she thought about having duck neighbors. I was concerned that the noise might bother her, but all she wanted to know was if they'd get in her yard. I said, "No, but they might be a little quacky." And she replied, "Pfft. I sleep like a log, and ducks are wonderful. Please try to keep them out of my yard."

She will receive the first gift of eggs.

As far as im concerned if you drop them off in your car... That's how we sold 8-track tapes back in the day in West Philly! You could find a lot of interesting things in someone's trunk. But yes, my car is my property. I'll check to see if the WA Code specifies "real property." heheheheheh yazzzz
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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Well, it seemed like a great idea before they feathered out. They aren't quite finished (they're five weeks old), but the current drake to duck ratio of my 10 ducking straight run looks like this:

8:1

Eight drakes to one duck‽ ::sigh::. I'm still holding out hope for Number 9, but they look like a drake. Everything but the neck ring.

I'll start a new thread with questions about small flock management best practices because I have a ton of questions about how to move forward.

These are gorgeous ducks. I'm sad that so many have to be culled so soon, and I'm glad that I resisted the urge to name them.

Best laid plans...



 
Nicole Alderman
master steward
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I had the same problem with my first 10 ducks. 3 girls, 7 guys...and then one girl got eaten by something.

Now, when I pick ducks from a straight run, I pick the LOUDEST ducks. Girls are louder than guys, even when ducklings. It worked pretty well the last time. I got 4 girls and 1 drake.

Nows a good time to find affordable ducks on craigslist. I'd had every intention of having a pure ancona duck flock, but then we had way too few girls. So we got cheap ducks off of craigslist and people knew we had ducks and so pointed their friends in our direction when they had too many ducklings or their duck needed a home. So we have anconas, magpie x Swedish, khaki Campbell, golden 300, white layer, and runner ducks and even a crested black Swedish. They lay eggs and that's what matters to me!
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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Thanks, Nicole :)

First of all, my so-called count seems to be wrong. I've been so stressed (obsessed) about the duck to drake ratio that I think I had it wrong as they continue to lose their baby down and what I thought were neck rings probably weren't.

It looks more like 50 50 BUT I will try to practice patience and try to stop my incessant duck counting based on sex. I will continue to count to make sure no one is running around the kitchen. (Their temporary housing is a 7' x 4' wooden brooder box I built a couple of weeks ago. Imma build their outdoor house and get them outta here this weekend.)

I wasn't able to hand pick the straight run; I ordered them from Holderread, and they don't vent sex 1-day-old duckings, and that's fine with me.

Here's a picture of their current digs:

Patience, patience, patience...

Oh, and here they are hanging out. Imagine them twice the size :)

ETA: I've added a picture from today. Um...pretend I didn't mess around with the Blu-Kote. Sooooooo stupid. (Besides patience, I'm working on my self-critical issues.) ::sigh::
92hLyZKXRfC5VxvayOmWQQ.jpg
[Thumbnail for 92hLyZKXRfC5VxvayOmWQQ.jpg]
Brooder #2
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Ducks move in
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My purple ducks :(
 
Posts: 176
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Beth Johnson wrote:Hello, All -


I don't intend for this to be a side business. I work from home and I'd probably sell the eggs for $2/half dozen. About 1/4 or the people here are below the poverty line, and I would like to offer healthful food. I might give them away...

Does anyone have any advice, cautions, want some free eggs?



Check your market, duck eggs are a premium. Call a few artisan cake shops. They might revel at a steady source of local duck eggs.  
 
Beth Johnson
Posts: 70
Location: Lewis County, WA USDA Zone 8b
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First egg! They're 20 weeks old now, and living the high life.
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She worked hard!
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Happy Happy Joy Joy
 
Posts: 78
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I had a paddling of ducks about 10 years ago.  There was an overabundance od eggs to which most people would turn their noses up to, too greasy, they'd say.  Then I changed my strategy.  I began visiting Chinese restaurants and takeout, and would sell them to the owners.   I always came home with an empty cooler.
 
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I just want Ducks 🦆 &  Geese when I retire.
Selling egg 🥚 & babies never crossed my mind.
I could make pen & feed money back, that would be good.
 
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