Duck eggs are traditionally a good deep yellow to orange colour, and that is essentially diet based. Ducks forage a little differently to chickens. They love the snails, slugs, things dwelling in the water, too. In particular, they love their greens.
And where you live can also really affect what ducks forage for. So if you are in a climate that grows oak trees and walnuts well then you are possibly in for a little treat.
When every egg so far has been the traditional orangey-yellow, but suddenly they are brown or even green, it can be a little shocking.
DON'T BE ALARMED!
Ducks naturally forage for acorns from oak trees. Acorns contain a high level of tannin, like tea, and this is what is colouring the egg yolks.
There is a possibility that ducks who are also on a high diet of walnuts may also have a deeper or dark coloured yolk.
The colouring will be RIGHT THROUGHOUT the yolk - NOT IN A PART OR STREAKED.
If there are streaks of brown or green, then you either have a fertilised duck egg or possibly another health issue for your vet to investigate.
Even though the colouring can be quite alarming, just remember that it is only a colouring thanks to tannins. There is no easily found information as to whether they are truly edible or not, so doing a small cooking test would be the best advice. There really is no logical reason to throw these darkened yolks into the bin.
If they don't float, and they don't smell bad - they should be perfectly fine for consumption.
DOES THIS ONLY AFFECT DUCKS?
Acorns are the highly prized finds for ducks in the wild. They are incredibly nutritious for them in so many ways. Chickens will never bother to touch them as their pallet is just not shaped for them like a duck's is. Its really not reported amongst other poultry.
But there is one other animal that is well known for eating acorns for a very special meat: PIGS.
Iberico ham and bacon is one of the most expensive and luxurious meat in the world.
According to Wikipedia - IBERICO HAM:
It is also known as jamón ibérico de Montanera. The exercise and diet have a significant impact on the flavor of the meat; the ham is cured for 36 months. The next grade is called jamón ibérico de recebo. This ham is from pigs that are pastured and fed a combination of acorns and grain.
According to Wikipedia - IBERICO BACON:
These special sweet acorns are antioxidant rich, making Ibérico de Bellota fat comparatively healthy - more like extra virgin olive oil than other fats. Not to be confused with cured Italian pancetta, Spanish panceta (with one "t") is a raw pork belly.
Well, that's sold me. I really think I would give brown or green duck egg yolks a try now.
If you have tried it, please let us know what you thought of them. Pass on your wisdom!