Like all birds, turkeys most certainly lay eggs, although they are not as prolific layers as ducks or chickens. In general, turkeys only lay about two eggs per week compared to the six or seven that chickens lay, but their eggs are most certainly edible. In fact, turkey eggs are highly nutritious and are far larger than chicken eggs, by up to 50% in some cases!
If turkey’s eggs are so large and nutritious, you may be wondering why we don’t eat them. In most stores, you’ll find chicken, duck, and even quail eggs in the food aisles, but rarely will you see turkey eggs. Let’s find out why this is and whether turkey eggs are worth eating.
Do We Eat Turkey Eggs?
Turkey eggs are larger, richer, creamier, and more nutritionally rich than chicken eggs, and if you can find them, they are great alternatives. If turkey eggs are so nutritious and turkey is the fifth most popular meat in the United States, why don’t we eat the eggs?
The answer is due to a combination of factors. First, turkeys only lay about two or three eggs per week. Since turkeys are so big, they take up more space and require more food, making caring for them expensive. Only getting a couple eggs per week makes the expense too much for most consumers. This added expense and scarcity of eggs pushes the price of turkey eggs way above chicken eggs: for the cost of a single turkey egg, you could likely buy two dozen chicken eggs!
Second, turkeys are much slower to begin laying than chickens. Turkeys only begin laying eggs at around 7 months old, compared with chickens, which begin laying at around 18 weeks. This makes turkey eggs more valuable because it makes more sense to fertilize the egg and let it hatch to produce more turkeys, rather than sell it for human consumption.
Lastly, turkey eggs are unfamiliar to most consumers, and they’d typically rather stick to chicken or duck eggs.
Turkey Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs
Turkey eggs don’t taste much different from chicken eggs, except they are a bit richer and creamier. Turkey eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, by up to 50%, but not that much bigger than duck eggs, and they have a much thicker shell and shell membrane than chicken eggs. A turkey egg will thus give you almost double the amount of calories, protein, and fat of a chicken egg, partly due to the larger size and partly because these nutrients are more highly concentrated in turkey eggs.
Like all birds, turkeys lay eggs, although they don’t lay as prolifically as chickens. That said, turkey eggs are still edible and healthy for us, perhaps even more so than chicken eggs. Due to the high cost of raising turkeys and since they only lay around two eggs per week, though, it’s not financially viable to produce turkey eggs, and most farmers opt to raise them for their meat instead.
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