Making Balut from Muscovy Duck Eggs

 

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I finally did it! Made my own balut! A duck hen has been sitting on a nest of eggs and for some reason she decided to push out two eggs. So I took the eggs and tried candling them with a small LED flashlight in a dark room (the bathroom, actually). I saw just next to the air sac what seemed to be large dark areas, the embryo of the egg.

Turning these eggs into balut is easy — just boil them! Hard boiled! Here are the results. Cracked open, they look like balut, smell like balut and taste like balut, delicious! I was wondering of Muscovy duck eggs could be made into balut, since most of what I read say it has to be the mallard. Well, these eggs are good enough!

I think that the main reason why mallards (and pekin ducks) are often used for balut is that the hens are not as broody as the Muscovy duck hen. The Muscovy will try to hatch out ALL her eggs and she will get upset if anybody keeps stealing her eggs!

Anyway, if you’re new to balut, you can learn more about it on Wikipedia! Oh, by the way, don’t look at the photos below if you’re squeamish! 😜

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We Have Duck Eggs Again!

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The last clutch of duck eggs were laid in December and hatched in February. Over the next 3 months, we didn’t have any eggs. The two drakes stopped courting the duck hens — they all stopped mating. I would’ve thought that – like chickens – duck hens would continue laying eggs even without a drake, but this wasn’t the case. Just like the drought of now 4 months, the ducks expressed their own response to the dry spell.

The strange dance that some duck hens began exhibiting in January (and a couple of them continue to do so) suddenly have new meaning to me.

Then earlier this month, it started to rain, not very much, but at least, the earth gets a bit to drink! And the drake began his dance, and now, we have eggs again!

 

With that, our alpha drake has become more aggressive with regard to enlarging his territory. Here, in the video above, he has engaged one of the roosters in a fight. The drake uses his weight to pin down the rooster and his wings to beat him, while the rooster uses his sharp beak in several attempts to inflict wounds on vulnerable areas of the drake’s body such as the eyes.

It looks like a nasty fight but neither animals really get hurt. Roosters fighting are bloodier and deadlier with their sharp beaks, claws and spurs.

Looking on are 10 young ducks (of 4 months age) that have been released a month ago from an experimental fattening program I started in early January. Note that some of the ducks have “angel wing syndrome”. This wing deformity seems to appear when young ducks are fed large amounts of protein, thus motivating a growth spur much faster than their bodies could take. This leads me to think that this breed of Muscovies should start fattening/finishing at 12 weeks of age minimum instead of 10 weeks.

Later, I’ll write more about this new fattening phase program I am implementing as I am getting very good results!

Weekend Harvests

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First, this large crab came in for lunch. Then we went to forage for vegetables in the garden, early in the morning before it starts raining again! And finally, the duck bacon in the fridge is finished!

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The lady who comes to sell sea urchin came today with this huge crab, still alive, lost one of its pinchers. It’s a male crab, so not much fatty bits to expect. It weighs about 800 grams, and she sold it to us for 60 pesos. I asked her if she could find us some bangus fingerlings. She said she’ll get them (her husband is a fisherman). One usually gathers/harvests them along the beach during season. Been raining here all day, typhoon Jenny going north near Luzon. I hope no damage or casualties anywhere.
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Here’s a harvest of winged beans and duck and chicken eggs early in the morning. We’ll have plenty of winged bean seeds soon so let us know if you want to swap seeds (in Philippines only).
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Still cloudy, rainy, windy, a bit of sun, humid, here in Bohol! Pigs love the resulting mud but we humans need to be careful of the slippery slopes. After feeding the pigs, a quick harvest through the garden before the rain starts again, and again, and again. A lot of saluyot, a bit of okra and sitaw. Looking at how the saluyot grows, nobody should starve in this place, the saluyot grows like weeds, they proliferate themselves crazy. If you want seeds (Philippines only), let us know, we’ll have plenty soon, they can probably grow OK in pots.
Crab (duck-egg) omelette topped with winged beans cooked in coconut milk, chilli and a bit of bagoong alamang! Lunch!
Crab (duck-egg) omelette topped with winged beans cooked in coconut milk, chilli and a bit of bagoong alamang! Lunch!

Do duck eggs taste different than chicken eggs?

It may depend on what type of eggs you are used to eating, and how they are prepared. Commercially farmed (chicken) eggs are unfertilised and may taste differently from free-range eggs. In fact, in the EU and Australia, eggs are graded by the hen farming method – whether free range or battery caged. You may also be used to eating eggs sunny-side up, with the yolk still runny, and may therefore prefer the gamey taste of eggs (and meat). Personally, I can’t easily tell the taste difference between chicken and duck eggs, but that might just be because I’m so used to eating raw eggs (we ate raw eggs when I was a child, mixed with Sarsi!). However, I know someone who can tell the difference in taste of eggs (chickens and ducks) depending on what the fowls have been eating! 🙂

Crab rice, saluyot and okra veggies and the "duck bacon!"
Crab rice, saluyot and okra veggies and the “duck bacon!”