Eggs in a bird's nest

Can You Eat Any Bird Eggs?

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Eggs are among the most nutritious foods in the world. They are rich in fats, protein, and vitamins. However, when we think about eggs, the picture of the same old chicken eggs pops up in most of our heads. But when there are so many other types of birds out there, the question can you eat any bird eggs might have popped into your mind. Let’s find out!

Almost all bird eggs out there are edible at all stages of their development. But there are some poisonous birds out there. Since these birds’ feathers and skin contain harmful toxins, it’s safe to say their eggs might be poisonous as well. 

Luckily, it’s not possible to come across such harmful bird eggs unless you are extremely unlucky. Even so, you might want to know a bit more about which bird eggs are not safe for consumption and why. In the rest of the article, I share which bird eggs are completely safe to eat and which ones you might want to avoid.

Are All Bird Eggs Safe to Eat?

Unfortunately, not all bird eggs are safe for consumption. There are some poisonous birds out there such as Ifrita Kowaldi and Hooded Pitohui. Both of these birds are native to Papua New Guinea. 

From skin to feather, the bodies of each of these bird species are covered with a harmful toxin named batrachotoxin. They get a hold of this substance from consuming a certain type of poisonous beetle and it is extremely harmful to humans. It’s not possible to even touch their feathers without coming in contact with this dangerously strong poison. 

Without a doubt, just like the bird itself, their eggs are extremely toxic as well. Consuming their eggs may even lead to your death. The symptoms of being close to this poison include a tingling sensation and numbness. 

Hooded pitohui
Hooded pitohui

What Are Some Bird Eggs That Are Safe to Eat?

Other than the good old chicken eggs, there are numerous bird eggs out there that are more than safe for consumption. They are:

Quail Eggs: At a glance, quail eggs look almost identical to chicken eggs with the same brown dots on them. Similarly, they are quite rich in Vitamin D and B12. However, they are quite small in size when compared to a standard chicken egg. 

Goose Eggs: When compared to regular chicken eggs, goose eggs are almost double their size. Additionally, these eggs have a greater protein content and a more enriched taste. But goose eggs can be quite hard to come by, as a goose can lay no more than 40 eggs a year.

Duck Eggs: Duck eggs are extremely rich in protein and fat. Compared to chicken eggs, you will also notice a slightly bigger yolk in duck eggs. It is highly recommended to consume duck eggs for breakfast as they are filled with a large amount of vitamin B complex. If you want to stay energized throughout the day, duck eggs may be a great choice. 

Turkey Eggs: When it comes to size, Turkey eggs are quite similar to duck eggs. Due to its rich and thick yolk and egg-white, these eggs taste creamier than most. They are also extremely rich in calcium. But turkeys do not lay as many eggs as chickens. Per year, a turkey can lay 100 eggs on average. 

Ostrich Eggs: Ostrich eggs are almost 2 kilograms in weight and are the largest bird eggs in the world. The shell is quite hard to crack open as well, as it is almost 20 times thicker than a regular chicken egg’s shell. However, the protein and fat content are quite similar to those of a chicken egg. 

Emu Eggs: Emu eggs can weigh almost 1 kilogram each. The outer layer of these eggs has a unique texture and can be dark green to black in terms of color. 

Pheasant Eggs: Compared to chicken eggs, pheasant eggs have a quite rich taste that makes them a great addition to numerous recipes. Just like all the other bird eggs, these eggs are also packed with a healthy amount of protein, fat, and vitamins. 

When Can Eating Bird Eggs Be Dangerous?

No doubt, eggs are incredibly delicious, packed with nutrients, extremely cheap, and also versatile to cook on top of all of these. There are numerous bird eggs out there, and you can cook them in different ways to make a delicious and healthy dish. But not preparing eggs properly before consumption can make them dangerous for your health instead. 

Let’s look at all the ways eating eggs can be harmful to your body:

Eating Raw Eggs

When you cook an egg, there’s a possibility that most of the nutrients in the yolk have already been destroyed. It is said that eating eggs raw is one of the healthiest ways to eat them.

However, eating an egg raw isn’t always safe as it may contain Salmonella. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause fever, diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting and is commonly found in many kinds of food. Furthermore, raw eggs also contain a protein that can cause biotin deficiency. This can later lead to dangerous health problems as well. 

Using High Temperature to Cook Eggs

It is not safe to use high temperatures when cooking eggs. When you cook eggs using a high temperature and for an extended time, the egg is stripped off of all its nutrients. Many of the health properties of the egg can get jeopardized as well. 

Studies have found that microwaving, frying and boiling can lessen the percentage of antioxidants in an egg. Furthermore, when eggs are cooked in high temperatures, their cholesterol content can become oxidized. This in turn can lead to some dangerous health issues and diseases. 

5 Easy Tips to Safely Cook Bird Eggs 

Although eggs are generally high in nutrients, there are ways you can make them even healthier. Some super easy tips to cook an egg are: 

1. Go for a Low-Calorie Cooking Method

The best thing about eggs is that they are extremely versatile and taste amazing in all ways. If you want to cook a healthy meal and cut down on calories, you can poach or boil your eggs. 

These cooking methods are the best ways to eat healthy as they don’t add any extra fat or calories. 

2. Cook Eggs with Different Vegetables

Eggs can be cooked in many ways and you can easily combine them with vegetables as well. The best part is that eggs can make vegetables taste extremely tasty. 

By simply adding vegetables to scrambled eggs or omelets, you can eat more vegetables and add some more fiber and vitamins to your meals. 

3. Use Oils that can Handle High Temperatures

Some oils are better for cooking at a high temperature as they don’t oxidize and form unhealthy radicals. 

So when pan-frying your eggs, choose oils such as sunflower oil or avocado oil as they can handle high heat extremely well. 

4. Avoid Overcooking the Eggs

The more overcooked your eggs are, the fewer nutrients they have left. The protein in the eggs denatures, losing its natural integrity. 

Furthermore, if you are cooking them at a high temperature for a long time, it can increase the amount of cholesterol the eggs contain. So it’s best to avoid overcooking eggs. 

5. Choose Nutritious Eggs 

Numerous factors can affect the nutritional quality of an egg. For example, organic eggs and pasture-raised eggs have much more nutrients than conventionally or cage-produced eggs. 

So when buying eggs, choose the ones that are most nutritious from your budget point. You can find these organic eggs in various grocery stores and even in nearby farmer’s markets. They can be a bit more expensive, but totally worth it. 

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