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We get five duck eggs a day from our noisy, messy little flock. 

That's roughly five duck eggs a day more than we need. 

The chickens are getting pretty old, so they're not quite as reliable, but we do get a couple eggs a day from them, which is plenty for a household of two, a household in which two of us are watching our cholesterol. 

Having our kids over for Sunday dinner helps. My wife distracts them while I sneak a few dozen eggs into their cars, but I think they're catching on. It doesn't help that the duck eggs are about twice the size of a chicken egg - you can't even squeeze them into a regular egg carton. Duck eggs in a regular egg carton look like a team picture of the high school football team reunion where guys pride themselves on wearing the same size jeans that they wore in high school. The problem is that they need to ride about halfway down the thighs in order to get the zippers zipped. 

One of my sisters has a friend who was born in Vietnam and she's eager to absorb some of our egg surplus, but apparently even free eggs don't seem like as much of a bargain when you have to put 400 miles on your car in order to pick them up. 

The cats would be happy to take the surplus off my hands, but I'm afraid I ate way too much potato soup as a child to be comfortable giving anything other than scraps to creatures as worthless as our cats. 

Keep in mind, there's nothing wrong with these eggs – we're not talking ostrich or iguana eggs. They're just different - bigger, thicker shell, a slightly different color; but I couldn’t even give them away. It reminds me of when I was trying to find a date for the junior prom – I felt I was a valuable commodity, but I wasn't convincing anyone else. 

My wife did some research. On the open market free range organic duck eggs sell for about $2.00 each.  

Sadly, that market does not exist in Big Stone County. 

I was willing to keep the ducks even if they added nothing to the farm. Trust me, we have had plenty of animals on this farm that didn't add any black to the ledger. But going into the coop every morning and seeing a mound of eggs that needed to be collected, washed, and stored, was starting to get me down. There's a chance it wasn't the biggest problem in my world, but it was starting to make the list. 

And then a miracle occurred. My son drove by an Asian grocery story in a town near where he lived and thought, “Hmmm.” Grandson Five is a bit of a wheeler dealer and he sent him in the store with a dozen eggs. The proprietor's eyes lit up when she saw them and they soon worked out a deal involving thirty mini bananas and other valuable items, along with an exchange of phone numbers for future transactions. 

It would make a great inspirational movie in which someone a little different isn’t properly appreciated, until their fine qualities are unexpectedly brought to light in the last fifteen minutes. 

I could play the part of the curmudgeonly old farmer with the hidden, soft, squishy heart. 

I'm telling you; I'd be perfect. 

Copyright Brent Olson 2024 



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