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Feb 24, 2009 08:31 AM

Found egg - eater's remorse?

OK, so I went rowing this morning and found an egg on the dock. Probably from a duck, possibly a goose; it was white and quite large, larger than the average 'Large' chicken egg I've been buying. Usually the birds deposit much less welcome substances on the dock overnight, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, I put the egg in my pocket; it was cold from having been outside in the 40+ degree temperatures. When I got to work, boiled it in a hot pot at my desk, and ate it. It was actually delicious; a very fresh, mild-tasting egg, with a large, rich orange yolk. I used my normal boiling method, which is to put the egg in cold water, bring it just to a boil, then let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Possibly because of the size of the egg, this resulted in an almost-hard-boiled egg - the middle of the yolk was not completely cooked through. Still delicious, though, in fact one of the best boiled eggs I've had.

Question is, could this make me sick? My thinking was, well, if it's boiled, it should be fine, but as noted it wasn't completely cooked through. And the ducks and geese on the river through the middle of the city - well, let's just say you never know what they might be eating. Obviously too late to do anything about it, but should I be worried? I just ate it about an hour ago, and so far I feel fine. People at work, by the way, all say I'm crazy....

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  1. It's an egg! Our church has large ponds that are really a water recycling system since we are next to a bayou, and they have lots of ducks and geese. They lay so many eggs that we have to take some out of the nests to control the amount of them, and then they are up for grabs. Never gotten sick from one yet. And with a nickname like you have - well, need I say more?


    1 Reply
    1. re: danhole

      Thanks.... that's pretty much what I was thinking, but the variable was finding it on the dock. If you've seen our docks you'd know why. I think I would have been less concerned if I'd stolen it from a nest like you do. Also surprised none of the homeless guys beat me to the punch - or the egg, as it were. Then again, they don't usually get up that early.

    2. Generally speaking, unless the bird in question was actually sick and spreading bugs throughout its system, including into the egg itself, and then the egg is mostly likely perfectly fine.

      There is some possibility that the bird may have ingested harmful chemicals that may have made their way into the egg, but since it was a single egg, and you very likely don't make a habit of eating them, it's unlikely (not impossible, just unlikely) that there were any significant concentrations of anything that would actually harm you.

      Though, report back if you grow a third arm or eye. ;D

      1 Reply
      1. re: Morganna

        I'll be sure and let you know. If I can still type....

      2. Ah Bat...I have always enjoyed your posts. You will be missed :-)

        1. The health risk from raw egg comes from bacteria on the shell that contaminates the egg as you crack it, and therefore possible contaminates the raw dough/batter/whatever. Honestly, it's not a risk I consider to be that great, I eat stuff with raw egg all the time, just prefer not to lick the unwashed shells. Unless the bird had a major systemic infection, the interior of the egg is pretty sterile. If it did have such a health problem, I doubt it would be laying eggs. So as far as infection goes, you should be ok.

          As Morganna already said, there's a risk of chemical contaminant, but likely not in high enough concentrations to hurt a person after one egg -again, if there were enough to poison you with one egg, the bird probably wouldn't be laying anyway.

          7 Replies
          1. re: mpjmph

            Thanks for the info. I'm feeling pretty good about my free breakfast about now!

            1. re: Bat Guano

              good enough to eat one tomorrow?
              I had to laugh at your post, I think we all would pass out if we saw what some of our food went through. You're probably safer with the egg. How about a nice peanut butter sandwich?

              1. re: chef chicklet

                Coincidentally, I had a peanut butter sandwich also.... And I would definitely eat another found egg, if I find one - they don't come along every day, though. And I might have to wrestle one of the homeless guys for it. Nah, I'd let him have it - figuring he needs it more than I do.

              2. re: Bat Guano

                When I read the title of your post then the first sentence, I thought you were about to express remorse for taking the egg. Not that you should (I wouldn't...) the egg was abandoned and too cold to become anything other than your breakfast :)

                1. re: mpjmph

                  Hey, it was payback for all the times I've put my hand in bird shit pushing off from the dock in the dark!

                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    I've encountered enough angry Canada Geese in my life, I would feel no shame... They're everywhere here - parking lots, backyards, playgrounds. We have a small flock that likes to hang around a busy intersection near the mall and stand in traffic at rush hour just daring us to drive. If only the birds themselves tasted as good as the eggs...

                    1. re: mpjmph

                      It's funny because when I first volunteered to help with the ducks at church I googled Muscovy ducks because I wasn't familiar with these ugly things, and I found an awful lot of recipes! We also have peking ducks and mallards but right now we have a lot of "tourist" ducks who see the place as an AYCE buffet. We have geese as well but not as many as the ducks. Those geese are ballsy! Even in Texas.

            2. Drink 3 Shiner Bocks; guarenteed to make you feel better. If not follow w/ 3 more Live Oak Ales. (I might have the order wrong.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                I'll just stick with the Live Oaks, thanks. It's still Liberation Ale season!

                1. re: Bat Guano

                  One of my favorite brews, especially with a raw egg in it!