How Long do Muscovy Ducks Live?

Muscovy ducks are some of the longest living duck species in the world. On average, Muscovy ducks live between 8 and 12 years. These ducks can live for up to 20 years if you accord them excellent care.

Wild Muscovy ducks have a shorter lifespan than captive Muscovy ducks since wild ducks are an easy target for predators such as cats, snakes, and reptiles.

How to Tell the Age of a Muscovy Duck?

It’s hard to figure out the exact age of a Muscovy duck.  Nonetheless, you can tell the age of a Muscovy duck by looking at its wing feathers. Juvenile Muscovy ducks have pricky little feathers when they are between 2 and 3 years old.

Muscovy ducks that are three years old and above have rough wing feathers. Older ducks aged seven years and above have dull feathers, unlike younger ducks with remarkably bright feathers.

How to Increase The Life Expectancy of Muscovy Ducks?

Muscovy ducks can live several years compared to most duck species. However, your Muscovy ducks will not live for long if you fail to accord them proper care. It is easy to boost the life expectancy of your ducks. Below are some of the things you can do to ensure your Muscovy ducks live for several years.

– Food and Water

Give your Muscovy ducks foods that will prolong their lifespan. Ideally, your ducks need to eat nutritious and safe foods for them to live long. Below are some great food choices for Muscovy ducks.

  • Grains

Grains are some of the best foods for captive Muscovy ducks. They provide a similar nutritional level that wild Muscovy ducks forage on in the wild. Grains contain plenty of vitamin E, Phosphorous, and Vitamin B. Providing older Muscovy ducks with grains will help prolong your ducks’ lifespan.

Grains have a negligible fat content that can make your ducks less susceptible to diseases that come with having excess weight due to feeding on foods with high-fat content. Grains also come with lots of fiber, meaning your Muscovy ducks will consume less food.

  •  Seeds

Seeds are also a crucial part of Muscovy ducks’ diets. Seeds such as sunflower seeds will help promote the health of your Muscovy ducks, enabling your ducks to live for several years. The vitamin A in sunflower seeds is especially suitable for egg-laying Muscovy ducks since it boosts their egg production.

Sesame seeds can also help extend the lifespan of your Muscovy ducks. Moreover, Sesame seeds can help your Muscovy ducks increase their fiber and calcium intake in their diet.

The increase in the uptake of fiber and calcium can help your Muscovy ducks have a longer lifespan since it will help boost their fiber and calcium intake. These two essential nutrients will help your Muscovy ducks maintain healthy digestive systems.

Muscovy ducks usually die at an early age due to digestive problems resulting from the foods they eat. Sesame seeds will enhance your ducks’ digestive systems, making them less vulnerable to digestive problems.

Laying Muscovy ducks need to eat plenty of Sesame seeds because these seeds have plenty of calcium. Calcium is suitable for promoting high egg production in Muscovy egg-laying ducks.  Muscovy ducks will live for long if they eat Sesame seeds. Include these seeds in your ducks’ main diet to help them live longer.

Pumpkin seeds are also excellent types of seeds that can help your Muscovy ducks live for long.  Muscovy ducks need plenty of calories and carbohydrates to live for many years.

Pumpkin seed will provide your Muscovy ducks with the right amount of calories and carbohydrates, especially in winter months, when Muscovy ducks spend plenty of energy as they try to keep themselves warm when living indoors.

Chia seeds are among the most incredible types of seeds to give your Muscovy ducks to prolong their lifespan. These seeds might be expensive compared to other seeds that people give to their Muscovy ducks.

Chia seeds, however, contain plenty of calcium and starch that is particularly suitable for older Muscovy ducks. Older Muscovy ducks need plenty of calcium and starch to help them live for many years. Muscovy duck ducklings also need plenty of calcium and starch to support their growth.

  • Vegetables

Vegetables can make your Muscovy ducks live longer. Vegetables have plenty of vitamin E, which is crucial for supporting your ducks’ immune system. Your Muscovy ducks will live for several years if you include vegetables in their diet.

Cabbage are among the best vegetables to give to your Muscovy ducks to extend their lifespan. Lettuce is also another great choice of vegetables to provide to your Muscovy ducks. Lettuce is an excellent source of minerals and calcium that your Muscovy ducks require to live for many years.

Apart from food, water is also suitable for increasing the lifespan of your Muscovy ducks. Muscovy ducks won’t live long if they lack enough water since they will die of dehydration. Water helps regulate your Muscovy ducks’ body temperature.

Most Muscovy ducks die due to high temperatures if they lack water to cool down their body temperature. Make sure your Muscovy ducks have plenty of water around.

– Environment

The environment can significantly affect your Muscovy ducks’ lifespan. Your ducks need to live in an environment where they are safe from predators. Captive ducks are also vulnerable to predators, including stray dogs and cats.

Make sure your ducks are living in an environment where they are safe from such predators. Your Muscovy ducks will live longer if they aren’t vulnerable to predators.

The Environment you keep your Muscovy ducks in should also be free from diseases, thieves, and anything likely to threaten your ducks’ life. Furthermore, keep your Muscovy ducks in a clean environment to protect them from parasites that can shorten their lifespan.

– Housing

Your Muscovy ducks need a shelter where they can live and stay away from predators and natural calamities such as wind and rain. Such disasters will reduce your ducks’ lifespan over time.

Even if you are keeping your Muscovy ducks outdoors, make sure they have a shelter where they can retreat to during the night when they are more vulnerable to predators.

– Diseases

Diseases can shorten your Muscovy ducks’ lifespan.  Some of the conditions that affect Muscovy ducks include duck plague, colibacillosis, and avian cholera. You can call a vet to examine your ducks frequently to ensure they don’t have any diseases that shorten their lifespan.

Furthermore, consider immunizing your ducks from the common conditions that affect Muscovy ducks. Muscovy ducks will live for many years when they aren’t susceptible to any disease.

– Genetics

Genetics can also affect your Muscovy duck’s lifestyle. Some Muscovy ducks live shorter lives due to genetic disposition. Some ducks in your flock could be vulnerable to diseases due to genetics. Eliminate such ducks from your flock since they won’t live longer as you expect them to live.

– Predators

Predators are perhaps the biggest threat to Muscovy ducks. Because predators usually prey on ducks of all ages. Ensure your Muscovy ducks are safe from predators all the time. Have a fence around your yard to deter predators from getting into your lawn and attacking your ducks.

Furthermore, consider sealing gaps in your ducks’ cage. Install a hardware cloth around the fencing to further deny predators access to your ducks.

Some predators that prey on captive Muscovy ducks include red foxes, raccoons, badgers, and corvids. The best way to ensure your ducks are safe from such predators is by denying them access to your Muscovy ducks.

At What Age do Muscovy Ducks Start Laying Eggs?

Muscovy ducks usually start laying eggs at the age of six months. Some ducks can take longer to lay eggs. Your ducks shouldn’t take more than eight months to lay eggs.

Hen Ducks or Drakes, Which Live Longer?

Hen Muscovy ducks live longer than drakes. Drakes are more susceptible to threats such as predators, as they try to defend their flock from predators making them highly vulnerable. Hens are less aggressive, and they opt to concentrate on laying and protecting their eggs.


Muscovy ducks can live for several years. The lifespan of these ducks depends on the care that their owners give them. You can keep your Muscovy ducks for many years if you accord them the best care possible.


avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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