Ducks are one of the most common species of birds in the world. They are also known as waterfowl because they usually dwell in places with water like rivers, streams, and ponds. Ducks are similar, yet different compared to geese and swans. As a matter of fact, most people make the same mistake and confuse ducks with other birds like loons, grebes, and coots.
Ducks come with relatively short necks and short wings, a stout body and they are smaller compared to geese and swans. People usually can’t notice the difference between a young adult duck and an older duck because these physical changes are not so obvious. This is one of the reasons why people are wondering how long do ducks live.
How long do ducks live?
First of all, we must say that ducks live shorter compared to geese for example. According to some statistics, an ordinary domestic duck can live up to ten years even though in most cases they live for 8 or 9 years. Generally speaking, the breeds of ducks that are large live shorter compared to their smaller cousins. In fact, large ducks usually live between four and seven years. The only relatively large species of ducks that can live longer is the Muscovy. This duck lives between eight and twelve years even though there are records of domesticated Muscovy that lived longer.
Another common breed of duck, that we should mention is the Pekin. This duck grows very fast when it’s young which is probably the main reason why it has such a short lifespan – around five year. In addition, the Pekin shows the signs of aging in a more extreme way compared to other ducks. For instance, it cannot walk on its legs properly. Often they live with leg problems for a year or two before they die.
On the other hand, the life expectancy of ducks that can be categorized as medium or light is relatively longer. Some of the species that belong to these categories include Runners, Blue Swedish, and Cayugas. So, their life expectancy is between 10 and 13 years. What is interesting for all breeds of ducks is that the number of eggs they lay has an impact on their lifespan. Namely, the more eggs they produce, the shorter their life span is.
One of the longest living breeds of ducks is the so-called bantam ducks. The Black East Indies and the Calls are the two subspecies that live the most. It is not unusual for the Calls to reach 15 years. In addition, these ducks usually stay healthy almost all of their lives and they are not experiencing some aging problems typical for other species.
A Mallard Drake (male duck) still holds the record of the oldest duck in the world – it lived for 27 years. A combination of good diet, suitable environment, and genetic predisposition will significantly increase the life expectancy of any species of ducks. The fact is that domesticated ducks live longer and they are generally healthier.