How Long Do Ducks Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 – 10 Years

Ducks are aquatic birds that are smaller than swans and geese and may be found in both fresh water and seawater. They are found on every continent except for Antarctica.

Ducks are omnivorous, opportunistic eaters and they eat grass, aquatic plants, insects, seeds, fruit, fish, nuts, and other types of food.

Ducks are birds that are referred to as “waterfowl” because they are usually found near water bodies like rivers, streams, and lakes.

How Long Do Ducks Live?

Ducks don’t live as long as the other similar birds. The average lifespan of a domestic duck is about 10 years or less. As a general rule, the larger the breed of a duck is, the smaller is its lifespan, and vice-versa. Quite rarely the larger breeds of ducks live beyond 5 to 7 years of age. However, there are some exceptional breeds of ducks which when well taken care of can live beyond 10 years.

There are several stories about pet ducks reaching ages into their 20s. Thus, if they are well cared for, ducks can surpass the average lifespan of 5 – 10 years.

Ensuring that ducks have a safe shelter is as important as making sure that they have a sufficient supply of food to eat. Ducks are indeed low-maintenance birds, but if one is keeping them as pets, their necessities should be fulfilled so that they can live a long and fruitful life.

Mallard ducks, the most common and familiar duck on the planet live on average for approximately 10 years. Also, one mallard male duck holds the world record among the ducks for having lived for 26 years and 4 months. Thus, there are a lot of factors that can influence this bird’s lifespan.

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BreedAverage Lifespan
Pekin5 – 10 years
Call7 – 10 years
Indian Runner8 – 12 years
Khaki Campbell8 – 10 years
Mallard8 – 10 years

Why Do Ducks Live This Long?

The lifespan of a domestic duck depends on several factors like housing, care, protection, diet, exposure to threats, veterinary care, etc. Duck care is usually inexpensive as they are extremely easy to handle.

As ducks require minimal shelter, they are affordable to maintain. Care must be taken to ensure that the opening of the shelter faces away from the prevailing winds. The duck’s house must always be bedded with clean straw or wood shavings. These birds also require a constant supply of fresh water, deep enough to allow them to submerge their head.

One can easily do their care however it must be kept in mind that ducks are not made for indoor lifestyle. Hence, they must be kept outside like in an open lawn or garden space for their well-being. Ducks don’t like to be alone and get sad and quiet when they are lonely. If possible, whenever buying a duck, buy them in a pair. In this way, the duck will have a companion and will be happy in its company.

The duck’s lifespan mainly depends on the quality of care one can provide. When along with proper care better facilities are provided, ducks can easily live longer than their average lifespan.

Ducks are highly intelligent and emotional creatures. They can understand commands and can even play with toys. If ducks are handled with care frequently and gently from an early age, they can become quite sociable with people.

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Conclusion

Domestic ducks are mostly raised for eggs and meat. They are often kept as pets too as they are easy to handle. Their average lifespan ranges from 5 to 10 years. However, they can live longer too depending on various other factors affecting their lifestyle.

One should not keep a duck as a pet at home or any other unusual animal for that matter, just to be different from others. One must think about the animal’s needs and wants, must assess whether or not he would be able to give the life the pet needs and deserves.

Ducks can live for a long time and deserve a happy, healthy home for the duration. As with all pets, when one is planning to keep a duck as his pet, remember to contact the veterinarian for any questions about their lifestyle and schedule checkups regularly to keep them healthy and happy.

References

  1. https://bioone.org/journals/Waterbirds/volume-32/issue-2/063.032.0209/Feeding-Ecology-of-Long-Tailed-Ducks-Clangula-hyemalis-Wintering-on/10.1675/063.032.0209.short
  2. https://search.informit.org/doi/abs/10.3316/INFORMIT.318345295560367

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