How long do Muscovy Ducks live?

Dotty Duck

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 20, 2013
SW France
Hello all - did a quick search and can't find the answer on here.

The reason I ask is that when I went to let my girls out this morning, one of them was dead. She put herself to bed about an hour before sunset last night which is a little unusual so I just assumed she was getting herself ready to lay.

Some muscovies can lie a long long long long time , first of all it probably die of poor sanitation they don't even like wing put up , they want to be outside all the time and when thy are confined in even a large space but with feces and no water for bathing they can die of salmonella or any other disease.

Muscovies can truthfully live as long as dogs if kept in good outdoor conditions and kept on a healthy diet
I know Miss Lydia has some in the 9yr mark. Sadly, ducks being prey animals hide symptoms very well. You may not know what happened, she may have been egg bound, could have been viral, infection etc...

Sorry for your loss. It's frustrating, but sometimes you cannot find the cause. Keep an eye on remaining ducks, perhaps thoroughly examine them just for any indicators..
Don't know specifically about scovies....but wild mallards have lived over 20 years.

We found that our ducks were dying of heavy metal poisoning. They will eat metal as large as a big bolt (they think it is like a stag beetle - which is pretty big and hard) They eat staples, wire, screws, nails - all kinds of metal. And a lot of that metal has a zinc coating or other poisonous metal. They will stop eating, as things don't taste good to them. They try to eat, and then spit it out and walk away. We had one die and another lost so much weight - we took her to the vet and they did an xray and found about 1/4 -1/3 cup of assorted metal (screws, nails, staples wire etc) Between the heavy metal poisoning and the sharp edges cutting the lining of the stomach, AND the reduced amount of stomach space for actual food... they starve to death and from the poisoning to the brain as well and any bacteria from the cut up stomach. We were successful at getting the heavy metal out of one duck's system using this Chelating method (found here on Backyard chickens):

There are three goals for treatment of heavy metal toxicity:

Stabilize the patient by providing supportive care such as supplemental heat, fluids to prevent dehydration and medication to stop tremors or seizures.
Remove heavy metal from bodily tissues with a binding or chelating agent:
Calcium EDTA (Calcium disodium versenate, 3M Pharmaceuticals) 30-35 mg/kg IM BID x 5 days
Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA or Succimer) 25 mg/kg PO SID x 10 days. In a study evaluating chelating agents in cockatiels. Although DMSA is administered orally, it may be easier than other chelating agents for bird owners to administer at home, however, DMSA has a narrow margin of safety so this drug should always be used with caution (Denver 2000).
D-Penicillamine (Cuprimine, Merck) 30 mg/kg PO BID x 7 days minimum - source for dmsa

She seemed to be getting better, but ended up getting run over by a car. So, we never finished the program.

Signs of heavy metal poisoning: Picky eater, loss of weight, stumbling, low energy - just sitting for long periods (not sitting on eggs) - seems dazed.

We now have a metal-free area for the ducks to live in. We went over the entire place with a metal detector and dug up all the metal - screws, nails, wire etc that was there. We routinely check the ducks with the metal detector as it will beep if they have ingested any metal. So far, no one has.

It is too expensive for the vet to get the metal out of the duck's stomach - so that is not an option. BEST to make sure the area they are in has NO metal first!!

Heavy metal poisoning can effect any livestock - chickens, goats, cows, - they all eat metal!

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