life expectancy for ducks


10 Years
Jul 7, 2009

In England, just before christmas, there was a story in the news about Englands oldest duck. She was a wild mallard type that had been hand reared and was 22.5 yrs old.
I have read that ducks can live anywhere from 10-20 years...but this was ducks in general.
When looking for Campbell ducks life expectancy I found it was anywhere between 8-15 years...but this didn't say if it was a drake or female.

Today I was told by a Runner breeder, he breeds prize winning runners, that the actual life expectancy for a commercial egg laying duck is more like 2-4 years! This sucks, as some of you are aware of my lovely little white campbell that is an egg laying monster.

So, my question is, what is the life expectancy for the following female ducks:

Runner Duck
White Campbell
Khaki Campbell

Which duck lives the shortest out of all domestic ducks?


2-4 years sounds really low even for a production bred bird. I don't know that average life expectancy changes that much across breeds either, so I can't really give a break down by the breed. All of the breeds I have had seemed to have lived to about the same age. We have had a *lot* of ducks that have lived to 10-12 years old. That seems to be about average for all of our larger breeds. We haven't kept some of the bantam breeds long enough to know if they live the same length of time, but we do have some that are around 8 now and still actively producing. All things considered, 2-4 seems really low.
i wonder if the 2-4 year life expectancy is because they are only kept for the best egg laying years. Commercial egg laying chickens only live for 18 months before they are culled, but that is not their natural life expectancy.
I've always suspected it's also a lot like dogs, where they large, heavy breeds will have a shorter lifespan than a little bantam, like a mallard. I remember reading a story about a wild mallard that had been banded for a study and was recorded to be over 30 years old!

I have a Jumbo Pekin who's 6 and has arthritis and I worry about her every day - I don't expect her to live as long as my Campbells, even with the stresses of egg production on their bodies.

So, I guess I dunno. My 6-year-old Pekin is my oldest bird. Ask me again in 10 years!
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks for the input.

He did say it was due to the stress of egg laying...many medical complications can arise, like prolapsing for example, but he did list a handful of medical conditions.

Can I expect 10 yrs?


I would consider mine lucky to make it for 10 years! It seems there is so much that can befall ducks and poultry. I like mine to free range as much as possible and I know that is where I will most likely lose some. Predators or accidents. At least, I lose more chickens free ranging than when kept in breeding pens.
My fiends father found a muscovy duckling wondering on the side of a road, he took it home and she was a part of the family for 21 years! They did a story on her in the paper!

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