Mysterious death of 5yo muscovy drake?


Jan 16, 2016
I have had muscovy ducks for 10 years now. I have always had only a small number at a time as they are just my pets and gardeners!

As of this morning I had 5 gorgeous muscovies, however very sadly, this morning I lost one of my beautiful (approx.) 5yo boys. R.I.P. lovely :'(

This morning when they were fed etc. I noticed he seemed a bit lethargic, so I gave him some water and left him to rest in the shade. When I came to check on him again (about 2hrs later), he was lying dead where I left him.

I don't know what killed him and I am concerned for the health of my other ducks! It is almost impossible that he accidentally consumed any sort of poison and considering our well kept lawn in our suburban yard I very much doubt he was bitten by any snake/spider etc.

The one clue I have is that when he was about 6 weeks old, half of his clutch (including him) was taken by some mysterious illness whereby they became paralysed from their feet upwards. All of the ducklings who had the illness died except for him. After being nursed back to health he eventually regained the ability to walk, although his entire life he had a hilariously exaggerated ducky waddle. I have no idea what this illness was and either did my (then) vet. Was it perhaps some virus which had "come back to get him"?
Other than that, he had always seemed a healthy happy duck doing everything a duck should do.

Has any duck owner ever had these kind of symptoms resulting in a later death? Help please!


6 Years
Jun 23, 2015
I'm so sorry to hear about your drake.

I agree with you, it was likely the virus that caused the issue. He could have had some sort of problem in his system that returned during a time of weakness. However, since I do not keep ducks, I can't say this as anything other then a theory. I've lost chickens to neurological problems such as paralysis and I hear such issues can come and go over and over again as they remain in the system.

Keep an eye out for abnormal behavior, droppings, breathing, eating or drinking. Parasites and weather changes, moldy food or a dirty environment can weaken the immune system and perhaps made the virus return more easily. Stress from a change in the flock could also lower the immune system.

I really hope the others remain healthy and happy.

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