Backyard BirdsbirdsDomestic BirdsMuscovy Ducks

Muscovy Duck Size: How Big Do Muscovies Get?

Before getting them as a pet, it is important to know about muscovy duck size because these are pretty large birds, and you need to make adequate provisions for them.

If you’re thinking of getting Muscovy ducks, you might already be aware that they are larger than other domestic varieties of ducks out there. 

Notable for their unique appearance and habits, these quiet ducks are indeed an interesting species.

Before getting a new domestic breed of poultry, it’s always a good idea to learn as much about them as you can. 

If you’re wondering how big Muscovy ducks get, let’s get to it right away.


Muscovy Duck Size


How Big Do Muscovy Ducks Get?

Muscovy ducks are one of the largest duck species, with wings spanning up to 60 inches from one end to the other. 

Like many other bird species, Muscovy ducks exhibit sexual dimorphism. 

The males can reach 30 inches in length, but female Muscovies are only about half their size.

Muscovies also have relatively larger feet than other ducks, with larger claws and an extra hind claw that allows them to perch on tree branches.

How Much Do Muscovy Ducks Weigh?

As one might expect, Muscovy ducks also weigh more than other, more common breeds of ducks. 

The females can reach 6.6 lbs, while the males are around twice or more as heavy.

Male Muscovies usually weigh about 6.6 lbs, but it’s not uncommon for them to reach 15 lbs and sometimes even 18  lbs.

Although Muscovies are capable of flight, the males struggle to fly due to their heavy weight. 

This is why you’d find them perched on lower branches than the females.


Fully grown muscovy ducks can weigh as much as 18lbs


What Is A Muscovy Duck Wingspan?

Muscovies have large wings, measuring about 60 inches from tip to tip, as I said earlier. 

While such large wings aren’t so common among ducks, Muscovies aren’t exactly like other duck species either.

This duck breed can typically fly for about a mile in one direction, but not more. 

Naturally, they need wings big and strong enough to lift their heavy bodies off the ground, which explains why these ducks have such large wings.

How Long Does It Take for a Muscovy Duck To Be Fully Grown?

It’s crucial to learn about the lifecycle of Muscovy ducks or any poultry you plan to raise. 

Only then can you properly plan in advance and provide them with the necessary care as they grow.

Muscovy Ducks reach sexual maturity in about seven months – 28 to 29 weeks of age, to be precise. 

However, it can take them over eight months to be fully grown. 

As you might notice, Muscovies aren’t the fastest-growing ducks and take longer than the average before they can start laying eggs.


By the seventh month, they are fully mature.


How Much Food Do Muscovy Ducks Eat?

As with any farm animal and poultry bird, you need to keep the Muscovies on a healthy and well-balanced diet

While you certainly wouldn’t want to leave them starving or underfed, overfeeding is particularly bad for them.

However, you’ll have to figure out how much food to feed your Muscovies depending on their age. 

For instance, Muscovy ducklings naturally eat much less than adult Muscovies. Around 0.25 lbs of food daily should be enough for the ducklings.

Muscovies aren’t picky eaters, and wild Muscovy ducks are omnivorous. 

While you can easily buy duck feed, a lot of natural foods are good for them too.

How Much Space Do Muscovy Ducks Need?

Now, this is a very important aspect to consider before you get Muscovy ducks. With large size comes the need for a larger living space. 

You may have raised domesticated ducks before, but keep in mind that Muscovies need larger coops.

Lack of space can turn Muscovy ducks agitated and aggressive. At the very least, coops meant for Muscovy ducks should be 15 square feet per duck you intend to keep. 


They have a large wingspan (almost 5 ft), so they need a lot of space


How Much Meat Do You Get From a Muscovy Duck?

Muscovy ducks are commonly raised for meat production. 

While they take much longer than other ducks to reach harvest size, this domestic duck breed also offers a much higher meat yield. 

The lean meat of a Muscovy duck is 98% fat-free.

You can get 4 lbs of duck meat from a female Muscovy, while mature males, being larger, have about 7.5 lbs of meat. 

Muscovies offer almost 50% more breast meat than other duck species, which is another reason behind the popularity of their meat besides the distinct taste.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to raise Muscovy ducks for meat?

Muscovy ducks can be raised for meat from 8 – 12 weeks old.
Placing the ducklings in suitable housing, feeding them a diet formulated for duckling growth, and providing proper nutrition until processing is essential for a quality finished product.
Muscovy ducks placed in desired weight ranges at the time of processing can yield 42-46%½ edible meat; hence, heavier ducks with more fat deposits are preferred.
Therefore, it is necessary to carefully monitor the diet and environment over the 8-12-week period to ensure maximum weight gains, as this will result in increased profitability.

At what age are Muscovy ducks fully grown?

Muscovy ducks are typically fully grown by the time they reach three months of age. At this stage, they weigh 1-2 pounds and have attained their coloration completely.
Muscovy ducks reach full sexual maturity at 8-9 months old. 
Their growth rate decreases after they reach full size, although they can continue to grow until they are 18 months old.
Once fully grown, males usually weigh about 7 pounds, and females usually weigh 3-5 pounds.

What is the best age to butcher Muscovy ducks?

It is generally recommended that Muscovy ducks be butchered at 12 to 16 weeks of age.
At this point, they should have enough body fat and a good layer of breast meat. Older birds are tougher and may not taste as good.
If you choose to process your own Muscovy ducks, it is important to be knowledgeable about the appropriate process for butchering poultry.
Making sure the tools and environment are clean to prevent cross-contamination of dangerous bacteria is paramount in ensuring food safety.

How fast do muscovy ducks grow to full size?

Muscovy ducks grow to full size very quickly. They typically reach adult size by about 4-5 months of age.
In this time frame, they will have grown from an egg to a fully-fledged adult duck, with muscovy drakes reaching an average weight of 6-7 pounds and hens of 4-5 pounds.
During that time, they will also develop their characteristic bright red faces, feet, and beaks.

Wrapping up

Getting these friendly ducks as pets might be a good idea, as long as you can provide them with a suitable coop and meet their needs. 

Although a tropical bird, the Muscovy duck can thrive well in cooler climates too.

Muscovies aren’t always an ideal choice for duck egg production due to low yield, but their eggs are quite tasty. 

Besides egg and meat production, they’re also great for companionship. 

Thank you for reading, and regardless of your purpose behind raising Muscovy ducks, I hope you found this article helpful.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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