The 10 Largest Ducks In The World

Written by Hannah Ward
Updated: August 25, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Maria Jeffs
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Ducks are aquatic birds and wild ducks can be found in both freshwater and seawater.  Ducks are found on every continent except Antarctica and some can even dive deep underwater in search of food.  However, for centuries ducks have been domesticated and have long been kept as a source of food.  Ducks are often confused with other birds – such as coots – and there are a wide range of both colors and sizes.  Read on as we discover the largest ducks in the world, ranked by weight.

#10 Largest Duck: Crested Duck

Crested ducks
A crested duck with a non-crested duck

iStock.com/passion4nature

The first on the list is the domestic breed – crested ducks.  Although they share the same name as the wild species that is native to South America, they are not the same duck.  Domestic crested ducks are much larger – weighing around 7 pounds – and are white with a distinctive crest on their heads.  Crested ducks are widespread around the world and are often kept as pets because of their unusual appearance.  If crested ducks mate with a non-crested duck there is a 50% chance of the offspring being crested.  They are also good layers and can lay up to 130 eggs per year.

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#9 Largest Duck: Saxony

Saxony ducks are a German domestic duck that were first bred in the 1930’s in Saxony, Germany.  They are a muscular breed of duck and males weigh around 7.75 pounds.  Males have a distinctive grey-blue head, white neck ring, and brown or chestnut bodies.  Females are slightly smaller and are a buff color with two white stripes on their faces.  Saxony ducks are a popular breed as they are easy to rear and are dual purpose – being large enough for the table as well as good egg layers.  Saxony ducks lay between 80 and 100 large, white eggs per year.

#8 Largest Duck: Golden Cascade

One of the newest breeds of domestic duck is the golden cascade which weighs between 6 and 8 pounds.  Golden cascades were developed in 1979 in North America with the intention of creating a duck that is active, a good layer, and fast growing.  Golden cascades get their name from their soft golden color.  Although they are a dual purpose bird, golden cascades are particularly good layers and will lay almost all year round.  Their eggs are popular as they are more nutritional than chicken eggs and generally stay fresh for longer as they have much thicker shells.

#7 Largest Duck: Cayuga

Cayuga duck
Cayuga ducks are completely black

iStock.com/gemredding

Originating in America in 1840, Cayugas are domestic ducks and weigh between 6.5 and 8 pounds.  Not a lot is known about how the breed came about, but it is believed that they are descended from Mallards.  Cayuga ducks are particularly stunning birds as they are completely black with a green tinge to their feathers and even their bill, legs, and feet are black.  Cayuga ducks were originally bred for the table, but nowadays they are bred for eggs and for showing.  They usually lay between 100 and 150 eggs per year.  At the start of every laying season their eggs are dark colored and almost black, and they gradually lighten so that at the end of the laying season they are almost white.

#6 Largest Duck: Swedish Blue

As their name suggests, Swedish blue ducks originated in Sweden.  They are large birds and weigh around 8.8 pounds.  Swedish blues are a blueish-grey color and have a distinctive heart-shaped patch of white on their chests.  Males are generally both darker and larger than females.  Swedish blues lay between 100 and 150 eggs per year which are white or slightly tinted.  They are best known for their calm and friendly temperament which makes them ideal for first-time duck keepers.  Swedish blues are considered to be endangered and it is estimated that there is only 100 breeding pairs left between Sweden and Ireland where they are most popular.

#5 Largest Duck: Silver Appleyard

Silver Appleyard duck
A close up of a female Silver Appleyard duck

iStock.com/cordimages

Silver appleyards are domestic ducks from the UK and are named after their creator – Reginald Appleyard.  They are large, sturdy ducks and weigh around 9 pounds.  Male silver appleyards have chestnut colored bodies with silvery undersides, white neck rings, and dark colored heads.  Females have a different appearance and are white with brown or grey markings.  Silver appleyards are dual purpose birds and are often raised for the table as well as kept for their egg-laying abilities.  They are excellent layers and often lay around 250 eggs per year.  Silver appleyards are active ducks but have a friendly and calm temperament which makes them easy to handle and look after.

#4 Largest Duck: Pekin

Pekin ducks
Three American pekin ducks

iStock.com/Maria Jeffs

Pekins are one of the most easily confused breeds of duck as there are two different breeds that commonly go by the same name – German pekin and American pekin.  Both weigh around 9 pounds and are are mainly raised for their meat.  However, there are a a couple of differences between them.  American pekins are completely white, while German pekins have a yellowish tinge to them.  Also, German pekins have a much thicker neck and hold it much more upright, giving them a distinctive appearance.  Although they are not noted for their egg-laying ability, both pekins have a fairly docile temperament.

#3 Largest Duck: Aylesbury

Aylesbury duck
An Aylesbury duck swimming

iStock.com/Andi Edwards

Weighing up to 10 pounds, Aylesburys are easily some of the biggest ducks around.  Aylesburys originated in the UK and are completely white with orange legs and bills.  Aylesburys are mainly been kept for their meat and were once one of the most popular and prolific breeds in the UK.  However, World War I wiped out many of the small duck breeders in the UK at the time and the breed soon began to suffer.  Aylseburys are now considered to be under threat world wide, and there is now only one flock of pure Ayslebury ducks in the UK.

#2 Largest Duck: Rouen

Rouen ducks
Rouen ducks are almost identical to Mallards

iStock.com/MikeLane45

Although they have an almost identical appearance to the traditional Mallard duck, Rouens are much larger and weigh between 9 and 12 pounds.  Rouen ducks originated in France in the 1800’s.  Due to their size, Rouens are mainly raised for their meat.  They are not particularly good layers and only lay up to 100 eggs per year – often much less.  Roeun ducks are also not particularly good fliers, but they are extremely docile ducks and have a calm and friendly nature which makes them easy to rear.

#1 Largest Duck: Muscovy

Muscovy ducks standing on stone wall
Muscovy ducks are the largest ducks in the world

Mark D Bailey/Shutterstock.com

The largest duck in the world is the Muscovy duck.  Weighing a massive 15 pounds, these ducks are certainly giants.  Males are larger than the females and can be up to 31 inches long.  Muscovys are native to America where they thrive in cold conditions.  They are usually found in swamps, lakes, and streams and often roost in trees during the night.  Muscovy ducks are black and white and have red wattles around their bill.  They eat small fish, reptiles, and insects.  Muscovy ducks frequently fight amongst each other and males fight over territory, food, and females.  Females also fight but not as often as the males do.  Muscovy ducks have been domesticated and domestic birds are generally known as “Barbury ducks”.

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About the Author

I have been writing professionally for several years with a focus on animals and wildlife. I love spending time in the outdoors and when not writing I can be found on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs.

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