9 Cold Hardy Duck Breeds for Chilly Climates

Ducks have a docile nature in addition to the fact that they are very peace-loving and friendly. Now, the problem may arise if you are living in a mostly chilly region. Some ducks have low tolerance levels to cold climates, but some do just fine even in the most out of the weather.

If you are confused about the duck breed that can survive in the sweeping cold, we can solve your trouble.

So, whether you are looking for a duck perfect for commercial purposes or you are searching for a great companion, you will have a decision by the end of this article.

9 of Our Favorite Cold Hardy Duck Breeds

We have listed down some of the cold-hardy ducks that you might love to raise.

1. Swedish Blue Ducks

swedish blue duck
Anders Gustavsson / CC BY-SA

Swedish Blue ducks are charming dual-purpose ducks, originated from Pomerania, a region in Sweden, from where it gets its name.

It is a small duck, available in a charming blue and shiny green color. They are the famous cold-hardy ducks, known mostly for their high-quality meat and eggs.

While females weigh around 7 pounds, male Swedish ducks can gain 9 pounds. Maturing slowly, they only lay 120-180 eggs per year.

Being a good forager, they mostly feed on insects and worms available around them and require minimal care.


  • Being friendly, they can be a perfect pet.
  • Known for its premium-quality meat.
  • They adjust themselves to frosty cold weather easily.


  • With a smaller size, they yield less meat.

2. Khaki Campbell duck

Khaki Campbell
Keith / CC BY

Although Khaki Campbell ducks are quite adaptive in all weather conditions, the reason behind calling them cold hardy is their ability to tolerate the ultimate English cold.

Their name has yet another exciting story. They got this name as their color matches the English army uniform: ‘khaki’ in color.

Khaki Campbells are also known for their egg-laying capabilities. They can lay up to 300 to 350 eggs per year, making them perfect for dual purposes. Their layers turn out to be very yummy duck meats.

Being quite charming, if their stomach is full, they can forage all day quietly. Weighing just a few pounds, they are quite productive.

They have a pretty cool temperament and go along well with other flocks as well. But being broody, they become quite possessive about their little ones.


  • They can roam in the little space without complaining.
  • They can lay up to 300-350 eggs per year; thus, one can raise them for their nutritious eggs.
  • Their handsome khaki furs protect them from excessive cold.


  • They become angry if someone tries to scare them.

Read Also: Why Is My Duck Losing Feathers? Causes & Solutions

3. Cayuga

Eric Dobis / CC BY

Talking about Cayuga, they fall under the category of cold-hardy birds as they can tolerate the Northeast’s extreme cold.

With beautiful colors spread all over their body, Cayuga beats the freezing winters. They are charcoal-colored ducks that turn to green as soon as the light hits.

For a long time, people have been raising them for eggs and meat solely. Even many people keep them as pets nowadays. They are an ornamental bird that can lay up to 150 eggs per year.

They are great foragers and thus depend on insects and worms as their meal. They love eating snails, and therefore, will keep your garden clean all the time.

Fun fact about Cayuga is that nobody till now can find the secret behind their charcoal-colored eggs. Their incubation period lies between 4 weeks to 30 days, with their life span being 8 to 12 years.


  • Female Cayugas are good mothers, and thus they love to take care of their little ones.
  • With beautiful and attractive feathers all around their body, they can stand against extreme cold.
  • They are energetic foragers that keep chasing insects, worms, and reptiles all the time.


  • They can’t tolerate heat.

4. Buff

buff duck
Tracie Hall, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Buffs, more commonly known as Orpington, are very fluffy and cute ducks. Their fluffiness is the reason behind their cold hardiness.

This is rare to find ducks available in bold blue and black color. Having cold feet, these ducks love to swim.

They rarely fly as they have a heavy body, and thus don’t require extra effort to keep them enclosed. They often rely on larva and insects as their feed and therefore don’t require any additional maintenance.

Being smart, they always try to keep themselves engaged in either chasing insects or hatching their eggs. They usually have a relaxed and calm temperament, but can turn into aggressive beasts if someone disturbs them.

They love their own company and thus don’t prefer to get along with other flock breeds well. People most commonly raise ducks for dual-purposes, ornamental purposes, and in exhibitions.


  • Being broody, they can lay up to 250 eggs per year.
  • Lacking the ability to fly, these ducks don’t require an extra cage or extra care.
  • They forage in small spaces conveniently but prefer to stay in their comfort zone.


  • Staying pretty messy, these ducks catch the disease easily

Related article: 11 Best Egg Laying Ducks (Breed Guide)

5. Rouen

Rouen duck
Uikitireza / CC BY-SA

Rouen has characteristics similar to that of Mallard, and being a cold-hardy duck is one of them.

Female Rouen has a brown body while the males appear to be purple with a shiny green head. These fluffy ducks tolerate the harsh cold because of their cold feet and the massive feather they have on their body.

They are cute peace-loving ducks that move slowly, yet, great foragers. With females weighing close to 7 pounds, male Rouen weighs around 9 pounds.

Being docile, they are peace-loving and friendly creatures and yield up to 150 eggs a year. But Rouen meat has a different demand in the market. It’s delicate, and yum meat is leaner than Pekin meat.

Being entertaining, some people keep them as their companion as well. They are the perfect ornamental and exhibition ducks as well.

Well, as they lack flying abilities, you can easily keep them in even short space without the fear of their escape.


  • Its eggs and meat have high demand in the market.
  • They lack flying capacity and thus require less attention.
  • They are cold-hardy ducks, and robust as well.


  • They have a slow maturing speed.
  • They only lay 150 eggs per year.

6. Pekin Ducks

Pekin Ducks
Martin Backert, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, who doesn’t know pekins? These fluffy balls of snow steal everyone’s attention. They entertain people with their silly yet cute activities.

Pekins are the calmest and peace-loving ducks, that is why they are the perfect pet material. Being friendly nature, they get along quite quickly with other flocks and with strangers.

They have fluffy white fur and orange beak. The coats protect them from chilling cold, making them cold-hardy ducks.

Weighing around 7-9 pounds, these ducks live for about 9-11 years. They are famous for their protein-rich eggs and tender meat as well.

Serving a dual purpose, these ducks will become a perfect companion if you love ducks. People use them for ornamental and exhibition purposes. Their heavyweight restricts their flying abilities, which eliminates the need for caging them.


  • They can lay up to 300 eggs per year.
  • Being quite chubby and fat, they produce premium-quality of meat.
  • Being very calm, they get along quickly, even with strangers.
  • They don’t require extra care or high maintenance.


  • Lacking broodiness, sometimes they destroy their eggs if someone distracts them while hatching eggs.

7. Silver Appleyard

Silver Appleyard
Barbieri Anna Maria, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Silver Appleyards have very thick layers, making them a perfectly cold-hardy duck. They are quite friendly ducks that easily connect with everyone, whether it is a flock of humans.

They are capable of living in various geographies because of the great range of temperatures they can tolerate.

They have different brown and silver shades on their body, making them an ideal show duck. If you are a duck lover, then this duck will attract you with its charm.

It can weigh up to 9 pounds, thus providing great layers of meat. It can also produce up to 250 eggs per year, and you can raise them for commercial purposes. People raise them for ornamental and exhibition purposes.

Moreover, being pretty friendly, they can become your perfect partner in crime. They possess the ability to fly right after 5 to 8 weeks of their birth. Thus, they require a proper enclosure to keep them intact.


  • Friendly in nature.
  • Tolerate extremely cold and moderately hot temperature.
  • Folks raise them for meat and egg purposes.


  • They can easily escape because of their flying capability.

Also Read: 9 Best Meat Ducks (Breed Guide)

8. Mallards

Jamain, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also known as wild ducks, Mallards get along smoothly in all the weather conditions. And as they can tolerate the intense cold of New York, they fit perfectly in the cold-hardy duck category.

They are dabbling ducks that are available in an attractive wide range of colors. Most of the noticeable mallards have brown color fur on their body.

With a short incubation period, they become full-grown in less than 11 weeks. They have a calm temperament and are friendly. Thus, they quickly get along with even strangers and other flocks, making them a perfect pet material.

Being highly energetic and chubby, they always try to keep themselves engaged in one activity or another. They are the perfect pest controller that one can have. They mostly fed themselves on insects and reptiles, thus, saving plants from worms.

It is an easier task to keep them enclosed because of their flying inabilities.


  • These are silent birds, thus don’t produce any irritating sound at regular intervals.
  • Beautiful birds with a thick overcoat of furs of their body.
  • They can lay as many as 200 eggs per year.
  • They have a calm temperament.


  • Being lean, they have a low meat yield.

9. Magpie

Magpie ducks
Yoopery / CC BY-SA

If you are looking for a comfortable duck in icy conditions, you can consider Magpie. It can tolerate extreme cold, making it a cold-hardy duck.

Magpie can be used for commercial purposes well because of its high-in-demand meat. They can also lay up to 290 eggs per year.

Being a complete forager, they might require a large room to play in. They are broody as well and thus takes care of their Lil’ ones on their own.

Being friendly and energetic all the time, they can become a perfect pet of a duck lover.


  • Yield a very high quality of meat.
  • They can yield up to 290 eggs per year.
  • Very active and friendly.


  • They require a large room to roam around.

Final Thoughts

You know what ducks are available worldwide, except Antarctica, as it is entirely too cold for them. Thus, ducks can cater to different weather conditions, yet some become heat hardy, and others remain cold hardy.

Cold hardiness is the minimum temperature measure that a flock can tolerate. With webbed feet and waterproof fluffy feathers, cold-hardy ducks retain heat in themselves. Ducks require minimum care and maintenance; thus, duck raising is becoming quite a trendy day by day.