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Are Ducks Cold-Blooded or Warm-Blooded? (Quick Answers)

Ducks these days are on the top when it comes to easy poultry. Yet to get the most out of duck farming, owners don’t keep a stone unturned to give those little animals comfort.

Since winter is coming, many owners are concerned about their ducks’ health. People are also curious about how ducks keep their bodies warm despite being in the water even in the winter. Are they born warm-blooded or is it the opposite?

Let’s dig into deep and know it all!

What is the difference between cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals?

Animals that cannot regulate their body temperature to match the temperature of their environment are known as cold-blooded animals.

As they move around in different surroundings, their body temperature varies. Therefore, they cannot pull through severe temperatures.

Cold-blooded animals have to rely on outer environs for energy as they shift to different areas. Since they have minimal control over their body temperature, they struggle much in different temperatures, especially in winter.

Examples of cold-blooded animals include reptiles, insects, etc.

Oppositely, warm-blooded animals maintain a body temperature of 37° C – 40 ° C that remains nearly the same for a long time. Thereby, they can cope with climatic conditions and temperature without difficulty.

Warm-blooded animals’ internal mechanism supports them warming up in colder areas and vice-versa. Mostly they depend on metabolism. So, consumption of food is their best source of energy.

Mammals and birds are examples of warm-blooded animals.

Are ducks cold-blooded or warm-blooded?

Ducks are warm-blooded since they belong to the class of birds. Ducks can maintain a constant body temperature according to their surroundings. Also, the outer environment and temperature don’t affect them since they can adapt themselves quickly by generating their own heat.

Being a warm-blooded creature, all ducks preserve a temperature that’s close to constant. It does not vary with the temperature of the surrounding area. So they can survive harsh temperatures.

Ducks as warm-blooded waterbirds get energy through food consumption. Other than metabolic activity other adaptive activities like paddling, swimming, migrating help to regulate their body heat.

Body temperature of a duck:

The body temperature in ducks is around 108 degrees Fahrenheit. It can vary a bit in different species of ducks, but in each duck, their temperature will remain stable.

To maintain body temperature, ducks’ legs and feet play an important role. The flat and large feet of the duck work as a natural radiator. The arteries and veins in ducks work to hold the heat.

Arteries flow blood to feet pass in cooperation with veins that remove blood. The arterial blood running towards the feet is warm. And it gets cooled by the blood of the venous while flowing back to the body.

Eventually, the body gets warmed back. This heat-exchange system is known as Counter-current circulation, and it helps to regulate heat in ducks’ body.

As a result, the duck’s body loses only a little body warmth due to the limitations. That’s the reason a duck will have an internal temperature of almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit while standing on ice ground.

Whereas its feet’ temperature might be just a bit higher than freezing.

Are Mallard ducks cold-blooded?

All ducks including Mallard ducks are warm-blooded. Mallard is a type of duck that belongs to the same class as other ducks, birds, or Avis.

Like any other ducks, Mallard ducks can preserve a constant core body temperature regardless of the environment around them. They can regulate heat through metabolic activity and a unique heat-exchanging system.

Along with metabolic factors and internal mechanisms, the body parts of Mallard ducks help to keep the heat in the core even if the weather is too hot. Again in the cold, they can produce heat within and preserve it.

Mallard ducks can exist on any temperature scale as they can adapt to it quickly. They are not cold-blooded animals. They might be different species of ducks but they are warm-blooded creatures.

Do ducks have constant body temperature?

Ducks do have constant body temperature. It’s close to 107 or even 108 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

Ducks are warm-blooded animals. According to warm-blooded animals’ features, they have a body temperature that’s not changeable.

Moreover, they can regulate and maintain it disregarding the temperature near them. So even if it’s too or too warm, ducks can maintain their ideal temperature and survive.

Duck’s body temperature might vary sometimes depending on their species, which isn’t noticeable much.

Usually, each duck conserves their own temperature that can be around 105-108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unlike other animals, this temperature doesn’t fall or go up when they move in different temperatures or environments. Ducks maintain a consistent body temperature.

Can ducks get cold? How do ducks survive cold weather?

More than any other bird, ducks are much more immune to cold weather.

There are many factors like fuller plumage, core temperature, countercurrent blood circulation that prevent ducks from getting cold unless they spend in freezing weather for too long.

Ducks have an oil gland near their tail. It produces sebum that prevents the body from chilled water.

Ducks rub their beaks all over their feathers or preen in short. Thus sebum or oil is released from the gland and spreads all over the body.

The oil covers all the feathers and the body gets waterproof. Also, their feathers are insulated at their most so again they can prevent the body from getting chilled.

Besides, the constant temperature of the duck’s body helps them to survive in a cold environment. Their body temperature remains the same irrespective of the environment.

To survive in the cold weather duck’s special blood circulation system plays a great role. It limits the heat loss in a cooler environment and at the same time stores back the body’s warmth.

Therefore ducks can swim in cold water without getting frozen. But if they stay in the cold for too long, things can turn wrong. Otherwise, these feathery birds can rock the pool even in winter.

Do ducks feel cold in their feet? How do ducks’ feet stay warm?

Thanks to ducks’ amazing blood circulation system, they don’t feel cold in their feet.

Ducks have an extraordinary system called counter-current circulation, this blood circulation process is also known as a heat exchange system. It’s the main reason ducks don’t feel cold in their feet even while standing on ice!

Through a counter-current circulation system, the warm arterial blood of a duck’s body flows down to its feet and transfers the venous blood upon the body.

The process happens at the same time and makes the duck stand on cold without being uncomfortable.

Because of this heat exchange system, ducks lose a very little amount of heat through their feet. As a result, the warm blood never actually goes away from a duck’s feet. And so, their feet stay warm.

How do baby ducks stay warm in the wild?

Ducklings are considered colder tolerant than any other baby bird. Naturally, baby ducks can stand up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit while fighting the cold.

But at the end of the day, they are vulnerable and dependent. So they have to rely on some adults for warmth.

In the wild baby ducks need their mother’s warmth to stay warm. Mother duck usually keeps them under her down feathers to supply some heat. That’s how ducklings stay warm in their primary days.

Until a baby duck grows adult feathers and a functional oil gland, the mother duck huddles them every night. In the wild, ducklings are kept warm only by this way.

How cold is too cold for ducks?

Ducks are warm-blooded animals and can survive the cold, unlike many other creatures. They can easily live-in cooler temperatures even near to 20 degrees.

However, below this temperature ducks can feel so cold that they cannot handle. They can face frostbite on their feet which might make them lose their feet. In the worst-case, ducks in too cold weather can lose their lives as well.

Though ducks are naturally blessed with insulation and other features that prevent them from cold, beyond 20 degrees can be dangerous for their existence.

Especially for ducklings, it can be more struggling as they can’t warm up themselves or prevent heat loss.

Can a duck freeze to lose life in cold weather?

Ducks are fine around 20 degrees. But below this temperature, the environment gets too cold for this bird.

Though ducks are capable enough to maintain warmth in their body, they can lose a life if they experience very cold weather.

Also many birds, mostly those who migrate often freeze and then expire if get weak in the middle of a lake and are not found.

So even though ducks are less vulnerable to cold, they can freeze in a too cool environment and lose a life.

Final thoughts:

Ducks are warm-blooded animals and can maintain a constant temperature. They are hardly affected by the temperature or environment around them, rather they can adjust to the changing temperature. That’s why ducks can get through any temperature or weather.