There is a lot of differences between the two breeds of duck. Some of the differences are their personalities, meat, eggs, appearance, and more. And the messes they make. I have both breeds of ducks, so I am sure that Muscovies are a non-messy breed, and Pekin ducks are the opposite.
First of all, Pekin ducks are messy with mud and water. They love to make lots of holes in the ground and they love to splash around a lot, which makes a lot of mud and muddy water. However, they are very fun to watch, and they are very cute and playful. As well as loud.
Muscovies don’t make much of a mess. They don’t swim as much as other breeds do, and they are not the muddy type of duck. They are still fun to watch though- their head bobbing and tail wagging is hilarious. Also, they are not loud at all. Some people even call them a “mute” duck. However, they still make panting noises and whistles and chirps.
Due to the messes that Pekin ducks make, I would say that they are not the best backyard ducks to have- they usually turn a grassy area into a mud filled area.
Pekin ducks do not fly at all, and stay close to home. Pekin ducks are very vulnerable to predators, due to their white feathers. So Pekin ducks need more protection.
Muscovy ducks do fly, and very well. But like the Pekin duck, they stay close to home. When given enough room, they will not wander out of their “pasture”. But Muscovies also love to perch. They love high places like rooftops. To prevent them from flying that high, clipping their wings will help. Muscovies still need protection from predators (especially the White Muscovy duck), although not as much as the Pekin.
Their personalities are also a huge difference. Pekin ducks are the crazy duck of the barnyard. They run from people all of the time, except when they are handled often. They are also the loudest duck, next to the Calls. But they are very active, and are very good for showing.
Muscovy ducks are calm, and only slowly walk off when neared. But when chased, these ducks are almost impossible to catch. While Pekin ducks are easy to just corner and pick up, this breed fights like crazy. Their wings are very strong, and their claws are sharp. They are laid back most of the time, though.
I have never tried to show a Muscovy, but I am hoping to next year. Maybe, like Pekin ducks, they will get used to being held a lot.
Their appearance is extremely different. Pekin ducks are a creamy white (and sometimes are yellow), while Muscovy ducks vary greatly. No duck is the same- Muscovies can have different color patterns and different colors (like blue, black, chocolate, and white).
Pekin ducks have an orange bill, shanks and feet. Muscovies have red skin that covers their face and they have yellow, olive, black, or multicolored bills, shanks, and feet.
Their eggs are different in size and color, but the taste is the same, although I personally think that the Pekin eggs have a creamier and stronger yolk. Muscovy eggs are small compared to the Pekin eggs, and they are white with a green or blue tint to the shell. Pekin eggs are huge and pure white.
Pekin ducks lay a lot of eggs, and rarely go broody at all. They usually lay over 150 eggs a year. Muscovy ducks, however, try to hatch every single egg they lay, and sometimes hatch three clutches a year. They lay about 195 eggs a year.
Their meat has an even bigger difference. Pekin meat is pretty greasy, and really fatty. Muscovy meat tastes like sirloin steak, and is not greasy and has very little fat. In my opinion, Muscovy duck meat is the tastiest meat next to Kiko goat!
Pekin ducks also like to eat a ton of food. They are not really good foragers, either. Muscovies are the complete opposite. They are excellent foragers (they are also omnivores- they eat mice, rats, and sometimes small birds), and do not chew through the food supply.
As for hardiness, I would say that the Muscovy is a great breed. In over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the Muscovies are chilled out, laying in the sun, while the Pekin ducks are in the shade and panting. The Pekin ducks are great for cold climates. And although Muscovy ducks are prone to frostbite, they are great when given shelter and straw. None of our ducks have gotten frostbite yet.
The best backyard duck would be a small flock of Muscovy ducks. For those who have lots of grass and feed, the Pekin would be a great breed. Although I love the Pekin ducks, Muscovies are my favorite because they are inexpensive, and we can easily get more by breeding them.