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What is Cayuga Duck breed

The Cayuga Duck is a middle-class domesticated breed of duck that has been a very popular variety in the United States since the mid-19th century, this type of duck is used for the production of eggs and meat, as well as for the production of birds. ornamental.

The duck is one of the few animals in the wild that walks, swims, and flies with reasonable ability, and it is also one of the animals that can sleep with half its brain and keep the other alert. He is endowed with a perfect sense of direction and community.

This duck has long been bred as a meat duck, but in the future, it has mainly become an ornamental, show, or companion breed. Their temperament is usually more docile than that of other breeds. The breed is preferred by many who live in residential or suburban areas due to its low voice and little sound. Originally, a female Cayuga lays between 100 and 175 eggs per year in her first year of life; subsequently, the selection directed to the aesthetic aspects has weakened the predisposition to the deposition of eggs.

Cayuga Duck

The duck, in a broad sense, is a bird that belongs to the Anatidae family and in a less broad sense, it is a class that is defined among birds generally because they are smaller than geese and swans, it can also be found in both water sweet as salty. Ducks feed on aquatic vegetation, mollusks, and small invertebrates, and some species are migratory birds.

Males can be identified mainly by their different and more striking coloration (since the vast majority of duck species have sexual dimorphism), and also by their differences in behavior. Some species of ducks (whether wild, domesticated, or captive-bred) are used by humans for food, clothing (for their feathers), and entertainment (hunting).

Cayuga Duck  Characteristics

The Cayuga Duck is a medium-sized and very robust duck, which allows it to withstand the long and cold winters of the American Northeast. The only recognized color is black and compared to other domestic breeds with black plumage, it is the only one with iridescent dark green reflections. Females develop white feathers during molting, unlike males. Its beak, legs, and fins are black. It is an excellent companion animal, in addition, the young duck can lay between 100 and 175 eggs a year, and its eggs are black or dark gray, and even light gray at the end of the laying season.

The Cayuga is a medium-weight duck, weighing between 3.0 and 3.5 kilograms for the male and 2.5 and 3.0 kilograms for the female. Despite its good weight, it has some dry and elegant forms, the head is slightly elongated and the neck is elegantly arched. The chest is well rounded and the trunk is long and conical.

Cayuga Duck Colors

This Cayuga Duck has only one recognized color, Black. Compared to other black breeds, the Cayuga has bright green metallic reflections, the peculiarity of which is especially visible in sunlight. However, as in all black ducks, older females also easily develop white feathers, which increase with each annual molt. Instead, the males remain black. In the United States, the Blue Coloration has also been selected.

How to raise a Cayuga duck?

They are not as popular as chickens, because chickens have much more lean white meat and are easier to keep confined, making the total cost of chicken meat much lower, while ducks are relatively expensive and appear less frequently in the food market and restaurants in the lower price range. Ducks are raised for meat and eggs less frequently. They can be kept outdoors, in cages, or in barns. To be healthy, ducks must have access to water, although confined ducks are often denied.

They must be fed a diet of grains and insects. It is a popular misconception that ducks should be fed bread, which has limited nutritional value and can be deadly when given to developing ducklings. Ducks should be monitored for avian influenza, as they are especially prone to infection with the dangerous H5N1. Females of many domestic duck breeds are unreliable when it comes to incubating their eggs and raising their young, notable exceptions include the Rouen duck.

For centuries it has been the custom on farms to lay gigantic eggs on a hen for incubation; today automatic incubators are frequently used. However, young ducklings depend on the mother for her oil supply to make them waterproof, and a hen does not produce as much oil as a duck. As the duckling grows, the feathers themselves will produce oil from the sebaceous gland near the base of the tail.

Cayuga Duck  History

The name Cayuga is taken from Cayuga Lake, one of the lakes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, where the breed was popularized, these ducks are black with a green head.

Writers on the derivation of the Cayuga Duck have, over time, made more or less the same claims regarding its origin; These are: it is descended from pure American Black Ducks (Anas rubripes; Anas obscura), or it is the result of hybrids between that species and the mallard or some domesticated variety, and was first kept in captivity by a miller in the county from Dutchess around 1809. There is evidence to support part of this theory, but above all, it is an inaccurate assumption; as explained later.

John James Audubon, the naturalist, and artist mention the early domestication of the Dark Duck (Anas obscura, from Audubon) in relation to him before 1843. The text freely interchanges the names “Dusky” and “Black”.

In 1848, Richard L. Allen recommended the “common black duck” as the most profitable for domestic use, laying between forty and fifty eggs and sometimes even more if it is prevented from sitting.

An article that appears to be the first public announcement of the Cayuga Duck that does not name its subject and is under the title “Variety of Ducks” is found in The Cultivator, 1851. This article states that the birds bore a striking resemblance to the black duck. wild and had been bred differently from any other variety for at least twenty years. Some birds had been obtained in Orange County around the year 1840 by Mr. John S. Clarke and brought to his farm in Throopsville, Cayuga County.

Mr. Clarke says of the birds: “The characteristics of this variety are, almost a uniform color (a little darker than the wild black duck), good size, reaching the weight of eight pounds, clothed, at four months of old, very calm and very prolific, a duck laying 150 to 200 eggs in a season with proper care. There are some in the vicinity that has recently acquired a top knot, just like any bird. ” Luther Tucker, the editor of The Cultivator, concludes: “Lately we have received from Mr. Clarke a couple of these ducks that fully match the above description.”

The large size of Mr. Clarke’s ducks and the high number of eggs produced by one of them suggests that they were not of pure Black Duck lineage, weighing 2½ to 3 pounds each and producing an average clutch of 10 eggs. Reference to a recently acquired “top knot” indicates that there had been an infusion of Crested Duck blood, or that Mr. Clarke’s dark-colored birds possibly came from Crested Ducks; In American poultry literature from 1843, the domestic Crested Duck is said to produce more than one hundred eggs a year, indicating that it had been known in America prior to that date.


The Cayuga breed is in the middle class and has been a recognized breed by the American Poultry Association since 1874. The standard weight for adult males is 8 pounds and 7 pounds for females. Cayuga ducks are characterized by their black bill and black plumage, which is an iridescent green beetle in the right light. In rearing, emphasis is placed on correct coloration, bearing, and a large breast.

The Cayuga Duck has dark brown eyes, black legs, and toes, except in old ducks where some orange tinge may appear. Ducklings have black plumage. The presence of white in the outer plumage is a disqualification. It is also highly regarded by many as a great garden pet, as they tend to stay close to home.

For those who wish to have ducks, but live close to others that would make keeping the Peking breed impractical due to the loud squawk, the Cayuga Duck may be an alternative. Their squawk is not that loud except that the females are quite vocal while the male is muter. The Cayuga’s temperament is docile, and adult Cayuga Ducks enjoy eating snails, slugs, and most other insects.

The Cayuga Duck sits more often and hatches its eggs than other domestic breeds of ducks. The incubation of the eggs is 28 days, and when using an incubator, the temperature should be 99.5 ° F to 50 or 70% humidity during days 1 to 25, and 99.1 ° F at a temperature that goes 70 to 90% humidity on days 26 and 28.

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