The Cayuga Ducks originate from near Lake Cayuga in the Finger Lakes region of New York. The first imports from America were said (Lewis Wright’s Poultry 1873) to arrive in 1871, from a Mr. W. Simpson and imported by a Mr. J.K Fowler. They were said to be rather small specimens and thought to have been crossed with the Black East Indian to achieve the green sheen that is seen when the light is right to give an almost iridescent colouring. To improve on size, Lewis Wright says they “…were afterwards crossed, by some with Aylesbury and by others with Rouen to get size.” The type was altered sufficiently for the birds to look more like the Aylesbury and early paintings by the famous poultry artist Ludlow confirm this Aylesbury ‘look-alike’. Lewis Wright goes on to say that “…original birds had no keels while the modern English exhibition Cayuga has this feature very pronounced.”
The Cayuga breed is in the “Medium class” and has been a recognized breed of the American Poultry Association since 1874. the standard weight for adult males is 8 pounds and females 7 pounds. The Cayuga are characterized by a black bill and black plumage which is an iridescent beetle green in the correct light. In breeding an emphasis is put on correct coloration, carriage and a large breast. The Cayuga duck has dark brown eyes, black shanks and toes, except in old drakes where some orange shading may appear. Ducklings have black plumage. For exhibition presence of white color in the outer plumage is a disqualification. It is also well liked by many as a great yard pet as they tend to stay close to home.
Uses: Exhibition, Utility: meat.
Eggs: 80 to 160 Eggs.
Weight: Drake: 8 lbs. Duck: 7 lbs.
Useful to Know: As with other black ducks, the female will get some patches of white on her feathers in her second and subsequent years.
Domesticated ducks are raised for meat, eggs, exhibition, pets and down. All varieties of domesticated ducks are descended from the mallard, apart from the Muscovy duck, which seems to be a breed of it’s own.