Rare Breeds: The Cayuga Duck

The Cayuga duck breed may have originated in South America, but was first ‘discovered’ on Lake Cayuga in New York state around the mid-1800s. It is thought to be a hybrid between an American black duck and a mallard. It is medium weight – the drake weighs up to three and a half kilograms, the duck up to three kilograms – and cannot fly. Its beautiful black plumage has a bottle-green sheen in the sunlight. It has a black bill and black legs.WHY KEEP A CAYUGA?They are fast growing, and great for egg laying and meat production, and ornamental purposes. Cayuga ducks lay eggs at change of seasons such as at end of winter/spring and summer/ autumn. Incubation is twenty-eight days.They are very docile, being content to forage close to the house. Unlike some ducks, Cayuga are not very noisy so are good in a smaller domestic situation.