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.


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.