Male Cayuga ducks weigh an average 8 pounds at maturity while females weigh 7 pounds. This medium class duck males change colors faster in males than females. Lastly, their black legs turn more orangish as they mature. They’re excellent layer, producing between 1-150 eggs per year.
Cayuga Duck Male Vs Female
Females quack but the males do a quieter, raspy whaap whaap.
At 16-24 weeks, they will develop the curled drake feather – only AFTER the second molt.
Yes, head bob happens in either gender. The ONLY accurate ways to successfully tell gender is:
- Voice sexing at 6-10 weeks
- Drake feather sexing at 16-24 weeks
- Vent sexing at birth
ALSO SEE: Why do Ducks have Tail Feathers?
All About Black Cayuga Ducks
The Black Cayuga is a domestic duck raised in plenty of home mainly for their eggs. Some, rear them for meat too, or keep them as pets.
They are so named after the Cayuga Lake which is a local Native American tribe in New York State where the breed was really popular.
The breed was invented as a commercial roasting bird but lost the hype after the Pekin duck too over. The meat from the Cayuga duck is actually great tasting and fine quality too, but its black pin feathers on white skin don’t leave as clean a carcass as white feathered birds.
Though it’s harder to process than light feathered ducks, the meat is high quality with an intense beefy flavor. The breast is a bit smaller than many standard meat ducks but it has a succulent deep red meat with a wonderful complex flavor.
It first began in 1809 when a miller in Duchess County, New York caught a pair of wild black ducks on his millpond.
The birds where then bred by the millers family to raise and breed. They adjusted to their new life and grew in numbers quick, providing the miller’s family with flavorful meat all year round.
Soon after, the offspring of this pair began to sell in markets, prized for their excellent breeding and meat efficiency.
Some of those offspring were brought to the Finger Lakes region of New York in 1840. These ducks became very popular in northern New York and its surrounding area.
The Cayuga is a medium-class duck that weighs in an average 8 pounds for mature males and 7 pounds for females.
Their typical color is a jet black bill with occasional olive tips and the feet are black to dusky.
The plumage is a beautiful jet black with an iridescent beetle green shimmer in the right light. The wing tips shine from green to deep purple as the light that touches them changes directions.
Ducklings are often seen coated in fuzzy black down that won’t display any green color until the feathers come in.
As the duck ages, the feathers will eventually become mottled with white until it’s almost all white. This changing of colors occurs much quicker in females than males. In addition, their black legs turn more orangish as they mature.
The Cayuga ducks are excellent layers, producing between 100-150 eggs each year. Their egg shell color is first black, but lightens to a very light grey-green color as the season progresses.
The shell color itself is actually a dusty green color; the black is deposited on the outside of the egg right before it’s laid.
So, if you leave the eggs in the nest, you’ll notice that your hen is a fairly reliable mother who will sit on them and hatch her eggs more often than many domestic ducks are known for.
The Future of this Breed
In recent times, this duck breed is prized for its quiet, docile personality and extreme hardiness.
The Cayuga is definitely one of the hardiest domestic ducks out there. They handle harsh winters of the Northeast and are still able to lay eggs in the face of cold.
The Cayuga duck is said to be “threatened” on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List with fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the US, with 10 or fewer primary breeding flocks, and they are globally endangered.
The Cayuga is in a good position to rapidly increase in number with little effort. Only a few additional breeders are needed to help further secure its future.
Are female Cayuga Ducks Green?
Yes, but male Cayuga ducks have a very brilliant green sheen on their greenish black feathers too.
Is it better to get Male or Female Ducks?
You can keep all females or all males. However, if you must keep both, you should have 1 male to every 4-6 females as during the breeding season the male will be very active and a single female will suffer, terribly.
Do Cayuga Ducks Fly Away?
Cayuga ducks are not able to fly well because of their heavier body weight compared to smaller breeds of duck.
Do Cayuga Ducks need A Pond?
It depends. If you can provide a water source deep enough to submerge their heads to clean their eyes and nostrils then ducks don’t need a pond.
Are Cayuga Ducks Good Eating?
Yes, they are safe to eat and taste good too.
What do Cayuga ducks like to eat?
Cayuga ducks like to eat slugs, snails, and most other insects. The breed is great for both eggs and meat production.
The meat of the Cayuga duck is reputed to be of excellent taste and fine quality too.