Cayuga Duck Hatching Eggs
Considering that there is a lake up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State called Cayuga Lake, it seems that Cayuga Ducks must have originated there. There is a tale among Cayuga Duck enthusiasts that a miller found two wild black ducks on his millpond near Cayuga Lake and started breeding them. There isn't much to back up this story, but the Cayuga Duck does have a long history in early America, being one of the most popular dual-purpose breeds until Pekins were imported in the late 1800s. In 1874, the Cayuga was officially accepted into the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection as a Medium Class Duck.
Cayuga Ducks are considered Threatened by the Livestock Conservancy Status, although there is a lot of promise for this breed as dual-purpose heritage poultry is becoming more and more sought after, and the Cayuga has so much to offer.
Cayugas are truly a dual-purpose breed. They lay a good number of eggs, between 130-180 per year, and are also good meat birds. The flavor and quality of Cayuga Duck are well-respected. They can be expected to weigh between 5-6 pounds at maturity. Cayugas are also very hardy birds, one of the hardiest of all ducks, and are excellent foragers.
Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of the Cayuga is their color. They are black but with a green-changing-to-purple sheen. Males have a lot of green sheen in their heads, especially during mating season. In certain sunlights, they are remarkably stunning. As Cayugas age, their feathers start to go gray or white and their feet get more orange-green in them.
Cayugas can sometimes lay a pure black egg. Truly pure black! The darkest colored eggs are laid at the beginning of the season in spring, and start fading to various shades of gray and finally to white in fall.
Cayugas are social and friendly ducks and get along in most farm environments. They tend to be quieter than many other breeds of ducks and would work well in a backyard or small homestead.