Have you ever desired to keep ducks at your garden or farm? But you don’t know which type of duck to keep. Worry not because there are ducks that are easy to maintain, like the Cayuga duck.
The word “Cayuga” originated from the lake Cayuga which is in the US.
Cayuga duck is a beautiful duck that has green feathers. It is a domestic duck breed that originates from America. Moreover, it is one of the few duck breeds that originated in the US. Its origin is not clear like for other ducks.
Some historians state that the breed came from a pair of wild black ducks. The ducks were black in east India and the Rouen. A miller in Dutchess County in New York caught them on his mill pond in 1809, where Cayuga lake is. It was named Cayuga duck by the people of that area.
Another history claims that John. S. Clack got this type of duck from Orange County in New York in 1840. He took them to Cayuga County in the Finger Lake region of the New York state.
The APA recognized this duck in 1874. Then later, it was exported to the UK in 1851.
Also, who can’t wish to get a black egg on their trays? And to breed the unique and rare duck type?
To know more about this duck, its appearance, and how to care for it, read on!
The Cayuga Duck Purpose, Appearance, Personality, And Maintenance
The Cayuga duck is exceptional compared to other duck breeds. This is more evident in the head of the males. In the US, ducks are common for egg and meat production.
For eggs production, these ducks are prolific layers. In a year, they lay 100-150 eggs. Their eggs are large and unique. At the beginning of the laying season, the eggs are dark and blackish. And as the season continues, the egg colour turns grey until the fall, when the eggs turn entirely white.
When it comes to its meat, the American Livestock breeds conservancy has approved it. Also, it is well known for its excellent taste. The only challenge you can get with the meat is when the duck has dark feathers. When plucked out, they will not leave the skin completely clean compared to white-feathered ducks. But many farmers prefer skinning to plucking the feathers.
Moreover, the Cayuga duck is a bit smaller than the Pekin duck, which is the biggest duck for meat production. But, that is not a problem because Cayuga duck’s high-quality meat makes it outstanding. Its meat has a sweet beefy flavour.
Besides, this breed is the best type for ornamental and exhibition. Despite the above purposes, it is also kept as a pet. Thanks to its calm temperament.
The Cayuga Duck Appearance
The Cayuga duck is black and very beautiful with its green beetle sheen. The duck has an upright, long neck that moves while it is walking. Its eyes are brown, and the bill is black, but at times it can change to olive. This duck is medium-sized and heavy.
The unique thing about the Cayuga duck is that it turns its colour to almost all white as it ages. That does not only happen on its body but also its legs. They change from their initial black colour to orange. But, the colour changes occur fast in female ducks than in male ducks.
This duck gain weight as it grows. For a young duckling, it weighs 6lbs(2.kg), an adult duck weighs 7lb(3.2kg), and an adult drake weighs 8lb(3.6kg). But the weight will depend on how you will feed it. So be keen when feeding it.
When taken good care of, these ducks will live 7-12 years.
The Cayuga Duck Personality Traits
When choosing animals or birds to keep, we must know their personalities. For example, will they live in peace with humans and kids? Same case to Cayuga duck. You need to know its traits before buying. Below are their common personalities.
They Are Docile
We all love friendly pets that have a good personality and will cooperate with us. Unlike other aggressive duck breeds, the Cayuga duck is very calm, quiet, and friendly. The best thing is to raise it from a duckling. It will be familiar to you and your environment.
They Are Ease ToTame
When you hand-raise this duck, you can easily tame it. Also, training is effortless because it is a quick learner. When they get familiar to you, you can nickname them. And trust me, they can respond when you call them. These ducks will live the way you train them.
The unique and rare duck type
Compared to all domestic ducks, Cayuga is the hardiest breed. The reason is; it tolerates harsh weather.
How To Care For Cayuga Duck
It is straightforward to keep and maintain the Cayuga duck. The most important thing is that you should give your ducks plenty of fresh water every day. Read on to know how you should care for it.
Feed Your Cayuga Ducks Well
When it comes to feeding, both ducks and chickens are the same. Both of them are omnivores. So, what should you feed your duck with? Duck loves eating the foraged foods, homemade, natural, or commercial feeds.
Naturally, Cayuga ducks are wild ducks. That means they survive in the wild by feeding on the natural foraged foods on the land. But since you have domesticated them, introduce to them homemade or commercial feeds. Despite that, please provide them with the foraged food to make them live well.
● Foraged Foods
This is the best option to go for your ducks. These natural foods will make your ducks get all the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong. Foraged foods include grasses, weeds, slugs, pests like snails and slugs.
Also, the Cayuga ducks love living in an open area. So, they will have enough space for wandering around, exercise, sunbathe, and relax. This will boost their mental life.
Another good thing is that the ducks are perfect garden cleaners. Let me explain what I mean by that. When you let your ducks feed freely on your garden or farm, they will feed on the weeds and the pests on the farm. Within a short period, your garden will be free from pests and weeds. You might wonder, won’t they feed on your plants?
No. ducks are not like chickens that feed on any plant they come across. But if you have seedlings in your garden, they will feed on them. So ensure your garden does not have the seeds before letting your ducks feed there.
● Natural And Home-made Feeds
Whether your ducks are feeding on forage or not, it is also vital to feed them on natural and homemade feeds.
Examples of these feeds are fresh vegetables, unsprayed garden weeds, whole grains seeds. When feeding them, please provide the natural foods they can finish in a day. By the way, ducks don’t feed on dried leaves.
For homemade feeds, ducks eat cooked leftovers, and fruit peels even watermelon rinds. Also, ducks feed on worms, eggshells, and small pieces of meat. You can either feed them on the homegrown worms or buy them from a pet store. The better you feed them, the healthier your ducks will be.
● Commercial Feeds
There are different forms of commercial feeds. Some of them include pellets, mash, and crumbles. The good thing is that ducks can feed on chicken foods.
These feeds are easy to feed, and they meet all the nutrients your duck needs. However, when feeding, please give them the right amount. Remember, your ducks will also feed on greens and forage. So when you provide them with a lot of commercial feed, they will end up being wasted.
When buying the feeds, first do thorough research. Settle for the best type, which is affordable and available in your area.
Make A Good Duck Coop For Your Ducks
Ducks are easy to keep because they don’t need much when it comes to shelter. All they need is a safe and a bit spacious place. Yet, if you don’t have enough space, you can keep them together with your chickens.
But, for me, I’d prefer to keep them at different places. Ducks love sleeping on the ground, unlike chickens which love sleeping in high places. So, during the night, the ducks will be pooped on by the chickens. That’s not healthy for the ducks!
When constructing a duck coop, you don’t need a lot of things. You can build it like a dog’s house but let it touch the ground. Also, it should be spacious enough for the duck to turn and move around with ease.
If you want your ducks to be happy, provide them with a foraging area. Also, include all the requirements as mentioned earlier.
In addition to the forage area, set up a water pond where your ducks can dive in during the day. But, if you don’t have enough space to set a small pond, ensure there’s a place they can deepen their heads and feet.
How Cayuga Duck Brood
Similar to other ducks, the Cayuga ducks start laying from 5-7 months. Their eggs will be black. During the first days, they will lay eggs daily. After laying 8-14 eggs, the duck will become a broody.
To know when your duck is broody, you will notice that it will sit on its nest for long periods. Even if you remove it from there, it will become aggressive and go back to the nest. Also, it will not poop near the nest unless it’s pressed.
The Cayuga duck will brood their eggs which hatch in 28 days. When they start sitting on their eggs, the mother duck will stay on the eggs for 20-23 hours a day. But, it will take short breaks to look for food and water. When it leaves its nest, it covers the eggs with the grass, which you put the eggs on to keep warm.
After the 28 days are over, the ducklings will hatch. The ducklings dry up for one or two days. After that, the mother will move out of the nest and take the ducklings out to find food, water, and forage. Be sure that a mother duck is a great mother. They will raise the ducklings well and protect them.
Over To You
There you go.
After reading this guide, you should now know how to care for the Cayuga duck well. Despite that, you should keep their shelter clean to avoid diseases. Read more about their diseases here. Feed them well and keep them safe and secured.
Are you among the people who love keeping ducks, but the noises they make annoys you? The Cayuga ducks are an excellent choice for you. They are quieter than other types of ducks. They are also peaceful, even with kids.