Keeping Cayuga Ducks

The Cayuga duck is one of the different kinds of domesticated ducks that are raised primarily for their eggs and meat. There are some raisers though that keep Cayuga ducks for ornamental purposes. The name of this breed, Cayuga, is derived from Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York. The Cayuga breed was first bred near this lake, hence the name.

Some believe that the Cayuga ducks originated when a miller from Duchess, a county in New York captured caught two ducks there and decided to brood them. The meat of Cayuga ducks are very known for its strong flavor.

Cayuga ducks are medium-class breeds and have been a popular variety in the USA since the 17th century. The usual weight for mature males is about 9 lbs and females could weigh up to 8 lbs. The Cayuga ducks are distinguished by their black bill and feathers that are glistening green when flashed with light.

During breeding, stress is placed on proper coloration, carriage and a large bosom. This breed has dark brown eyes, dark shaft and toes. However, mature Cayuga drakes can have an orange tone.

The Cayuga ducklings start with black feathers. In most farm exhibitions for Cayuga ducks, a tint of white plumage is a ground for disqualification. This breed is very domestic as they have the tendency to be always near their coop.

Unlike the hoarse and load quacks of the Peking Duck, Cayuga ducks have a mild quack, and can only be heard very occasionally. This breed is best if you want to raise ducks in the suburbs since the neighbors won’t be disturbed by the constant quacking that some duck breeds do. Also, since the Cayuga is a very domesticated breed they are very obedient and most of the time docile.

Aside from grower feeds, feed your Cayuga ducks with hunting snails, worms and other small insects.

More often than not, the Cayuga duck will sit and brood their eggs much frequently than other duck breeds. Normally, the egg incubation lasts not more than a month. When you are using an incubator, set the temperature to not more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

You need to ensure that the incubator is properly moisturized for the whole period of incubation. You should also slightly lower the temperature to 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit and increase moisture to 94 per cent during the last two days of incubation.

The Cayuga is a very productive duck and can produce 120-150 eggs every year. At first, the eggs will appear black, but as they mature, the eggs become gray, and then slowly turn to white before they hatch. The meat of this duck breed is very flavorful, and in 1874, the Cayuga duck was formally recognized as a quality produce by the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.

As many have noted, the meat of the Cayuga breed is very palatable, but the body can be very hard to clean due to their black plumage. To resolve this “dark” problem, they skin the ducks instead of the traditional plucking.

Presently, the Cayuga breed is known as the hardiest of the farm ducks but can easily be domesticated if naturally raised. They can adapt to the winter season of the arctic regions, and can still produce offspring during that season.

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