Developed in New York, USA from two black ducks a man found in his pond. This is the main idea, but there are several different theories.
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Black with a Green shine. Blue/Splash are Rare
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
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Recent User Reviews
"We'll be sticking to chickens after our Cayugas"
Pros - GORGEOUS!, hearty (we had 100% hatch rate from a dozen hand-incubated eggs), ducklings are sweet and tame, wonderful foragers
Cons - Very skittish, even after gentle and frequent handling as youngsters; messy; ours had ZERO instinctive survival skills and 100% succumbed to our local bald eagles
Keep in mind that I only speak from the experience of hatching 12 Cayugas, 10 of which were drakes. We have never raised other breeds of duck, only chickens. All our poultry have free-ranged.
Our hatching experience with Cayugas was beyond excellent and they were adorable, sweet ducklings. Their first few weeks were really fun and rewarding.
After we moved them outdoors...not so much.
Ours weren't as noisy as some others have complained about, thankfully. But oh, the mess! Our free-range Cayugas had free access to 5 acres but they still tore up the area around their swimming pool.
I'd never eaten duck eggs before and discovered that I much prefer the milder eggs of chickens, so the fact that most of our duck flock was males didn't bother me. Beautiful, beautiful plumage on our healthy birds, but the fact that they wouldn't interact with us like the chickens do just didn't make up for their beauty.
The biggest issue was that we never once saw any instinctive response to the presence of hawks or bald eagles, who (would have) licked their lips (if they had them), and said, "Yum! Succulent and easy prey!!!" Maybe female Cayugas have a better track record, or ones from different genetic stock? But I now look at wild mallards and wonder, if all ducks have the lack of sense of our Cayugas, how is it that ducks are not extinct? Not a single one of our chickens, who naturally freeze any time ANYTHING soars overhead (be it a raptor or an airplane), has ever been eagle food.
I really want to love Cayugas but respectfully leave them to those who do. They are truly beautiful birds.
"Great cold weather ducks."
Pros - They loved the snow and cold weather of winter. They don't fly very high off the ground, and they lay blackish colored eggs that are a conversation starter. Plus there coloring is very pretty.
Cons - They can be a little loud and hot weather is not good for them (they need shade and cool water), they don't fly very high off the ground.
I have eight cayuga, six males and two females. I wanted to give an idea to those thinking about getting cayugas what they're like.
They loved the snow storm this winter. I spent a sleepless night worried about them only find them happily setting in the snow. When they got to cold, or to much snow on them they went to their shed and ate. They even took baths and played in the snow and mud puddles. They sleep most of the day and run around the yard half the night. They get along with my two pekin ducks and don't mind the chickens and the cats. I keep all dogs out of the yard. They don't like being "caged" but are fine with a well fenced yard. They run from my two year old nephew. They have never been aggressive, but they don't want to snuggle and petted either.
Pros - A tad distrusting, but once you earn it... it’s amazing! My Cayuga is the most calm bird. When our other male tried to pick a fight, he just leaves! He’s very gentle when eating out of my hand, whereas my other ducks (Pekins) leave red marks!
Cons - They are skittish, and it may take a while to gain any trust!