April’s Duck of the Month – Cayuga the Yankee Doodle Duck

Hi, My name is Midnight. I am a Cayuga Duck and Cayugas are real Americans. You can read more about that later.

Momma & Poppa Duck adopted me and two other ducks last fall when we were still pretty young. Probably someone abandon us after Easter but we’ll never know for sure.

Momma & Poppa Duck wanted to adopt some more duckies so Momma Duck contacted a lady named Judy who rescued us from a local lake.

I’m a little shy but I’m willing to eat goodies from Momma Duck’s hand. I especially like dried meal worms. I like them even more when they are thrown on the water. All of us shoot out in the water hoping to get to them first. I’d never had treats like frozen peas, watermelon, lettuce, bean sprouts and dried cat food until we moved up here to our new home. I was a bit leery of them at first but now I think they are great.

It’s nice having some new friends. I hang out with Winchester who has been with my new owners for quite a while. Most of all time though I hang our with my boyfriend Sir Cinder.   He is a Cayuga too and was adopted a little later than i was.

The Cayuga duck is the only breed originating in North America. The name “Cayuga,” is taken from Cayuga Lake, so called after a local Native American tribe in New York State where the breed originated.

The Cayuga is a medium-weight duck, weighing an average 8 pounds for mature males and 7 pounds for females. The Cayuga have 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 direction changes. Ducklings are coated in fuzzy black down that won’t show green 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 orange as they mature.

The females tend to lay black eggs at the beginning of the season.  It was very exciting to find a black egg hiding under the straw

They are a friendly, mostly quiet duck. Mine quack a few louder quacks when they see me approaching the pen but other than that, they are not very loud. These ducks are also very intelligent. I have one that leads the way to the trash can each morning, knowing that I’ll come along and tilt the can so she can search for worms. She must remember that huge earthworm she found the first time. She is the only duck in our flock that does this so she must be quite smart.

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