Cayuga duck

Ark of taste
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Over the years, the Cayuga duck was bred with the Black East Indian in order to give the plumage its green, glossy hue. It was also bred with the Rouen breed to increase its body size and make it a better, meatier table bird. The Cayuga duck is a medium-sized duck with a moderately long, well-rounded body. Its back is long and broad with slight arching at the shoulders. The duck carries itself slightly elevated in the front. On drakes, the sex feathers are hard and well-curled. The Cayuga is an easy bird to keep because it rarely wanders from home. It is not able to fly well because of its heavy body weight. Although it is difficult to clean and prepare, it has very high quality meat with an intense beefy flavor. The breast, while smaller than that of other more conventional duck breeds, produces a succulent deep red meat with a complex taste. The carcass can be difficult to clean because of the duck’s dark feathering. Some resolve this problem by skinning the ducks rather than plucking. Cayuga duck eggs can be used for general eating and baking purposes; the whites are firmer than chicken eggs. The bird was raised in large numbers on duck farms until the 1890’s when the Peking duck came to dominate the duckling market in the big cities. Today, the Cayuga Duck is listed as “threatened” on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. This means that there are fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the US with ten or fewer primary breeding flocks. They are also globally endangered. Historic area of production, details about origins of product and ties to local groups: The Cayuga Duck is a breed developed from a pair of wild ducks that a miller found on his pond in 1809. The miller pinioned the birds’ wings so they would not fly away and bred them at his mill in Duchess County, New York. Later, descendents of those birds were brought to Orange County, New York where they multiplied. John S. Clark introduced the birds to Cayuga County, New York in the Finger Lake’s region in 1840. There, the ducks quickly gained popularity as table birds and for their ability to lay many eggs. The breed was named ‘Cayuga’ after the native people of the area. In 1847, the breed was accepted into the American Poultry Association’s “Standard of Perfection”.

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StateUnited States

New York

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