Cayuga Ducks are characterized primarily by a black bill and black plumage with a beautiful iridescent green sheen in the correct light. Their coloring makes the adults one of the most beautiful of the domestic duck breeds. As the Cayuga Ducks age, they will gradually develop more light colored feathers, especially the females. This is natural for older Cayuga ducks. The breed is thought to have been developed from the Black Duck breed in the Lake Cayuga region of New York. They are one of the only domestic duck breeds developed in the United States.
Cayugas are recognized as one of the most adaptable of all domesticated ducks and are active foragers. Adults are fond of eating snails, slugs, and most other insects. They are the most popular exhibition breed in the medium weight class. The Cayuga is not a prolific egg layer by any means, but they do lay varying shades of gray eggs. Rarely, a Cayuga female will even produce a pure black egg.
Those who live close to others may not be able to raise Pekin ducks because of their loud quack. The Cayuga duck is a recommended alternative as its quack is not as loud or frequent as the Pekin duck. These ducks exemplify a quiet, calm, docile temperament and they do not fly. Cayuga ducks tend to stay close to home, making them an excellent choice for a home flock or as yard pets.