Lemon the Duck

Blue Cayuaga Ducks
Laura Backman
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Are they a sport of the black cayuga.. Do the black ones some times produce the blue ones. Or are the blues completly seperate?

Blue is essentially an extended Black gene with one dilution gene. If you have two dilution genes you would get Silver. A little complicated but in the short of it yes, it was a color sport that was probably originally used...The truest blue colored offspring come from a mating of Silver X Black. In these matings all the offspring will be blue. A Blue and a Black will produce half blue and half black. A Blue and a Silver would produce all three colors. Blue tends to fade drastically in the sun and blue ducks also will develop white age feathers, just like the black form. Blue X Blue matings will usually produce nicely colored Blue ducks with a nice lacing to their feathering, but I always discourage this because I think keeping the different color forms as mated pairs keeps more genetic diversity and usually results in stronger birds. We have a flock of Silver and Blue Cayuga, but I don't think the color form suits the breed. They are pretty ducks, but in no way compare to the iridescent green sheen of the true Cayuga ducks. The Blues and Silvers also do not come close to the size of the Black Cayugas. We have Blue Muscovy and some Blue East Indies, and these look pretty blue. The East India even keep some of their iridescent plumage color, but not as much as the blacks.

 ...all these new color forms of breeds are novelty birds. They are ornamental but lack any historical significance. The old heritage forms of these breeds are in enough trouble, so that now we need to focus on maintaining high quality breeder flocks with sustainable genetic diversity and with greater distribution throughout the world, before "playing" with color forms...there are only a very few farms, consisting of true breeder flocks of many of the ducks and geese we know. Large scale hatcheries and small private flocks of less than twenty breeder birds do not even figure into the census and do not count as part of a stable population....a true stabilized flock would consist of at least 20 to 50 breeding birds that all meet or come close to the American Standard of Perfection for the breed. Large scale hatcheries simply do not take the time to breed to the standard, and small flocks would not produce enough birds to get enough of the "perfect" breeders. I consider these new color forms to be hybrids. They are fun to own and have as pets, but it will be years and years before any of these birds will be considered a standardized color form of the breed. These small backyard flocks and pet duck owners can be real ambassadors of a breed, however. So I always suggest that even if you are not into a conservation project you should still try to focus on a pure heritage breed rather than hybrids.

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