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Origin, diffusion and economic characteristics
The black colored Ducks are divided into two types, the heavy Cayuga type and the lighter Emerald Duck. Both have a bright black plumage, which tends to green. The origin, however, is not common, in fact they differ in weight and shape. The origin of the two ducks is mysterious and we do not know which of the two has been selected before, nor where they come from, nor whether they were created by man or discovered in nature.
In fact, it cannot be excluded that they may be the result of a long selection process. Too many conjectures and few certainties have been written on the so-called "Black Ducks".
The Emerald Duck is called in England "Black East Indian", in France "Labrador Duck" and in America "Black East Indie". The first specimens imported into Europe arrived in England in the early nineteenth century by the Earl of Derby. In 1953 Johnson and Wingfield in their book "The Poultry Book" described the first Emerald Ducks with an intense and shiny black plumage. Already at the time it had been noted that the first eggs laid by them appeared with black streaks, subsequently with the continued deposition the streaks decreased. Which is still evident in the eggs of our Emerald Ducks.
The origin is uncertain, probably the American peninsula of Labrador, the East (hypotheses for the name "Black East Indian") and South America are absolutely excluded. Although it is possible that the first specimens passed through the port of Buenos Aires before arriving in England. The most plausible hypothesis that the black gene derives from Anas Rubripes or "American dark duck". The first standard was drawn up in England in 1865, later in 1974 the American standard was drawn up.
In all texts, including those of the early nineteenth century, this duck breed is described as entirely covered in a shiny black plumage with strong emerald reflections. While for many years of the nineteenth century the Cayuga plumage was described with white spots and white collar. There are therefore substantial differences in weight and shape between the two breeds. The Cayuga plumage only in recent decades has approached bright black with the green reflections of the Emerald Duck. Since the nineteenth century it has been bred for its ornamental characteristics, in particular for its bright black plumage.
It is a duck with a larger and less "rounded" characteristic shape than the Dwarf Duck and at the same time lighter and more graceful than Mallard Duck. Also the beak of the Emerald Duck, as a length, is a middle ground between the dwarf duck and the mallard, and must be absolutely black.
The habit is lively and slightly raised from the ground, the chest is round and slightly prominent, the head is small and elongated. All characteristics that differentiate it from the Mallard. In addition to being much smaller and more delicate as lines.
The color is glossy black with important green reflections, particularly in the male specimens. They are absolutely impure specimens with white spots and brown streaks. They should also be avoided to reproduce young people who in the first days of life have yellow spots in the chest, even if then as adults these spots will disappear.
In addition to the classic black color, over the years the breeders have selected other new colors: the brown or chocolate, obtained by mutation from black and the heterozygous blue color, obtained by dilution from black. Subsequently, the Emerald Duck breeds in the black, brown and blue colors were also selected.
- Male 1.2 kg
- Female 0.9 kg
curated by Giacomo Cellini
Emerald Duck "Labrador" or "Black East Indian"
Emerald Duck "Labrador" or "Black East Indian" (photo www.backyardchickens.com)
Breed standard - FIAV
I - General
North America, exact origin unknown.
Minimum weight g. 50
Shell color: very dark green, almost black, at the beginning of the deposition, it gradually becomes lighter.
Male and female: 12.
II - Type and Address for Selection
Elongated body, well rounded; habit of medium height, with clearly visible joints (heels); plumage with very bright green reflections.
III - Standard
General Appearance and Characteristics of the Breed
1 - Form
Trunk: elongated and well rounded; slightly raised position.
Head: as short as possible, just elongated; harmoniously rounded, without accentuated forehead; cheeks not apparent.
Beak: rather short and not too strong; slightly concave top. In the very dark olive green male with the saddle covered by a dark spot that starts from the hairline and extends to the tip. In adult males the dark olive green color becomes more visible at the tip and the edges of the beak. In the female it is black and fades from dark olive green to dark gray towards the end. In the two sexes black nail.
Eyes: Dark iris.
Neck: quite short, not too big, elegantly worn.
Back: slightly rounded; well rounded on the sides.
Wings: quite long and well closed.
Tail: quite long and well closed.
Chest: well rounded and slightly raised.
Legs: medium length legs well hidden by the plumage of the body. Medium length tarsi with fine bone structure; implanted more posteriorly than the middle of the abdomen; clearly visible leg joint; darker in color, almost black; with age they become stained orange.
Belly: full, well rounded without presence of baleen.
Too large body or typology reminiscent of Dwarf Duck.
2 - Weight
Male: kg. 1.2
Female: kg. 0.9
3 - Plumage
Conformation: well adherent to the body and smooth.
IV - Colors
Intense black with strong emerald green reflections.
Serious defects: blue or purple reflections instead of emerald green; presence of white in the plumage; opaque or brown color; very clear beak; clear tarsi.