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Published on 5th December 2022 by staff

East Indies Duck

East Indies Duck
East Indies Duck

The East Indies Duck is a bantam breed of domesticated waterfowls that are extremely well-known as pets for their completely beetle green-black plumage with a metallic sheen, especially in sunlight, and has rendered them their gorgeous looks. This trait is not found in any other duck, except for the Cayuga Duck. They are not meat or egg breed, but are extensively bred in houses and hatcheries for exhibition and decoration purposes.

Also Known AsBlack East Indies Duck
Physical CharacteristicsBack iridescent bronzy green upper part and greenish gray below; Males have rose-red throat and forehead, the tail broad, and the feet are webbed and brownish in color; ducklings are brown black with black bills and black legs
Plumage/FeathersBeetle-greenish black; glossy; with metallic sheen
Bills (Beaks)Black, straight, medium
Personality TraitsShy, friendly, peaceful, quiet (quieter than call ducks)
PurposesExhibition, show, ornamental purposes
Incubation Period26-28 days
LifespanMore than 10 years
WeightDrake: 900 gm

Hen: 700-800 gm
(Adult averages)
Height (Size)10 cm
Wing Span12 cm
Height (size)Short to Medium
Popular TraitsStriking looks, needs less care
Flying AbilityYes
DietGeneral duck foods like crustaceans, seeds, microbes, bugs
Time of DevelopmentLater half of 19th century
Country of OriginUSA

History and Development

The East Indies Duck breed was developed in the latter half of the 19th century in the United States, and not in Southeast Asia, as it might sound from the name of the breed. Some people also think that, this breed dates back to 1831, and was found in London, since the Zoological Society of London seemed to have kept specimens of this breed then under the name ‘Buenos Ayres’ duck.

The breed was standardized in the UK in 1865. In 1874, the breed was recognized by the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection, and since then, they have been highly-priced by the breeders as an ornamental breed.

Black East Indie Ducks
Black East Indie Duck


Interestingly, the egg color of the East Indies in the early breeding season is black or dark gray, however, later during the laying season, the color changes gradually to light gray or blue. They lay 40-100 eggs per year. The female ducks take care of the eggs before hatching.

Black East Indie Duck Eggs
East Indies Duck Baby

Interesting Facts

  • The male ducks normally retain their characteristic greenish-black hue till old age, unlike the females, that develop white patches that increase with age.
  • In 1943, the duck was selected by a committee of professional artists who were given the responsibility to choose the most beautiful bird from a group of 5000 specimens of both land and water fowl varieties.
  • Because of their small size, they are relatively good fliers.
East Indies Ducks
Black East Indies Duck
East Indie Duck

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