The East Indies duck (also called Black East Indies or Black East Indian duck) is a very beautiful breed of domestic duck mainly raised for ornamental purposes or as pets. The breed is best known for it’s size and striking appearance. Despite the name of this duck breed, it was not developed in the Southeast Asia. Rather the East Indies duck was developed in the United States in the 19th Century, and it is one of the oldest breed of bantam duck. The name of this breed possibly only being used to help sell the birds. Because exotic and foreign poultry breeds were very popular in the United States and could command a better price.
Some people say the East Indies duck could have been developed from a Northern Mallard sport duck. While others say that the black gene may have arrived from the American black duck. Whatever the explanation, due to it’s smaller size and striking plumage it is very popular among breeders and largely kept by the poultry fanciers for exhibition purposes. The East Indies duck breed was standardized in the United Kingdom in 1865. And was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874.
East Indies Duck Characteristics
East Indies duck is a very beautiful smaller sized duck. It is similar to the Cayuga in appearance, but smaller in size. The East Indies ducks have very dark, lustrous green plumage and black bills. They have black or grey legs and beak. The ducks/females may sometimes develop white feathers in accordance with their age. This is normal and no amount of breed selection will remove this. But the ducks will produce solid black ducklings if mated to a good male. As a bantam breed, average body weight of the East Indies duck is between 450 and 900 grams. Photo from Backyard Chickens.
The East Indies duck is primarily kept as an ornamental breed. It is popular as exhibition birds and also raised as pets.
East Indies ducks are generally shy and have a quiet composure. They are suitable for keeping with other non-aggressive birds, and usually shyer and quieter than the Call Ducks. But as a small sized bird, they are relatively good fliers. The breed is not among the good egg laying duck breed, and produce about 40 to 100 eggs per year. The color of the East Indies duck’s eggs vary depending on the season. The eggs are black or dark grey in color early in the season. And later in the laying season the eggs gradually change to light grey or blue. Review full breed profile of the East Indies duck in the chart below.
East Indies Duck | Breed Profile
|Breed Name||East Indies|
|Other Name||Black East Indies duck
Black East Indian duck
Canard du Labrador
Canard Smaragd (French)
Pato del Labrador (Spanish)
Smeraldo Labrador (Italian)
|Breed Purpose||Exhibition, Ornamental|
|Special Notes||Friendly, Excellent Fliers|
|Drake||About 0.7 to 0.9 kg|
|Duck||About 0.45 to 0.7 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Color||Black or Grey|
|Egg Weight||About 55 grams|
|Country of Origin||United States|