East Indie duck: What do you know about them?

The East Indie duck ( Black East Indian or Black East Indie ) is a bantam breed, and is thought to have originated in the United States, in the 19th century.

This breed is best known for its striking appearance and size, and is also one of the oldest bantam duck breeds. Black East Indie Ducks are the second most popular bantam duck at poultry shows, (Call Ducks being the first).

  1. Personality  
  2. Characteristics
  3. Use
  4. Weight
  5. Egg Production
  6. History
  7. Summary
  8. Gallery

Personality and Behavior of The East Indie Duck

East Indie ducks are shyer and quieter than other bantams, such as the Call duck. They forage well and are good broody ducks and mothers.
Like all bantams, It is an excellent flier and might require an annual wing clipping or   instead, a house (pen) with a rooftop.

Most consider it a good idea to classify it, management wise, as a semi-wild fowl rather than the domestic duck of its classification.

They do not like to stay dormant for too long because they are naturally very active.

When bred, most East Indie ducks are kept in pairs or trios, – often based on the drakes’ level of energy; they are generally very domineering and strong.

The East indie breed needs access to water to keep its plumage perfect.

Characteristics Of The East Indie Duck


East Indies ducks are well known for their spectacular color. They’re beautiful black duck breeds with a clear iridescent greenish-black plumage, black bills, and black or gray legs that is similar to the Cayuga duck.

Some female individuals possess few white feathers, especially at the tail, and gain more white feathers as they grow older. As for the male any white feathers present on the body is a breed defect. There is also a blue variety of the East Indie. They will produce solid black ducklings if mated to a good male.

Both males and females are pure black with strong green coloration on the heads of the males. Male Black East Indie Ducks have a faintly fuller and more masculine head.

East Indie Use

Most raisers keep this breed for domestic and ornamental purposes.

Most hobbyists raise the breed because they provide relaxation when they glide effortlessly through a pond or any water surface.

Weight of The East Indie Duck

East Indies ducks weigh 1 – 2 pounds (0.45 – 0.9 kg). Some breed strains appear to be heavier, around 4 – 6 pounds (1.8 – 2.75 kg).

Males can weigh about 5-7 lbs while the females can weigh about 4-5 lbs.

EggEgg Production

Black East Indies produce dark grey, even black coloured eggs. These will eventually fade to a light grey colour, will be uniform dull white and even blue towards the end of an egg laying cycle.

Their egg production is generally low, but can vary between strains. Some can lay only one or two clutches a year ( i.e 10-25 eggs ), while others can lay up to 40 – 100 eggs in a year.

East Indie ducks will not sit and brood their eggs if they have been touched by humans.

History of The East Indie Duck

The APA recognized this breed in its first standard in 1874. Despite their name and their tropical appearance, there is no evidence that these birds originated in the East Indies. The Black East Indie Duck was created and developed in the beginning of the nineteenth century in the U.S. Then, the breed made its way over to England. In England it was improved during the later part of the 1800’s. The Black East Indie Duck breed was finally perfected in the later half of the twentieth century in the U.S. One might be tempted to assume that these ducks were descended from the wild American Black Duck or Cayuga Duck.

Evidence suggests that the original Black East Indie Ducks descended from a Mallard mutation.

The Black East Indian entered the British standards in 1865. In America this duck entered the American Standard of Perfection in 1874 and goes by a different name: The East Indies is often called the Black East Indies in America.

It has at various times been known by other names, some of them – such as “Brazilian”, “Buenos Airean”, “Labrador” – suggesting a geographical origin. There is, however, no documented connection to the East Indies, to South America, or to Labrador. It is thought that the breed developed from its original form in the United Kingdom in the second half of the nineteenth century, and was then further refined in the United States in the latter part of the twentieth century. A hypothesis that the black color of the plumage derives from the native American species Anas rubripes appears to be unsubstantiated.

East Indie Duck: Tabular Summary

Breed Name East Indies
Other Names Black East Indies duck
Black East Indian duck
Buenos Ayres
Canard du Labrador
Canard Smaragd (French)
Pato del Labrador (Spanish)
Smaragdenten (German)
Smeraldo Labrador (Italian)
Breed Purpose Exhibition, Ornamental
Personality and Behavior  Friendly, Excellent Fliers
Breed Class Bantam
Broodness Average
Weight Drake:    About 0.7 to 0.9 kg
Duck:   About 0.45 to 0.7 kg
Climate Tolerance All Climate
Egg Size Medium
Egg Weight About 55 grams
Egg Color Black or Grey, Sometimes blue
Egg Productivity Low
Flight Ability Good
Dominance Yes, Common
Color Black
Country of Origin United States



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