Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
The Crested Duck is a very old breed, with unknown origin. Some claim the birds are descended from Mallards that had the crest mutation, other's say they were developed by a cross of Bali and barnyard ducks from Holland. Either way, the Crested duck has been featured in artwork since 1660, and is considered a classic heritage fowl.
Varieties: Black, Colored, White
Use: Eggs, Meat, Ornamental, Pets
Personality: Nervous, but can become a very tame pet if given the attention
Suitable housing: Free range during the day, or a large pen
Capable of flight: No
Weight: 6 - 7 lbs
Noise level: Below average, with most Crested ducks only making noise when they want attention
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: White, Blue, Green
Meat production: Good
What else you should know:
The Crest is caused by a genetic mutation. When two crested ducks are breed together, it can create a lethal allele combination. This can result in the following:
25% of the fertile eggs dying during incubation
25% of chicks hatching without crests
The Crested Duck is a recognized breed. However, any breed of duck that hatches with a crest, may be shown in the crested class.
good layers, multipurpose ducks, large white eggs
neurological issues, breeding mortality rates, genetic defect
Beautiful ornamental, highly intelligent multi-purpose ducks
I absolutely love these ducks. I breed & select for huge crests. They are highly intelligent, friendly, easy to tame, and good layers of large white eggs. They can learn their names & be trained to perform simple tricks. They are too heavy to fly. They are quite noisy. They need lots of fresh clean water to drink and to swim in. I use a plastic kiddie pool from Walmart. Also they cannot breed without a pool. These ducks are very entertaining.
From FunkyFeathers Mar 18 2010 11:01PM
An interesting, but potentially troubled duck.
White Crested ducks are a unique descendant of the Mallard duck and have very interesting crest of feathers above their head which leads to their name. They sort of look like a person working in a bakery or deli with a hair net over their head. They’re very common in feed store poultry sales and have been used a little for meat production or for adding something new to local county farm fairs.
I personally owned a couple of these but I eventually sold them to someone that really liked them, last I heard they were still doing very well. While I had them, they were pretty docile and social ducks and pretty good little foragers.
However, in recent years I’ve learned that the crest of feathers that they have is actually from a genetic defect that they pass on. Crested ducks have high breeding mortality rates as a result of this. They’re also supposedly prone to developing neurological issues because of the defect. While I personally never encountered these problems myself, it makes me uneasy when I consider the idea of continuing this breed if it the rate of mortality and issues are as high as I’ve read.
In light of the problems I’ve mentioned having learned over the last years in regard to this breed, I would recommend not having it as a production duck or breeding program on your homestead.
There are plenty of other duck breeds out there if you’d like to raise meat birds or quality hatching. If you want to have one as a potential pet or rescue, then that is a different scenario, but keep in mind the potential for neurological issues..
From BrentM Aug 23 2014 11:48PM