Crested Duck

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)

Gender: Both





Meat quality


Egg production


Commercial value


An interesting, but potentially troubled duck.


Florida, United States

Posted Aug 23, 2014

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.

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