Crested ducks have their appearance because they are heterozygous for a genetic mutation that results in a deformity of their skull. The ideal crest is large and centrally located on the head, it should not be split into two lobes. Throughout the many years that domestic ducks have been kept birds with small tufts of feathers have appeared. Through selective breeding these small tufts were grown and improved throughout the world. One trait of the crested ducks that is still not fully understood is the varying of crest size among ducks. The crest is attributed to a crested gene were only ducks that are heterozygous for the trait will display it. Ducks that have 2 copies of the gene are commonly believed to die in the egg due the gene being lethal when 2 copies are present. As such when 2 crested birds are bred together the offspring should be: 25% non-crested, 50% crested, 25% die in the shell. However if a crested bird is bred to a non-crested bird 50% of the offspring should be crested and the other half non-crested. This is where the crest size comes into play. Duckopolis has tried many different breedings with crested ducks and in our experience when a crested bird is bred non-crested the crest size is significantly diminished. However when breeding crested to crested the majority of crested ducklings have large crests. Also when breeding crested/crested pens we have not noticed a significant difference in hatching results as there should be. Duckopolis has also had many hatches with this breeding where the offspring is over 90% crested. This continues to be an interesting gene to work with, and despite any disadvantage there may be in hatching results they are still a very useful and decorative dual purpose breed.
Duckopolis has crested ducks available in: