Crested Ducks have been around for a long time! They show up in paintings from the 1600s. While they are good utility ducks, Crested Ducks are often kept as pets and ornamental ducks due to their unusual appearance.
The crest is a mutation, and any breed of duck can have it. It first occurred on Mallards, and throughout the centuries breeders have selected birds with crests. The American Poultry Association only recognizes two varieties of Crested Ducks: White Crested and Black Crested.
The crest is linked to a genetic condition that is said to cause as much as a 25% mortality rate at the embryo stage. Also, if you breed two crested ducks, the resulting offspring will not all have the crest. Not all breeders have noticed a higher mortality rate among White Cresteds, and many have excellent rates of crests among ducklings.
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