Keeping Crested Ducks
A mature crested drake can weight about 6-7 lbs, and the mature Crested female can weight about 5-6 lbs. The American Poultry Association recognizes two Standard of Perfection for Crested ducks, the Black and White varieties. Other types such as the Grey, Blue and Buff have been a good interest for raisers, and crests can appear on other varieties as well. Crested ducks usually have a large body and should be symmetrical on the forehead when in idle position.
The crested feature of this breed is linked to the fatal situation during incubation. Duckling with both genes for the crest cannot hatch. Of these ducks that hatch, usually a third of them will not have the crest. It is very easy for a raiser to see how the crest will develop on the ducklings, so they can choose which stock to raise and sell the rest as baby ducks, instead of feeding them until they mature.
The crest is basically an abnormality appearing in any color. This is a result of the mutation linked with bone deformities and is has been known for centuries. There are those raisers who claimed that the deformation first appeared in Britain and that is a notion that has been a subject for debate, but it has been recorded in guide books and poultry manuals already as early as the 17th century. The mutations can appear occasionally on any breed of ducks. Careful breeding can increase the number of ducks with the same features.
The crest can appear from a lump of fatty tissues, which surface through a small hole in the skull. From this tissue, protruding feathers grow. The crest can differ from concentrated crests, plump crests, powder puffs, and contorted lumps with just a few plumages, or the rare ear lump when the hole glides near the ears.
The crested breed can be cross-bred with any duck breed excluding the Muscovy, as a parent Crested will produce only a small percentage of crested ducks. Most crested ducks rarely breed successfully but when they do, they are very good livestock. If you are using a crested female with a large crest, you should observe that the male duck will use the crest during the copulation, and the female can be injured during this. The clump of feathers on the head of the female, that rarely appears and is known as an object of attraction, when selected and bred for the offspring, will not carry the crested gene to the line, so a crested male will be needed to turn any breed crested, so watch them during mating.
As you have realized now, breeding crested ducks is a very challenging task and not for amateurs; also if the crest is very large and it hampers the eating and basically, living of the duck, you should trim it to give them a normal life.
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