Crested (duck breed)
Crested duck in the harbor of Camden, Maine
|Standard||Poultry Club of Great Britain|
The Crested is a breed of domestic duck. It was probably brought to Europe from the East Indies by Dutch ships.:413 It has its appearance because it is heterozygous for a genetic mutation causing a deformity of the skull.
The Crested probably originates in the East Indies, with subsequent development in Holland.:413 Crested ducks are seen in seventeenth-century paintings such as those of Melchior d'Hondecoeter and Jan Steen. Paintings as old as 2000 years have depicted images of a bird, resembling a duck with an assortment of feathers on top of its skull. In the United States the breed was described by D.J. Browne in 1853.:413:197 The white Crested was added to the American Standard of Perfection in 1874; the black variant was added in 1977. The Crested was recognised in the United Kingdom in 1910.:413 In the UK, as in several other European countries, any colour is permitted.
The crest is large and well centered on top of the skull. They have long, slightly arched necks, medium length body, much depth and fullness through the breast.
A bantam version of the breed, the Crested Miniature, was bred by John Hall and Roy Sutcliffe in the United Kingdom in the late twentieth century; it was recognised in 1997.:415 The crested gene is very popular in Europe, resulting in crested versions of most breeds. Though Cresteds can be good layers and strong roasting qualities, the main interest and demand for the breed is as pets and decorations. They are not a popular show breed due to challenges associated with the crest. The crest often causes the ducks to bear a fat body in the skull. Depending on the fat body's size and relative position to the brain, it can impede a duck’s mobility. Many crested ducks experience a tottered walking pattern and if knocked over are unable to get up. Other issues caused by the fat body may include seizures, neurological problems, and even early death. 
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When two ducks heterozygous for the crested allele breed, their eggs are in the usual 1:2:1 genotypic ratio, but live offspring are in a 1:2 ratio as explained below:
- 25% are homozygous for the normal allele of this gene and so have no crest and if bred together their offspring will never have a crest.
- 50% are heterozygous for this gene and hatch with a crest of varying sizes.
- 25% are homozygous for the crested allele of this gene and die from exposed brain without hatching, as it is lethal in homozygous form.
The offspring of a duck with a crest and a duck with no crest are expected to be 50% with and 50% without a crest.
- Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424.
- APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
- Liste des races et variétés homologuée dans les pays EE (28.04.2013). Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture. Archived 16 June 2013.
- Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Archived 12 June 2018.
- Holderread, Dave (2001). Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. North Adams, MA, USA: Storey Publishing. pp. 58, 59.
- D.J. Browne, Samuel Allen (1853 ). The American poultry yard : comprising the origin, history, and description of the different breeds of domestic poultry, with complete directions for their breeding, crossing, rearing, fattening, and preparation for market …. New York: C.M. Saxton.
- Standard Revision Committee; Malone, Pat; Donnelly, Gerald; Leonard, Walt (2001). American Standard of Perfection 2001. USA: American Poultry Association. p. 312.
- Frahm, Heiko (2007). "Motor incoordination, intracranial fat bodies, and breeding strategy in Crested ducks (Anas platyrhynchos f.d.)". Poultry Science. 86: 1850-1855. doi:10.1093/ps/86.9.1850. PMID 17704370.
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