Crested (duck breed)

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This article is about the domestic duck breed. For the wild duck species Lophonetta specularioides, see Crested duck.
Standard Poultry Club of Great Britain
Weight Male: Standard: 3.2 kg
Miniature: 1.125 kg[1]:415
  Female: Standard: 2.7 kg
Miniature: 0.9 kg[1]:415    
APA medium[2]
EE yes[3]
PCGB light[4]
Anas platyrhynchos

The Crested is a breed of domestic duck. It was probably brought to Europe from the East Indies by Dutch ships.[1]: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.[1]:413 Crested ducks are seen in seventeenth-century paintings such as those of Melchior d'Hondecoeter and Jan Steen. In the United States the breed was described by D.J. Browne in 1853.[1]:413[5]:197 The white Crested was added to the American Standard of Perfection in 1874; the black variant was added in 1977.[2] The Crested was recognised in the United Kingdom in 1910.[1]:413 In the UK, as in several other European countries, any colour is permitted.[3]

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.[1]:415


When two ducks heterozygous for the crested allele breed, their offspring are in the usual 1:2:1 ratio:

  • 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.