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.
Crested duck in the harbor of Camden, Maine
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.