In response to the thread: The Truth Behind Crested Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by StevenW., Nov 4, 2012.

  1. bibkel

    bibkel Chirping

    Dec 4, 2010 I am sorry your feed store is so messed up as to have ducklings with poop all over them....and to pass blame on another place when they are the ones who sold him to you.
    The place where I got my little girl is dumpy in my opinion. I only went in looking for a dog toy that lasted forever, and I was hoping they had the old version still since everything in there is dusty. PetStages had a rag ball that looking like a colorful octopus. Now, it has little stubby things.
    Anyway, I cannot resist the pull of the babies and pullets. So, we went into the stuffy, urine smelling shed to peek at whatever babies they had. There were three mystery goslings, and they were damp and stinky. Then I saw the box of ducklings, the size of a pallet. About 1/3 of them had crests, and they were adorable. So I had my daughter pick one out and brought her in the little box to the register. I asked what she was, and they were asking ummm, do you know? And they all shrugged. Unreal.

    She does look like a mallard or a rouen. I won't know until she is full size. She is I think she is Mallard.
  2. Davlyn

    Davlyn Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    Hi~ I am new to ducks. Got my 1st 3 on May 24 2013. they were suppose to be " crested Indian runners" oh cream & white. They were tiny yellow fuzzy things with a puff on their head. I joined an FB Runner duck page. I can't say when I started to suspect they were not what I ordered. Well they are not. Long story short. The owner of the local Agway made a mistake, he ordered white crested ducks. so that's what I have . White crested ducks. Of course I love them anyway. I wanted the runners as my 1st for 2 reasons. 1, they didn't require the water as reg. ducks do & 2. they are great forigers , I read even better than chickens. But, so bit it. My neighbors took 3 & I took 3. they had one die with in days. I had 1 die after about 4 wks. I love the ducks. they are just so fun to watch. After my little 1 died I called the store & he had 2 unclaimed ducks there. 1 Pekin & 1 Rouen. so I took them. I have 4 ducks now. I am sure I have 1 Drake. My female crested is so loud. When I go out I call " duck-do" where are you & she starts quaking up a storm. & the 2 newbies I am sure R females. The Rouen I am sure is a female , she's just brown no coloring like the male. & the Pekin is not peeping, it's quaking. I am happy for just 1 drake. May I ask what do you all feed your ducks beside the grain & cracked corn ? I have given them lettuce, spinach , peas, bread...
    Thank you
  3. Davlyn

    Davlyn Songster

    Feb 6, 2010
    Pike , NH
    Thats sort of like the Frizzle chickens. It;s a gene not a breed. & 2 frizzles cannot be breed as it will cause a mutation ( if thats what its called ) where the feathers will be very brittle & break off. A frizzle has to be breed to a smooth coat bird, doesn't matter which is which.
    I like the crest & I have no plans to breed/ raise babies. If the hatcheries / are going to sell them. Then I will purchase if thats what I want. All critters need love & caring. If they R born then they need a home.
  4. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    Howdy, they are a hoot and a great addition to a flock aren't they? DH was the one to decide to get ducks, I had mentioned it before and he said no but when he saw their cute little faces he was hooked. We feed ours a general flock fowl feed. We supplement niacin and egg shell. We only use cracked corn in the winter because it increases their body temp and give greens/veggies/meat as treats occasionally as they do not have all the nutrition necessary. We don't do bread though because it can lead to health issues later on.
  5. RugenerGooser

    RugenerGooser Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    New Mexico
    When they are old enough to breed, please do not allow a crested to breed to a crested. There is an allele that causes death in a quarter of the viable eggs and problems with deaths of hatched ducklings shortly after hatching. There is also a chance of severe neurological problems. If you are going to let them breed, breed a crested to a non crested. Otherwise...enjoy your duckies! You would be surprised that most feed stores have no idea what they are selling. They just know it is a duck, goose or chicken. Some are not even allowed to tell you what they are or their sex. If you know how to vent sex, you are a step ahead of the game. I have some crested Cayuga, Pekin, Buff and Khaki Campbell, but I breed only to non crested, and those who show no signs of neuro or orthopaedic issues.

  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    That stinks that you had such a rough introduction to ducks. I'm not a big fan of buying chicks/ducklings/goslings from a feedstore. If you get them from the feedstore they've already endured two moves at a very young age - from the hatchery to the feedstore and then from the feedstore to your home. Add to that the fact that a lot of feedstore employees have no clue what they are doing with fowl and your birds have less chance of getting the intense care they need the first couple days of their life.
    My runners are great foragers, but they do love their pools as much as any of my other waterfowl, especially during the heat of the day.
    What I didn't anticipate was what great egglayers they are! My five runner hens are now 17 months old and rarely does a day go by that I don't get five eggs.
    I feed all my waterfowl a 7 grain feed (actually it's intended as a game bird conditioner) that has very little corn in it. Corn is fattening and not all that nutritious. My ducks aren't crazy about romaine lettuce, but my geese adore it. I give them all peas several times a week to meet their niacin requirements, but since they graze at least 10 hours a day that's not really a problem anyhow. The one thing I don't give them is bread. Bread is very unhealthy for ducks and shouldn't be feed to them at all. Yeah, you see people feeding wild ducks bread at parks and lakes all the time, but they aren't doing those birds any favors.
    When it comes to food likes and dislikes birds are just like us humans, they are individuals and each has their own preferences. As I said, some of my ducks like lettuce, others won't touch it. Our fig trees are full right now; my geese and chickens adore figs, but the ducks aren't interested. Some of my ducks and a few of the geese like watermelon, others ignore it. Every single duck and goose I have loves, loves, loves peas. If I try to feed peas to my chickens I get stink eye.

    Back the original post. I may have mentioned somewhere along the line that my goose went broody? My pair are American buffs. Only one is tufted (the gander) so I didn't concern myself with allowing them to hatch. Since she was only a year old when she went broody "everyone" told me to allow my goose to keep all the eggs in her clutch; that there was no way that all would hatch, if any hatched at all. And that is how I went from being the proud owner of two geese to being the shocked owner of TWELVE geese. [​IMG]She actually had 11 eggs and hatched every single one of them, but one poor baby got crushed to death in the overfull nest. Seven of the goslings are tufted, 4 are not. All are the spitting image of the gander and all are very healthy.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Not too long ago I was in our local (big name) feed store, talking with another customer about my geese and ducks. The manager overhead me mention that that my call hen is very loud, but like most breeds of ducks, my drake can only whisper. She interrupted and asked me to repeat my statement, so I did. Her response was something like...."Oh God! Now I have to go home and explain to my little boy that he has 5 drakes and one hen!". She's the manager of the store and she has no clue!
    Much to my husbands embarrassment I make it a habit of checking in the store quite a bit during chick days to check on the welfare of the babies they get in and try to educate any fowl buyers present. I won't hesitate to call for the manger when I see their care is not adequate. Just wish the young woman that bought the 8 sex link chicks this past spring would have listened to me when she was picking out "the cutest ones". She blew me off when I tried to explain what sex link meant and the employee helping her gave me a dirty look. Sure hope that young woman is enjoying listening to her SIX roosters crow. *snicker*
  8. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Ephesians 6:13

  9. MissusDee

    MissusDee Chirping

    Feb 7, 2011
    Wouldn't recommend a newbie or an inexperienced flock owner try breeding them, but it is possible, and a lot of them are healthy. Some lines do better than others.
  10. tsulagvnege

    tsulagvnege In the Brooder

    Sep 27, 2011
    Ok, because the thread had originally been to educate about the crested trait, I need to clear up a misconception here. Breeding a crested to a crested causes the lethal condition in about one quarter of the eggs laid. But there are neurological issues in all the ducks that are crested. Breeding a non crested to a crested doesn't avoid the condition. It only avoids the lethal condition.

    Breeding a non-crested duck to a crested duck will result in about 50 percent having the crested trait and about 50 percent normal non-crested ducks. The Fifty percent born crested will still have the gene and will have the neurological issues associated with the condition.

    Let me quote Hollerread because he is the accepted authority that most use.....He states in his book ....

    "In those that carry the allele for crest the head adornment may range from being totally invisible to measuring 5 or more inches in diameter. .......Ducks that carry the crest allele are susceptible to neurological abnormalities (which may be apparent at hatching time or not until months later) and to skeletal deformities (kinked neck, shortened bodies, roached backs, wry tails). Fortunately the majority of Crested ducks are normal and have a life expectancy similar to that of other breeds."

    So, I write this to point out that the crest allele carries with it neurological problems that may not be apparent to the duck owner, but it may appear normal in all outward aspects. If you have crested ducks you should enjoy your crested ducks, but know that if you allow a crested to breed with a normal non-crested you are subjecting the offspring to possible neurological problems. As Hollerread states, most appear normal and live long happy lives. But some will be affected to a greater extent to the point that they suffer in some way neurologically whether it is apparent to us or not. This is the reason that if we want to be conscientious duck owners and breeders then we should not allow any crested duck to pass the trait on to any offspring (this includes breeding a crested to a non-crested). Know that you are perpetuating the suffering associated with the neurological problems that accompany the trait if only in a very few ducks is not being conscientious breeders or owners of ducks.

    So to re-emphasize the point, breeding a crested duck to a non-crested duck does not avoid the problem. It just avoids the lethal embryonic developement condition.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013

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