Quack, Quack! The Crested Ducks Have Unique Afro Hair (Which Can Also Kill Them?)


Quack, quack! It’s a type of duck with extraspecial hair, or rather extra hair which is a result of genetic deformity. This feathered creature is endemic to South America, and is known for its unique fluffy head. Their afro hair style is a mutation that started the origin of this species. While no one really knows where this breed originated, studies show best guess as India, and then at some point during the 17th Century, these were shipped to Holland.  

They were admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1874 in two varieties- the White and the Black-crested duck. They come in a variety of colors- gray mallard coloring, and sometimes even buff and blue! Thus, it took 2 centuries for them to be known in the country! 

Why do these ducks have an afro?

Quack, Quack! The Crested Ducks Have Unique Afro Hair (Which Can Also Kill Them?)

While it is a genetic deformity, it makes the bird type completely different and easily recognizable. But there is an unfortunate cause for that. The so-called hair is actually nothing but fatty tissues because there’s no skull underneath the tissues. They weigh around 3 kilograms. The skull does not fully cover the ducks’ heads, and yes, it is very dangerous. 

The early deaths are common

Quack, Quack! The Crested Ducks Have Unique Afro Hair (Which Can Also Kill Them?)

It may stand out from the crowd, but early deaths are very common in this breed. It is also a tough breed to raise, for it requires extra care for both the skull and fighting against predators. They have an average lifespan of 12 years if raised in a proper and healthy environment. 

Most breeders have this type of duck for show purposes, but it also makes a good meat breed. No breeder actually raises this breed for meat purposes, but meat-eaters have complimented afro-haired ducks for their thigh meat and roasted meat!

Eggs and breeding

Quack, Quack! The Crested Ducks Have Unique Afro Hair (Which Can Also Kill Them?)
Wikimedia Commons / Antony-22

This type of duck gives a decent amount of eggs for sure. If you breed two crested ducks together, most ducklings will not hatch due to the deformity. They die in the shell, and even if they do hatch, their brains are fully exposed, resulting in a very tragic end. They are also prone to suffering from seizures and neurological disorders. While they may look exciting, to keep and breed, breeding actually causes many difficulties for both the breeder and the ducks. They are quite friendly and quiet though, so they would make an amazing pet too!

We recommend seeing them at least once in your lifetime, but don’t expect them to let you pet their heads. What makes them unique is also what makes their lives difficult, after all, beauty comes with a heavy price.

If you found this interesting, check out- This Anole Lizard Has Its Own “Protective” Bubbles, But With a Twist!


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