The Sad Truth Behind the “Funny Hairdo” of Crested Ducks

If, like me, you spent a fair bit of your childhood on a farm, or if you’re simply fascinated by domestic birds, you’ve probably seen a crested duck at least once in your life. Their fluffy headgear is a adorable to look at, but it comes with some severe side-effects.

First of all, the funny-looking plumage on the heads of crested ducks is just a genetic defect, and one that has some serious health implications. The fluffy hairdo actually grows out of a section of fatty tissue that covers a gap in the duck’s skull. Not only does this defect make it dangerous for a female crested duck to mate – especially with a particularly aggressive drake – but it has also been linked to seizures, neurological problems and early death. Unfortunately, the photos of cute crested ducks circulating on social media these days don’t come with information about these issues, which only makes the ducks sought after as pets. That leads to another serious problem, breading…

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