Anas platyrhynchos crested
Crested Ducks are medium-sized domestic ducks. A Crested Duck’s most prominent feature is the tuft of feathers on top of its head.
Males weigh about 7 pounds and females are slightly smaller, weighing about 6 pounds.
- One reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs in their bodies that increase their buoyancy.
- Ducks’ feathers trap air in between them, which is another adaptation that helps them to float. Their feathers are also covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry.
- Ducks’ webbed feet allow them to maneuver easily in the water.
- Many ducks are excellent fliers due to their streamlined bodies, powerful wings, and hollow bones that weigh much less than the solid bones of mammals. Although Crested Ducks are poor fliers due to their large, heavy bodies, they do have the strong wings and hollow bones that are common to other types of ducks.
- Ducks do not have teeth, but they do have bumpy edges on their bills that help them to filter food out of the water. Food is then swallowed and ground up in the gizzard, a part of the stomach that contains small rocks for breaking down food.
The ducks at Cosley Zoo are fed commercially prepared duck food pellets.
Crested Ducks lay 9-13 eggs at a time. The eggshells are white or blue in color. Duck eggs incubate for 27 or 28 days before hatching.
Shelter and Space Needs
Domestic ducks require shelter from the wind and rain, access to food and water, and fencing to keep them contained. Crested Ducks require only a low fence due to their limited flight ability. The ducks at Cosley Zoo are kept on a pond surrounded by trees and shrubs that serve as shelter.
Domestic ducks kept as pets live an average of 8-12 years.
Importance to Man
The Crested Duck is a domestic duck that can be raised for both meat and eggs.
- Not all of the offspring of Crested Ducks have crests themselves. Only about half of the offspring are crested.
- The water in the Cosley Zoo duck pond often looks green, but that’s not because it’s dirty! The green dye that we put in there helps to block sunlight, which keeps algae from taking over the pond.
- A group of ducks is called a brace.
- A male duck is called a drake, and young ducks are called ducklings.