Monday, June 11, 2007

Duckie update

Our broody Indian Runner duck, Bluebill, hatched out one baby the day before Mother's Day. At one day old he was the cutest thing in the world.



Awwww.



Here he is now. Or rather, last week. Still cute, but the awwww factor has mostly been replaced with I can't stop looking at that crazy thing on his head.



When we ordered our ducks from Ideal Hatchery, I noticed the statement, "Crested Fawn and White Runners may possibly be included with your order." None of our ducklings were crested though, so I forgot about it. But one must have carried the gene.

According to the Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain, "The crest is a mutation associated with skull deformities... The crest is formed from a mass of fatty tissue that emerges through a gap in the cranium (skull). From this, feathers grow."

Also fascinating:
The crest gene is an incompletely dominant one. ie, if an chick receives a double dose of the gene - one from each parent (homozygous) it will die in the shell. If only one of the parents passes it on (heterozygous) the resulting hatches will be : 25% will not hatch, 25% will not have crests and 50% will have crests. If a crested heterozygous bird is crossed with an un-crested one, the resulting hatch should be 50% crested and 50% plain.

Bluebill started sitting on eggs just after the Easter week freeze, so only the eggs laid that morning had a chance anyway.

15 comments:

KFarmer said...

You have a treasure in that duck- how in the world can you not look at it and smile :)

sugarcreekfarm said...

How interesting! A duck only a mother could love, yet kfarmer's right...he certainly does put a smile on your face :)

meresy_g said...

A duck in a little fuzzy hat. Awwwww. That would put you in a good mood every day. Or if you are feeling sorry for yourself about something you can look at that duck and think "Well, it could be worse. At least I don't have a fluffball prtruding through my skull".

Ki said...

What an interesting deformity. If they bred that into poodles you would have to clip them that way.

Ericka said...

wow. how do you not doink it? i'd have a very hard time not going after that little poof.

is it going to stay, do you think, or will it molt away as he gets older?

DeeMom said...

We had the crested ducks a long time ago. I called one Harpo after the Marx brothers and one was Curly after one of the Three Stooges. They were too cute for words.

DeeMom said...

Ericka, the bouffant CREST stays…

WrenaissanceWoman said...

I;d never seen a crested duck before. He's adorable, at all ages.

Floridacracker said...

Ducks are funny enough without accessories.
That one is too cute.

Rurality said...

It was somewhat of a surprise, that's for sure! It was sooo downy and soft at first. Now it's developing into actual feathers. And yep, it'll stay that way. I imagine it'll molt gradually like the rest of the feathers, instead of all at once.

I'm not really sure if the duckling is male or female, but we've been saying "he" for no particular reason.

robin andrea said...

That is the cutest little crest. How interesting that it is derived from a skull deformity. I would not have guessed that ever. Still, that is one cute duck.

anne said...

That duck is completely hilarious. And also - completely adorable. Thank you for sharing him with us!

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

Looks like a little ear muff that's migrated to the top of his head. LOL!

I think he's very cute.

Cookie Jill said...

That's one crazy looking hairdo. (hair don't?) Looks like you Crazy Glued a cotton ball on his noggin'.

Definately not a "D.A." 50's hairdo.

Maktaaq said...

Certainly looks like a happy duck, it's as if there's a smile on that face.