Dave Holderread first introduced the Golden Cascade Duck in 1984. They are named after the Cascade Mountain Range as well as the golden color of the ducklings. They were developed to be a good looking duck that performs well even under less than the best of conditions.
Golden Cascades excel in egg production, being hardy, having calm temperaments, and as meat ducks.
Golden Cascades lay through cold winters without additional light as well as through the extreme heat of summer. Kept under ideal conditions their annual egg production is over 320 eggs. Golden Cascade eggs can be either white or blue. The eggs are a large size, typically around 2.8 oz.
At 6-8 lbs Golden Cascades are big enough to provide a good amount of meat while being small enough that they want to move around and forage for a lot of their food.
Golden Cascades drakes are valuable when bred to hens of other breeds. They carry a sex linked gene that when a Golden Cascade drake is breed to duck of any other breed (that is not buff colored) the ducklings can easily be sexed by a quick glance at down color. The males will be darker. Since egg production is determined by the sire, the first generation hybrid daughters will lay as many eggs as their pure counterparts.
These qualities make Golden Cascade Ducks a very practical breed.
After the breed was established and doing well the Holderreads reluctantly discontinued breeding Golden Cascades to focus on other breeds of waterfowl. In the twenty years that passed from the time that Golden Cascades left the preserve, unfortunately the lines were not kept pure, other duck breeds had been mixed in to the point that the Golden Cascade breed standard was no longer being met. Concerned that this valuable breed was being lost, Dave sought out Golden Cascades who were good representations of the breed. In 2012 only five ducks who possessed the rare genes and qualities of the Golden Cascade could be found. In 2014 pedigree ducklings where once again available.
Golden Cascades are critically endangered.