Silver Appleyard Ducks
Silver Appleyard Ducks were created by Reginald Appleyard on his farm near Bury St. Edmonds in Suffolk in the 1930’s. He managed to create this heavy breed that by 9 weeks old could produce a 3 Kg table bird (plucked) with an excellent meat to bone ratio but also one that was capable of laying a good number of large white eggs. After the Second World War, Silver Appleyard ducks became very rare as the interest in poultry declined in Britain. Tom Bartlett who ran Folly Farm in Gloucestershire and kept 130 breeds of poultry for display to the public was instrumental in reviving the Appleyard during the late 1980’s.
Silver Appleyards are a good all-round duck. They are usually the most active foragers out of all the breeds of heavy duck. They lay large, usually white eggs and often go broody.
Silver Appleyard ducks were admitted to the British Poultry Standards in 1982 and the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1998.
The Silver Appleyard Duck is a “large, sturdily built duck” with a “blocky” physique and a prominent breast. When full grown it weighs between six and eight pounds. Drakes of this breed have a yellow or greenish-colored bill which sometimes takes on a striated appearance when the duck is older. The drake has a chestnut red breast, flank, sides, and shoulders with white “frosting and lacing” and a “creamy or silvery white” underside. Drakes’ wings are gray and white with a cross-stripe of bright blue. Their tail feathers are a dark bronze color. Feet and legs are orange.
Uses: Utility: meat and eggs.
Eggs: 100 to 180 large white eggs.
Weight: Drake: 3.6 – 4.1 Kg, Duck: 3.2 – 3.6 Kg.
Classification: Heavy. Origin: U.K.
Useful to Know: A good layer of large white eggs and useful table duck with good flavor. Silver is the only color variety. A bantam variety is available: The Miniature Silver Appleyard.
Domesticated ducks are raised for meat, eggs, exhibition, pets and down. All varieties of domesticated ducks are descended from the mallard, apart from the Muscovy duck, which seems to be a breed of it’s own.