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Silver Appleyard Duck
"This big, colorful duck was developed by Reginald Appleyard at his famous Priory Waterfowl Farm near Bury St. Edmund, England. His goal, as stated in a 1940's farm brochure, was to make a beautiful breed of duck, with a combination of beauty, size, lots of big white eggs, and a deep long, wide, breast." (Holderread 2001,66). Appleyards were brought to the United States in the 1960's and became available to the public in 1984. The American Poultry Association held a qualifying meet for their inclusion to the American Standard of Perfection in 1998, and officially recognized the Silver Appleyard Duck in 2000.
The Silver Appleyard is a large, sturdily built duck that weighs between 6 and 8 pounds. This breed's carriage varies from 15 to 25 degrees above horizontal and its body has a "blocky" conformation. (Holderread 1985, 1)The drake's bill is greenish or yellow with a black tip, his eyes are brown and his head and neck are greenish-black, sometimes exhibiting striping with age. The breast, sides, shoulders, and flank on a drake are reddish-chestnut with white frosting and lacing, his underbody is creamy or silvery white and his wings are gray and white with bright blue cross-stripe. The tail is blackish bronze, and legs and feet are orange. The female's bill is yellow or orange with a black bean, her eyes are brown and all plumage is generally whitish with gray, brown, fawn and buff markings with a blue cross-stripe on the wings. The legs and feet are orange with dark toenails. (Holderread 1985, 3)
"Currently, Applyards are being raised for exhibition, pets, decoration, eggs, and gourmet roasting ducks." (Holderread 2001, 66) They are one of the best layers among the heavyweight ducks, averaging 220 to 265 white shelled eggs per year. (Holderread 1985, 1) Appleyard meat is lean and flavorful. They are active foragers with calm temperaments and will tend to stay close to home if well fed. (Holderread 2001, 65)
When choosing Appleyards to breed, select robust, active, and strong-legged birds that have a record of good egg production. Many Appleyards are undersized, therefore select birds with big well muscled bodies while avoiding excessively large birds that will have trouble foraging, mating, and laying.
ALBC's 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America found only 128 breeding Appleyards. While five people reported breeding Appleyards, only one primary breeding flock with 50 or more breeding birds existed. (Bender, 4) There is a critical need for more conservation breeders of Appleyards. Their excellent laying ability, meaty carcasses, and lovely plumage make them a great addition to any small farmstead or backyard producer's flock.
Status: See CPL
Holderread, Dave. Breed Bulletin #8504: Silver Appleyard Ducks. Corvallis, OR: The Duck Preservation Center, 1985.
Holderread, Dave. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. Pownal, VT: Storey Communications, Inc., 2001.