I have found so little information about this British breed I thought I might compile it for others, I have seen a few smatterings of talk on the boards and elsewhere so how about we try and put all the collective info we know in one thread? Hopefully this will help others!
Information for the “Stanbridge White” Duck Breed...
This information has been gleaned from the internet by an amateur and compiled for ease of access to the general public or hobbyist.
As this breed does not (to my current knowledge) have a breed club, please contact the Rare Breeds Survival Trust for more information.(linky: http://www.rbst.org.uk/)
MOST OTHER INFORMATION IS FROM BRITTANIC RARE BREEDS (linkylink: http://www.britannicrarebreeds.co.uk)
All this information has been garnered from the UK, I am not experienced with the Stanbridge in the US.
All images, illustrations and articles copyright original creators. Some writings in this initial post have been paraphrased for ease of reading. My annotations are in blue. By this I mean ultra anecdotal non expert advice, although I am a (small time) breeder of ducks and chickens my advice or comments should not be taken as gospel!
INTRODUCTION TO THE BREED
The Stanbridge White duck is a breed that was believed to be extinct until 2007, when the president of the rare poultry society identified the breed in Gloucestershire. The birds had been maintained by William Osbourne, an experienced poultry keeper who by 2009 maintained fourteen Stanbridge ducks and four drakes in three breeding pens.
William purchased his original birds from an elderly man in the village of Aylburton in Gloucestershire, the same village that a known poultry photographer (Mr Arthur Rice) had lived and kept the Stanbridge. The elderly man did not know what they were and only regarded them as “Farmyard ducks” but he did state they “laid like stink”. I find this so cute and also a bit astonishing! The Marsh Daisy chicken was also "found" this way.
Their laying ability has also been noticed by William who has stated his Stanbridge ducks “start to lay in the first week of February and go on until at least October” and “in all that time they would average about 240-250 eggs per duck”. William went on to say he has “ been keeping poultry for over 50 years and has never come across ducks that lay as well as these do, not even when I kept Khaki Campbells”. Khaki Campbells are a well known egg laying breed of duck that lays appoximatly 300 eggs a year.
All existing Stanbridge whites originate from William Osborne’s birds and the gene pool is not likely to consist of more than a couple of bloodlines.
HISTORY and DESCRIPTION
“Stanbridge Whites” are for all intensive purposes a utility duck, it is good for eggs and also meat. The Stanbridge was originally developed by Lord Greenway in Romsey, Hampshire. Some say they were developed from a white sport of the Magpie duck. The Magpie duck is a Welsh breed developed in the early 20th century. Others believe they may have been used in the creation of the Magpie. The information is not clear but they are quite similar birds in carriage.
The Stanbridge White was first recognized in the 1920s by the Poultry Club of Great Britain.
The key features of the “proper” Stanbridge include a dished bill, overall upright carriage and refined type face with tightly knit wings and a long back and chest. I personally would describe the males and long backed and perhaps a little “lanky” in appearance although by no means is it a particularly light duck (it is classified as medium). Weight for the drake is 5.5 to 7lbs. Weight for the duck is 4.5 to 6lbs. The Rare Breed Survival Trust states “In general appearance they favour Magpies but are normally slightly heavier.”
Type defects include low carriage akin to a (English)Aylesbury duck type, overweight, coarse poor feathering, flesh coloured beak or overly straight bill especially in the female. These traits combined or selected indicate it is not a Stanbridge. Dished bill labeled as a defect is INCORRECT, this is a key point of the breed.
Storeys Guide to Raising Ducks by Dave Holderread mentions the Stanbridge when describing the colouration of the Magpie duck: “Most matings of Magpies will produce some pure white offspring, traditionally called Stanbridge White” but it must be noted the Stanbridge White is a separated breed.
It will lay a good number of pale green hued eggs which often fade with the season. Overall references to this breed are very few and limited. They are described in the Poultry World magazine (11 April 1930): "A duck with proven merits which can challenge other more well-known egg laying breeds in terms of egg numbers, extended laying season and a also a good table bird."
The Stanbridge is similar only in colour to various other white breeds such as the commercial “Cherry Valley” duck, Pekin, Aylesbury or White Campbell. It is white to the skin and has a yellow/orange bill and orange feet. In the past it has been fairly easy to spot a “White Campbell" which was not so and which had the dished bill and if penned a green egg in the pen (two traits of the Stanbridge). It could be currently that quite a few “off type” Campbell and Aylesbury breeders infact have some sort of Stanbridge type ducks through no fault of their own and lack of information. I believe any duck that seems of similar type and which lays a greenish tinged egg should be examined.
I will upload some images of my actual birds as soon as I can I also have baby photos, of which the beak is quite unique and curved (I think so) and pictures of the apparent parents.
do NOT use without my strict permission
my babydodos (thats what I call them haha) are almost full grown but here are some pictures of them (all drakes)
Note dished bill this isnt usually present in a pekin cross for instance, he is new hatched here hence the muzzyness. He has a very dainty type face compared to other ducks I have hatched.
A image of the variation between the three they are about 3 weeks old here (unsure) one has a bit of a straighter bill, this has continued into adulthood. Silver Appleyard to the left. They are in the runs for protection or breeding here, normally they are free range.
Another image note the bills. They coloured up perfectly yellow-orange also (rather than say, pinkish). If you google English Aylesbury duckling you might see the difference. I say English to separate from crosses of "Cherry Valley" commercial birds or off type Aylesburys.
The drake (left) is crouching a little but I can confirm he must have been a long legged mac-daddy as my boys are absolutly LANKY as hell and I love it, that is just how I describe them. They are tall carried and very long backed
Note the nice dished bills of the female, it is much more apparent in them. 2 of 3 of my boys have the most dished bills and hence I will select them for breeding above the other whom has a straighter bill (like the drake pictured here). Now go and compare this to all other white ducks you know and you will see what I mean about the "type".
BOOK Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition (Holderread, Dave)
IMAGE: “Stanbridge White Cover Photo” https://www.rbst.org.uk/Rare-and-Native-Breeds/Poultry/Ducks/Stanbridge-White
for the love of god if anyone has any Stanbridge hatching eggs for sale in the UK please contact me as I currently have 3 drakes from the Guy Richardson line of which I bought from a private seller (and they appear legitimate), that is all the information I have on them.
If anyone could also locate a proper actual breed standard I would also appreciate it!
They (my boys are called Barbie, Cindy and Polly...) are giving me the jitters just prancing around and not maintaining/breeding the stock
Edited by ejay - 8/2/15 at 12:45pm