The Silver Appleyard was developed in Britain by Reginald Appleyard during the 1930s and the 1940s
Silver Appleyard Duck is a breed of domestic duck. In a 2000 census there were only 128 breeding Silver Appleyard Ducks reported in North America. Of five people breeding this variety in North America, only one had a primary breeding flock in excess of fifty individual, though it is a more common breed in the United Kingdom.
The breed is a larger, sturdily duck with a physique that is sometimes described as "blocky" and it has 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 should be orange.
The Silver Appleyard Duck hen has a yellow or orange bill with a black "bean". Plumage is whitish with markings in various shades of brown and gray. Her legs are yellow or orange with dark toenails and she, like the drake, also has wings marked with a blue cross-stripe. The hen lays white eggs and is a prolific egg layer.
I find my silver Appleyard to be a very good layer. The Silver Appleyard duck is very good and rounded breed. The eggs are nice and big are a creamy white two off white egg shell colour. The drakes in particular are a very stunning drakes. With the hens also being vary colorful. The Appleyard drakes weigh around 7 to 8 pounds , and can weigh even more. The drakes mature fast and are said to be a fine roasting and eating duck. The eyes of the Appleyard ducks are dark brown to Hazel Brown. The bill of an Appleyard should be yellow with a bit of black on the tip of there bill. Some strains of the Appleyard dock lay between 200 and 270 eggs a year with my strain averaging about 240 eggs per year. The Appleyard duck is one of duck breeds that I can gladly say our one of my favorites. This is because they are all around dual purpose breed that can fit every ones WishList. With their calm personality and their egg laying meat producing size , along with that they are a rare breed of duck , although they are coming back.
Homer Duck is the one appleyard egg that hatched this past spring in our incubator. She and wilbur chicken (a buff brahma) are best soul mates since they hatched together. I wanted dual use birds that would be easy to handle for my 2 young nephews (And myself) and this is the breed suggested by the breeder. Homer has been great. she doesn't love getting picked up & handled, but she will put up with it. she does love humans and talks/calls to us every time we're in the yard. she quacks for joggers or bikers who go past on the road, and quacks when I come home and get out of my car. Actually, she makes more noise than the 2 cockerels I have crowing! it's sort of an endearing noise & I like it, plus my neighbors don't mind as they're hoping to get their own chickens next year. So I would only say this could be an issue if you live close to people who would be bothered by it. She does converse -- if I call out her name she shouts back, and she usually mumbles and mutters around as she's poking her bill in the ground hunting for whatever it is she hunts for in there. I've been offered a drake by a friend and probably will take him, and Homer will have a husband. We'll see how that goes and if it creates too much chaos in the poultry yard we can have roast duck (or duck soup) instead. Homer can be a little pushy and bossy with the 2 chickens who are below her in the pecking order, and will sometimes keep them from coming in the house at night. She used to be bossy with ALL of them, but the head rooster went after her and she's been more polite since. out of the 8 fowl she's close to the bottom now. But she has her Wilbur and they hang together all the time (though Wilbur doesn't get the whole swimming/splashing thing at all - she becomes indignant when her duck gets her wet!). In short, I love her temperament and she is a very pretty duck (blue/green stripes on her wings!!) despite being a girl and more muted in color. She does blend into the woods well too, which hopefully helps hide from predators. She is friendly and not flighty to have around and follows to 'watch and help' when i'm working on building things or gardening. not too close, but definitely where she can be near the people.
I have been keeping and breeding (Large) Silver Appleyards for quite some time now (I am no expert however!) A great traditional British Breed.
They are truly a dual purpose breed, having great egg laying abilities and well fed Drakes making a 9lbs weight (7-8 table) for good eating. They are handsome to look at and big colourful birds, breed standard flocks are lovely to look at and not too closely coloured to the Mallard, a nice distinct trait. (left)
Our's here are hardy and no cold weather seems to phase them which is another bonus in that they require little bedding in their Duck Houses. They do prefer good shade, and not too must pestering or human attention in the heat of summer. If you are breeding it would be a good idea to keep and eye on leg size and weight, some Birds are small boned and do not carry well (these ones should be culled or not bred from). Extra large well boned birds make great cuddly pals and true to the standard.
The Ducks make good mothers, they are particularly protective compared to some breeds, be prepared to be bitten if you get too close! On another note, I have even had Daddy Drakes sit patiently on eggs whilst Mother was out eating.
Ducklings brooded or hand reared are very independent, I think this to be the nature of the breed. Ducklings require patience and attention to become tame, this is easier when you start young, attention little and often. Give them time and they will not become flighty, we like to call friendly ones"Duck Slippers" when older (constantly tripping over cuddly Females and goofy Males).
Females are extra loud this is something you might want to think about if you have neighbors. They will call across 3 fields if they catch the sight of you, or indeed just as loud if you were to be right next to them. I have no idea why this is, and have never met a quiet Appleyard. Drakes make sounds of the usual sort.