Stanbridge Whites


10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
Charlotte, NC Area
I know Annarie and some others received Stanbridge Whites in their Holderread shipments this year. I only received one, and he's a drake, but I am bewitched. He is really stunning--the beauty and carriage of a pekin in a heavy-laying breed. Does anyone know whether, if I keep my drake and breed him with my magpies, they will produce more Stanbridges?

What else is known about the breed? There is not much information out there, and I am hungry for it. I have to make my decision soon regarding which drakes to keep, and it will help greatly to know more about this breed. And besides, I'm fascinated. Anyone?
I don't know much more than you, but I want to give you a bump.
I LOVE the Stanbridge Whites!

As I understand it, they're better layers than Magpies, and they're slightly smaller - which somehow came about from selecting for the all-white ducks. So, I'm not sure if you bred him to a Magpie, that the babies could be considered Stanbridge Whites - it would be great for the gene-pool though.

However, I think all the ducklings would end up having Magpie markings?

I've been really studying the genetics hard, but when I can't figure something out, I've been playing with the Duck Color Calculator (which I realize isn't fool-proof) a lot:

, I have some girls - so, I can always send you some eggs in the spring and you can get a Stanbridge flock going too!
That would be awesome, Annarie. Okay, so you DO understand more than I do, you know. So... the Stanbridge White is not just a white sport of the magpie breed? It's actually been developed beyond that point? I thought it was just a sport, so if I bred the white drake to magpie hens that any white offspring would be stanbridge white. But what you're saying is that's not true, it's actually a separate breed of its own... Hmmm... I have to decide what to do about the drake. I think he's gorgeous, and he's my husband's favorite duck. But I only have room for four, five, or (if I really want to stretch my resources) six drakes, and I'm already having to make some tough decisions on that score.

Now, would the offspring of a stanbridge white & a magpie be magpies? Or would they just be mutts? If it were just a sport, it would still be a magpie, just without markings, so the offspring would be magpies too... but if it's a separate breed then the offspring, no matter how magpie-ish they are, are mutts, right?

Why can't we just get ole Dave on the phone and get him to answer these questions?????

Hmmm... I do think hatching season is nearly over. And I actually *will* be on the phone with him some time in the next few weeks in the preparation of a mag article I'm doing on raising ducks... maybe I can throw in a question or two about stanbridge white genetics!! lol Or maybe I can convince him to create a breed bulletin like he has for the other breeds...

I am intrigued by the idea of some stanbridge eggs next year. I might rehome this male and then try some eggs next year and hope for a few hens. I appreciate that offer.

Thanks for the input AND the bump.
Oh, please ask him!

And then share everything he tells you with all of us here who are interested! I know I've gotten a few inquiries about hatching eggs when mine start laying already, so people are interested besides you and me!

There's a little blurb about Stanbridge Whites on this website:

this from
From the white sports of the Magpie they developed the Stanbridge Whites, a utility white duck which had a slightly dished bill. Over the last 20 years or so it was fairly easy to spot 'White Campbell's" which were not so and which had the aforesaid dished bill and if penned a green egg in the showpen.

...from which I gather that they should lay green eggs.

I'm trying to find the website where I read about the smaller size and better egg laying - it was completely unintentional, it just sort of happened as they selected for the pure white ducks I guess.
Oh, that was a cool link, thank you. Now, WHY would Holderread be giving them away as packing peanuts? Where did he get Stanbridge Whites, and what are they doing with them? Are they planning to offer them for sale at some point? And why not offer them for sale instead of as packing peanuts?
On my box, the inside of the lid just said, "10 assorted magpies (1 white)" and below that: "5 blue runners" which is partly what made me think the white one was just a white magpie. Maybe mine is? It does have a slightly different face, though, than the magpies. Did the Holderread staff confirm that yours are Stanbridges?

I will try to ask these questions when I talk to him, but I don't know how much time he will have. I will also share much of what he tells me although some I will probably wait until after publication, lol. I am very much looking forward to talking to him--his staff has been very kind in agreeing to arrange the interview, and I feel incredibly lucky to get to be writing this piece. I will certainly post here with publication details closer to time. It will be in a major national living magazine (aren't I mysterious?? lol). Assuming, of course, that it makes the final cut--nothing is ever certain until the ink is dry.

Interesting discussion... wouldn't it be cool if this community could be responsible for the re-invigoration of an entire very cool breed?
Yes, they finally did. The inside of the box just said "5 Dutch Hookbills (+ 1 bonus), 5 Bargain Duckling Assortment" - BUT I did receive an e-mail that said: "Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. I checked your order, and you were sent Stanbridge Whites (also known as White Magpies). Cheers!"

By the way - that's the first thing I noticed about the Stanbridge White ducklings - they had a slightly different face from any ducklings I'd seen before. Remember how perplexed I was, thinking they might be Aylesburys or something?

Now, I know they have actual, genuine Stanbridge Whites that have been bred independently from Magpies in the UK for something like 60 or 90 years (I want to say they were developed in the 1930's???) , but I also know that all-white Magpies pop up too (they have to, if you want to create a breed from an all-white sport of them!), and it's considered a fault in the Magpies. So, maybe Dave Holderread is re-creating the breed from those all-white Magpies that he hatches out from his Magpie stock, or crossing those white Magpies to imported Stanbridge Whites to diversify the gene pool, which would mean that it's a big work in progress, and he probably wouldn't want to sell them for quite awhile - the ones that are being sent out now are extras from the early stages of a process to re-create the breed all over again, the same way it was done originally.

My head hurts now.
That actually makes a LOT of sense to me. And so the "extras" would be those he's not planning to use in his breeding program--they can't really sell them, because they're technically just a "fault" in the magpie breed at this point, and they can't use them in the breeding program, so they're sending them out as extras. Very cool.

I can't wait to see where the program goes--if it's a work in progress, he might not be ready to talk about it--but I'm going to ask him anyway.

Well, I think I'll probably keep my drake because I can't wait to see what happens when he crosses with my magpies. I don't have the scale of operation to "recreate" a breed, but I do have fun playing around with genetics, so this should be fun. Can't wait to see what you end up doing with yours, Annarie.

Can't wait to see your pics, Alanna.
My head hurts now

Annarie, mine does too, but I have learned so much in this thread.
Did I miss the pics of these stanbridge whites?
or white magpies?

or, i could go a googling myself.

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