The "Stanbridge White" Duck Breed Thread

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ejay, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. ejay

    ejay Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    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...
    image from RBST


    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:


    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!


    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.


    “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.


    my images
    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 next image is NOT MINE but please don't replicate it, it is from a private seller on ebay of whom I purchaced the hatching eggs from, details on request.This is the parent birds.

    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 [​IMG]
    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".

    Sources Used:
    BOOK Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, 2nd Edition (Holderread, Dave)
    IMAGE: “Stanbridge White Cover Photo”

    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[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jun 23, 2015
    Thanks for the information. I will certainly use it. [​IMG]
  3. ejay

    ejay Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    An update on those pictures I should have uploaded!
    Please Forgive me for the quality of some of them,

    "Batch 1"

    Here is a larger closeup image of one of the boys from my previous post, at a day (less than a day really) old.

    This is a closeup of the boys at 3ish weeks old you can see the dished bill in the lower duck in particular. They do seem to plump up in the beak from day 7 to about 5 weeks which makes it difficult if you are looking to buy ducklings or if you have a mixed batch. Day 1 is really the best to discern between ducklings as their day old shape appears to have retained into adulthood.

    Mighty hard to take pictures of!

    My observations are:

    Beaks do not turn yellow for some time, 5 weeks onwards (have yet to wrangle pictures of now adult birds!)

    The boys are 4 months old now and have pretty much matured. Out of all the ducks I have reared they have grown mighty fast! And I think they would make excellent meat birds. Not these ones though! The beaks are very long and the duckling in the lower of the images appears to have the most refined curved one, interestingly he is a bit lighter in weight and has smaller length feet. I en-devour to get individual pictures of the rascals as soon as I can! I think I could probably pick out who is who in the baby pictures.


    Now a new batch here - "Batch 2" lets call it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Something funny about this one?

    S/He is an Aylesbury! Adore him/her all the same.
    Note the higher set eyes, and clunky beak. 7 days old here. Also seems to have a massive head compared to the body and he has dark brown eyes. Screams allot to!

    I must point out, Batch 2 were labeled and sold as "Aylesbury" but on seeing the parent birds and asking a few question (egg colour, weight etc etc) I made the decision to buy (them) as hatching eggs, as many seemed to be Stanbridges! I often check pretty much any "off type" Aylesbury "white duck" if I'm out browsing, just in case. I think you will agree that the images below show a certain "typeyness" afforded to the Stanbridge only, but I will not be breeding with my Batch 1 until I am ABSOLUTELY sure of the fully grown birds.

    2 different Stanbridges side by side, 7 days old. All hatched from the same lot as the "Aylesbury". The one on the right is the darkest colour of the lot.

    These ones have grey blue eyes much like "Batch 1" (interestingly Batch 1 retained this into adulthood except one, whom has brown-grey eyes)

    A different duck, he seems not to have as much of a refined face, he looks allot like the straighter billed (now adult) ducks from "Batch 1". 2nd picture at a day old (darn me for not attempting a profile shot with this one)
    Will be interesting to see him 5 weeks onwards as this is when the growth seems to calm down. Hopefully he will be lanky and "Stanbridgey" like my boys!

    Above are some pictures of different Stanbridges, 1 day (or less) old. These are the same as the above birds. The Aylesbury is not pictured (last to hatch!)
    lease excuse the quality...........

    And there you go! When adult I hope to have the new batch appraised in order to tell if they are indeed true Stanbridge Ducks.


    Now Bonus pictures!

    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is a selection of Stanbridge eggs, which were a mixture of duck-egg green and cream. Interestingly, the Aylesbury type came from a cream egg (hatched last), but I have had Stanbridges from both colours and different sources. The last image is not mine so please do not share it, it is from a private seller.

    I also have Appleyard Ducks and they lay about the same size of egg (large!) but it is the purist white and very shiny (not pictured) just so you get an idea of the tint of the egg.

    The "proper" egg colour is noted as green hued and it fades with the season. I have yet to experience any Stanbridges laying here (3 boys...) and "Batch 2" seems to have (vent sexed) females so come back in 7-8 months [​IMG]

    I am hoping to cross my two lines eventually and see what becomes of it all!

    Hope you all enjoy! Please spread the word about this breed of duck! I can't bear to see another "off type" Pekin or Aylesbury Who knows! You may even own a Stanbridge yourself!
  4. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jun 23, 2015
    Those ducklings are so cute! I'll certainly keep the Standbridge in mind while I look for ducks to raise.
  5. ejay

    ejay Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    As promised, they are 4 weeks old now (batch 2 ducklings) and growing nicely Click to enlarge.

    BATCH 2 Ducklings
    She was last hatched but is whitening up the fastest. Her bill has remained the same since hatch, a greyish pink.
    I don't normally vent sex and have not needed to with this one, as she honks!

    Bills are beginning to turn yellow. Have not sexed yet.



    BATCH 1 "Ducklings"
    They are 5 months old now, they are still putting on weight and growing even longer in the back and bill (all drakes) These are the Stanbridges from another line which I hatched out first (for those who have not read all the posts). They have surpassed the size of my mature Silver Appleyard drakes which are 1 and 2 years old, not as blubbery however =) .


    I hope this information helps someone!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
  6. ejay

    ejay Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    8 Week Update
    No pin feathers yet

    1 - Aylesbury Female
    "Aylesbury" Type, no real idea of her true heritage possibly AylesburyxEuropean Pekin,
    she does not have much keel akin to a true Aylesbury and is very stocky and short. Her wings make a heart shape on her back and her bill is flesh-pink.

    2 - Stanbridge in foreground
    Yellow bill

    3 - Aylesbury far left
    note posture and carriage

    4- Stanbridge Female

    5- Stanbridge Male

    6 - Stanbridge Male
    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. littlenell1

    littlenell1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    HI there,

    Found this post in a google search. I have two groups of breeding blue magpie ducks and got some rather nice whites from them. Mostly have been eating or selling on until I read about the Stanbridge White...I would love to be involved in maintaining this breed...
  8. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jun 23, 2015
    Sounds awesome. I want to as well, once I can get some more land. [​IMG]
  9. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2016
    Cumbria, UK
    I've seen quite a few pairs for sale up at Carlise Auction, but they only went for £5 even though they were breeder quality :(. It's just really sad that this breed is gradually dying because there is almost no demand for them.
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 True BYC Addict

    Jan 18, 2008
    This breed is so interesting!
    1 person likes this.

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