LARGE SILVER APPLEYARD
The Large Silver Appleyard is a breed created by Reginald Appleyard of Priory Waterfowl Farm, Ixworth, Sussex in the 1930’s and 40’s. He was a breeder of domestic waterfowl, and a writer of books related to the subject, such as ‘Ducks – Breeding, Rearing and Management’. He was also notable for creating ‘The Ixworth Hen’ in 1932, which itself is now on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watch List.
The Silver Appleyard was likely created by crossbreeding the Rouen, Pekin and Aylesbury ducks. His aim was to create the ‘ideal duck’, one that was prolific in terms of meat, egg production and exhibition.
What he achieved was to develop a breed that could provide a weighty 3kg table bird (plucked) at just 9 weeks of age, with the ability to produce an ample number of large white eggs.
After WWII Britain’s interest in poultry declined rapidly, and the breed became very rare as a consequence. The breed was introduced to the U.S. in 1960, but was not accessible to the general populous until 1982. This was also in this year that Tom Bartlett of Folly Farm in Gloucestershire took up the task of saving many rare breed ducks from disappearing entirely, including the Large Silver Appleyard, and by the late 1980’s he had developed a miniature version of the breed, now more commonly found.
In 1982 The Silver Appleyard was standardised and admitted into the British Poultry Standard, its inclusion to the American Standard of Perfection came a short while later in 1998.
Currently the Large Silver Appleyard is listed on our Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watch List, whilst in the United States, the US Livestock Conservancy Priority List has them noted as ‘threatened’.
Silver is the only colour variety.
They are a heavy, deep and wide chested bird. Upright, of sturdy carriage,
and blocky in appearance.
Weigh 3.6 – 4.1kg average.
Head and neck is iridescent beetle green with a white neck ring below.
Breast, flanks and shoulders a reddish chestnut brown with white lacing or flecking.
Tail area dark brown/black.
Undercarriage is a silvery white.
Wings have blue coloured speculum feathers.
Dark brown eyes.
Yellow/greenish tint bill with black tip.
Feet and shanks should be orange.
Weigh 3.2 – 3.6kg average.
Lighter in colour generally than the drake.
Plumage is white, shoulders and back heavily flecked and laced with shades of fawn, buff and brown.
She bears the same blue speculum stripes on the wing. A silvery white undercarriage like the drake.
Dark brown eyes.
Yellow Bill with distinctive black tip.
Orange shanks and feet.
She lays 100 – 180 large white eggs per year.
This is a summary of characteristics, but the full and exact breed
standard can be found in the “British Poultry Standard” book.