Silver Appleyard Duck Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Silver Appleyard duck is a breed of domestic duck developed in the 1940s. It was developed by Reginald Appleyard at his famous Priory Waterfowl Farm near Bury St. Edmund, England.

And not surprisingly, the breed is named after Reginald Appleyard as he developed the breed. He was willing to create a very attractive large duck breed that would also be a prolific producer of large, white eggs.

The Silver Appleyard duck is also known as the Large Appleyard. And the miniature version of this duck breed is called the Miniature Appleyard, which was developed by Tom Bartlett of Folly Farm in the 1980s.

The breed is actually based on a cross between the large breeds of Rouen, Pekin and Aylesbury.

Silver Appleyard duck became very rare after the Second World War, as the interest in poultry declined in Britain. The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1960s.

But it didn’t become available to the public until 1984. The breed was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 2000, and to the British Poultry Standard in 1982.

Silver Appleyard duck is pretty rare in the United States today. And the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists this breed as ‘Threatened’ on it’s Conservation Priority List. But the breed may be more common in the United Kingdom.

Silver Appleyard Duck Characteristics

Silver Appleyard duck is classed as a heavy duck breed. It is a very beautiful dual purpose duck suitable for both meat and eggs production. In appearance, it is a large and sturdily built duck breed.

The carriage of the Silver Appleyard ducks varies from 15 to 25 degrees above horizontal and their body has a ‘blocky’ conformation. The bill of the drakes is greenish or yellow with a black tip. Their eyes are brown and head and neck are greenish-black (sometimes exhibiting striping with age).

The breast, flank, shoulders and sides on a drake are reddish-chestnut with white frosting and lacing. Their legs and feet are orange and the tail is blackish bronze. The underbody of the Silver Appleyard drake is creamy or silvery white and the wings are gray and white with bright blue cross-stripe.

On the other hand, female Silver Appleyards have yellow or orange bill with a black bean, and their eyes are brown. Their legs and feet are orange in color with dark toenails. The plumage of the females is usually whitish with gray, brown, fawn and buff markings.

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There is a blue cross-stripe on their wings. Like most other domestic duck breeds, the Silver Appleyard ducks are pretty lighter than the drakes. On average, the drakes weight about 3.6 to 4.1 kg and the ducks weight about 3.2 to 3.6 kg. Photo from


The Silver Appleyard duck was developed as an utility bird. It is suitable for both meat and eggs production.

Special Notes

Silver Appleyard ducks are suitable for all purposes. They are being raised for decoration, exhibition, as pets, eggs and gourmet roasting ducks. They are not among the best egg laying duck breeds, but they lay a good amount of large white eggs. And they are considered as best layers among the heavyweight ducks.

Ducks usually lay about 250 eggs per year and often go broody. Silver Appleyard duck is active forager and generally have calm temperaments. They tend to stay close to home if well fed. The breed is also a very good meat duck breed and suitable for quality meat production. Their meat is lean and flavorful.

The drakes are quick to mature and by 9 weeks of age can reach about 3 kg. The Silver Appleyard duck is quiet in nature and well suited to being kept at home as pets. Review full breed profile of the Silver Appleyard duck in the chart below.

Breed NameSilver Appleyard
Other NameLarge Appleyard, the miniature version is called Miniature Appleyard
Breed PurposeDual Purpose (eggs & meat)
Special NotesActive, Calm, Friendly, Docile, Fast Grower
Breed ClassHeavy


3.2 to 3.6 kg
Drakes3.6 to 4.1 kg
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorWhite
Egg SizeLarge
Egg Weight80-95 grams
Egg ProductivityMedium
Flying AbilityPoor
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom

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