Silver Appleyard Duck
The Silver Appleyard Duck is a breed of domestic duck. Only 128 breeding Silver Appleyard Ducks were reported in a 2000 census of domestic waterfowl in North America. Of five people breeding this variety in North America, only one had a primary breeding flock in excess of fifty individuals. It may be more common in the United Kingdom.
The Silver Appleyard Duck is a "large, sturdily built duck" with a "blocky" physique and 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 are 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 British Waterfowl Standards book lists criteria for an ideal example of this breed including (but not limited to) criteria such as:
- A well-rounded head feathered in iridescent green over brown black
- A slightly erect, alert and busy carriage
- A rump which is brown black with a slight iridescence, laced with white
- Legs that are set slightly back and well apart
- A medium length bill that is not wedge-shaped and that rises in a gentle curve to the brow
- Dark brown eyes
The Silver Appleyard is named after Reginald Appleyard, the breeder who developed it at his Priory Waterfowl Farm near Bury St Edmunds, England. As described in a farm brochure from the 1940s, Appleyard's ambition was to create a very attractive breed of large duck that would also be a prolific producer of large, white eggs.
The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1960s but did not become available to the public until 1984. In 1998, the American Poultry Association held a qualifying meet to include the Silver Appleyard Duck in the American Standard of Perfection. In 2000, the association officially recognized this breed.
Silver Appleyard Ducks are raised for exhibition, as pets, and as "gourmet roasting ducks". They are also raised for their eggs as this breed is one of the best egg-layers among the larger ducks and produces, on average, roughly 250 white-shelled eggs yearly. Their meat is "lean and flavorful". This breed has a calm temperament and tends to stay close to home if well-fed.
According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:
There is a critical need for more conservation breeders of Appleyards. Their excellent laying ability, meaty carcasses, and lovely plumage make them a great addition to any small farmstead or backyard producer's flock...When choosing Appleyards to breed, select robust, active, and strong-legged birds that have a record of good egg production. Many Appleyards are undersized, therefore select birds with big well muscled bodies while avoiding excessively large birds that will have trouble foraging, mating, and laying. 
-  Holderread, Dave. Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks. Pownal, VT: Storey Communications, Inc., 2001
-  Bender, Marjorie E. F. D. Phillip Sponenberg, and Donald Bixby. Taking Stock of Waterfowl: The Results of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's Domestic Duck and Goose Census. Pittsboro, NC: The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, 2000.
-  Kintaline Farm Poultry and Waterfowl Centre, Argyll, Scotland
-  e-Chickens.com
-  Feather Site: Silver Appleyard Duck