Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
The Aylesbury Duck is believed to have been developed in the early 18th century in the town of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, England. The Aylesbury was probably created through selective breeding of a common domestic white duck known at the time as the English White. By the early 1800s, the Aylesbury Duck was prized for its white feathers, which were sold in London as filling for quilts and pillows, and for its large size and pale pink skin, which made it a popular meat duck.
Uses: Exhibition, Meat
Personality: Docile, slow moving and easily tamed
Housing: Free range during the day, or penned
Capable of flight: No
Weight: 9 - 10 lbs
Noise level: Slightly above average
Egg production: Fair
Egg color: White, Green
Meat: Excellent meat fowl, very flavorful
What else you should know:
If fed a concentrated feed, most Aylesbury ducks reach slaughter weight at around seven to nine weeks. At this stage they should weigh five pounds.
With exhibition strains of Aylesbury ducks, their deep keel often causes fertility issues. Breeders recommend a vitamin rich diet, and higher protein feed that is around 18% to 20% protein. They say this diet helps improve the fertility of the ducks.
Provided that they do not become obese, the utility strains of Aylesbury ducks do not tend to suffer from fertility issues.
dual purpose bird, duck eggs, good mother, prolific layers, natural pond environment, heavy bird
foxes, enclosure duck, aggressive possessive nature
classic duckpond bird, Traditional Village Duck, commercial waterfowl feed
I am lucky to be looking after two Aylesbury ducks. They are such cheerful creatures, and always give me a great welcome. There is much honking and tail wagging every time I go to feed them. They look like they are smiling, which is very cute. It's hard not to smile back at them. They are also very talkative to each other and to me, and we have good chats together.
They eat a lot of green stuff in addition to the corn mix that is their main diet. Grass, clover and dandelion leaves go down very well - and they make a sweet little 'chattering' noise as they eat. They drink large amounts of water and must always have access to this.
They are quite large and need plenty of space. An enclosed pen in the garden is ideal. They need a secure place to sleep, which is fox-proof as well as providing some shelter. Shade from the sun is also necessary.
They can be quite messy, smelly and noisy. They play with their water, getting it all over the floor and mixing it with food and diluted duck poo - a very mucky combination. It is quite easy to hose away as their house is on a solid concrete base. Their happy enthusiasm and sheer exuberance outweigh any of the mess they make, in my opinion. These sociable, engaging creatures are a joy. I imagine that children would love them.
They have just started to lay large, delicious eggs. They put themselves to bed at night, similar to chickens, but usually quite a bit later. They seem to be real party girls..
From Samanddoris Aug 21 2015 10:30AM
Aylesbury Duck, the Traditional Village Duck
This is a very pretty, even tempered duck with a classic 'quack' call. It's also the classic duckpond bird of 1950s England.
This is a very heavy duck an their bellies are quite low to the ground. As a result their feathers will get muddy, particularly if it's quite a way to the pond. They will need to be washed every so often as a result. If you have a baby bath then fill this with water and wash them in it. As long as it's a warm day they will love to splash and their even temperaments typically means no problems washing them this way. And kids love playing like this too.
Aylesburys are a dual purpose bird, and become heavy quite quickly (they were once the Christmas bird of choice for poorer families). If you like duck eggs, they are prolific layers. However, the ducks do get broody, but this does means that they are protective and attentive mothers if you want to increase your flock's numbers.
As heavy birds, they are very prone to fox attacks in areas where foxes are endemic. So you really do need to keep them indoors over night. They play well with other fowl however so you can keep them with chickens, geese, other ducks an even quail.
Depending on your pond and where it is, they will mainly graze and forage for their food. However, it is good to supplement with commercial waterfowl feed every now and then. They also enjoy treats of wheat, greens and the occasional slug or earthworm.
Like most ducks they enjoy dust baths as well as bathing with water. If you can provide them with a sand pit of fine sand that will help them keep their skins and feathers clear of any parasites and infestations.
Aylesburys are quite affectionate ducks and if you hand feed them they will follow you, waddling slowly behind. Which is an excellent way of introducing them to new environments. They need water, but it does not have to be a pond, a low moving stream works just as well. Never keep them singly and if you allow them to wander outside, note that despite their size and weight they are prone to wander to make their enclosure duck proof (ensure they cannot squeeze under or through a gate)..
From DLlE Sep 27 2012 8:49AM
Only Good For Dinner
We received some ducks from friends and accepted them thinking they would be like our chickens. They were nothing alike. Our ducks were aggressive not only towards us, but any other animal that came close to them our chickens included. We ended up keeping them because they weren't any good for much else and we didn't want to just give them up for food. Over all, horrible experience with these ducks..
From t_charr Jun 29 2015 10:19PM