Aylesbury flock

Aylesbury Duck

The Aylesbury is a large meat breed of duck developed in the town of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England in the 18th century. Their status is critical.

Aylesburies are all white with a pale pink bill, orange feet, and white skin.

You will often see ducks labeled as Aylesburies that have an orange bill. These are NOT true Aylesburies; they are either Pekins, crossbreds, or maybe a bad strain of Aylesbury that has foreign blood somewhere in its lineage.

Not an Aylesbury
This duck was claimed to be an Aylesbury. And it does have Aylesbury-like conformation. But look at the orange bill! Nope, this is no Aylesbury, at least no purebred. It’s a pretty duck, though, whatever it is.

Of course, bill color doesn’t really make any difference (except for showing and breeding), but if you see a bird labeled as an Aylesbury that has an orange bill, it’s probably lacking other Aylesbury traits as well, and may be very different from the type of duck described here.

They are not active foragers, preferring to keep their heavy bodies close to home.

Neither do they fly. Their conformation and size is far from natural. Aylesburies generally have a deep keel. Exhibition birds often have such a deep keel that it touches the ground, which makes mating difficult, especially on land.



These ducks can easily become obese, so it is important to limit their food supply and encourage them to do some foraging.

(Please, don’t become one of the people who breeds Aylesburies with ridiculous keels. It’s not necessary, only harmful to the ducks. Judges should be encouraged to give prizes to the ducks that look more natural.)

Aylesbury
An Aylesbury with a very deep keel. Tell me, how can this duck comfortably walk around? Photo courtesy of The Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain.

Aylesburies lay 35-120 white or greenish eggs a year. They’re docile and friendly.

Fertility levels will be much higher if these ducks have access to water. Utility birds are usually a little closer to natural and resemble Pekins.

They are one of the best duck breeds for meat production. They are grow fast and are very large, with drakes weighing about ten pounds (4.5 kg) and females weighing about nine pounds (4 kg).

Their white feathers also aid their reputation as a meat bird, because the appearance of dark pinfeathers on a carcass is unattractive. Their meat is also less fatty than that of the Pekin.

GALLERY

Four Aylesburies playing in a mud puddle.
Four Aylesburies playing in a mud puddle. Photo courtesy of “inthefarmhouse” on Instagram.
Aylesbury ducklings.
Aylesbury ducklings.
Aylesbury ducklings
A cluster of cute Aylesbury ducklings.
Three Aylesbury ducks.
Three Aylesbury ducks.
Aylesbury flock.
Aylesbury flock.
Aylesbury duck flapping,
Aylesbury duck flapping,
Juvenile Aylesbury
Juvenile Aylesbury.
An Aylesbury at a show,
An Aylesbury at a show. Photo courtesy of The Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain.

 

5 thoughts on “Aylesbury Duck”

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that
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  2. Great article! I love ayelsbury ducks thanks to the beatrix potter books! We finally found a local breeder so had to get a couple! Little Jemima and Puddles are now about a week old and doing very well 🙂

  3. How can i find out what breed my 8 week old ducklings are? I got them from someone when they were 4wks old (that’s what i was told) but she didn’t know what they were. They look like these kind but im not sure. If someone can help i can show pics of them…ty

    1. Hi Dawnita,

      It’s difficult, if not impossible, to know 100% sure whether a duck is a purebred. I’ve seen many ducks that looked purebred, but were actually mixed breeds. If the breeder didn’t know what they were, there’s a good chance they’re a cross or mixed. Or maybe they’re Pekins. What color are their bills? If they look like Aylesburies but have orange bills, they’re probably Pekins. If they have pink bills, they might be Aylesburies.

      I would be willing to take a look at them, but I don’t think I can help you much beyond this. You could try asking here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/ducks.42/ Backyard Chickens has a great forum with many knowledgeable members and I’ve seen many threads with people asking what breed their duck is.

      Oh, one note: 8 weeks old may be too young to tell what they really will look like when they grow up. You might wait a while before asking. Maybe they’re even white Muscovies and they just don’t have their caruncles yet because they’re still babies.

      Hope that helps!
      Hannah

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