In 2020, I embarked on a new adventure by starting to raise ducks. My dream was to have Silver Appleyards, and to my surprise all the stars aligned last year to make that dream a reality. You can check out the whole story in the post: Raising Silver Appleyard Ducks.
Dual Purpose Ducks
Silver Appleyards are a fast-growing, heavy weight, dual purpose duck. They can provide a steady supply of large white duck eggs, and they are exquisite table birds as well. I have been very impressed by the mild flavor and quality meat of these ducks. As with heritage chickens, not all ducks taste the same. So if you have only eaten Peking, Muscovy or wild ducks, then you are in for a real treat with the Appleyards.
Silver Appleyard ducks are listed as Threatened by the Livestock Conservancy. While it may seem counter-intuitive to eat a bird listed as Threatened, livestock breeds are generally seen as ‘use it or lose it’ prospects. In other words, if the breed cannot deliver on the purposes for which it was bred (in this case both meat and eggs), then its value as livestock decreases (as opposed to the ducks being kept as pets or simply because they are a nice bird).
My intent in keeping and raising Silver Appleyards is to uphold the dual purpose nature of this breed and to continue to promote the breed as a valuable asset to any small farm or food security plan. I will be looking to maintain the large size of my birds and ensure they are good egg layers. When you purchase birds or eggs from my flock, you will be supporting the preservation of this amazing duck breed.
This will be my first season with Silver Appleyard duck eggs. As of February 13 2021, I still do not have any Appleyard eggs from my flocks. I expect this will change as we come out of the Arctic low we are currently experiencing. I will be tracking to see how well the birds perform in their first egg laying year. Stay tuned for updates on egg production and how new duckling cohorts perform.
My birds come from two separate lines. I have a Drake (Barney) and three ducks (Robyn, Lily and Tracey) that were given to me by a friend who brought these birds down from Quesnel, BC as ducklings last year. The other flock I hatched from eggs purchased in the Lower Mainland from Jason Garry. That flock has two big drakes (Marshall and Ted) and seven ducks (not all of whom have names just yet, but they include Beanie, Snowy, Flow and Blossom). And of course I still have Beauty (Cayuga duck) and Ginger (Ancona cross) who should also resume egg-laying soon.
I haven’t yet decided if I am keeping the two lines separate to start in 2021 or if I will swap the drakes around and create an outcross hatch of ducklings. Both scenarios are possible. Since I am new to ducks, I don’t know how hard it will be to exchange the drakes once the ducks start laying eggs. Right now the birds are all together enjoying free run in half my garden. I will split them into breeding flocks once the spring weather arrives.
Fresh duck eggs will be for sale locally (farm gate). They will be $6/half dozen and $12/dozen for fresh eggs. I am not yet sure of my timing and availability, but if you are interested, please drop me a note via the contact form below or from the contact page.
Being my first season, I cannot predict yet whether I will have any hatching eggs available for sale, or whether these will be used at Rose Hill Farm to produce ducklings instead. Stay tuned on that too. Hatching eggs would sell for a minimum of $60/doz if available, but this price may increase depending on the season and whether they are in-line or out-crosses.
I am hoping to produce some table ducks in 2021. I can sell live ducks and ducklings from the farm gate. Contact me if you are interested in this route (process your own). Otherwise I have to wait and see if arrangements can be made with Spray Creek Ranch to process one or more batches of ducks so they can be sold as table-ready.
2021 Silver Appleyard Ducks for Sale:
This is a work-in-progress for Rose Hill Farm. I do not know how availability is going to go in 2021, but it would be helpful to gauge interest. Please let me know via the contact form if you are interested in the ducks and I will start up a client list. I will continue to update this page as the season progresses
- Fresh duck eggs ($6/half doz and $12/doz)
- Hatching duck eggs ($60/doz – limited availability in 2021)
- Ducklings – day old – $12 ea
- Ducklings – 4 – 5 wks – $20 ea
- Ducklings – 7 -10 wks – $30
- Table ready processed birds – TBA
- Out-crossed trio (1 drake and 2 ducks) – $150 (by private arrangement – book in the spring for fall pick-up)