Breed Club Secretary
Ducks come under the brief of:
· The Domestic Waterfowl Club of Great Britain
· The British Waterfowl Association
According to Lewis Wright in the 1880’s the ducks should be of the purest white with a bill set well up on the skull and the beak almost in a line from the top of the head to the tip (similar to the Runner) and of a delicate flesh colour. Although pure ducks exist and are thriving as a breed most of those that the general public perceives as an Aylesbury are commercial meat crosses which are frequently pictured in children’s story books.
Historically they were walked from the Vale of Aylesbury to London (40 miles max). Each of the Inns they stopped the night at allowed the birds to be kept in large enclosed yards and in the morning the birds were driven through a cold sticky tarry solution in a shallow ditch and then through a layer of sawdust. This made somewhat crude shoes to protect their feet for the day and the next night this was repeated with a charge of a few birds at each stop. The alternative was to try to camp on the common or ‘waste’ and stop the local poachers from removing a few for the pot.
Kept as pairs or alternatively trios . . . depending upon the drakes energy levels. They are one of the larger duck breeds and as such must have good access to water for mating on as they are too heavy and ungainly to mate successfully on land. For good fertility they need a rich and varied diet with plenty of greens as they are not as hardy as the other large breed possibly through a narrower gene pool due to their popularity as an exhibition bird.
Meat / Exhibition