Colin was given his first pair of Aylesburies in December 1998 – his first present. The duck came from Vernon Jackson and the drake was bought at a sale. None of the eggs layed that year were fertile so a new drake was purchased from Vernon Jackson. The ducks’ Christmas present – not Colin’s – was a new pond dug by driving the forklift bucket through the burn. Whether it was that, or the new drake, we will never know – four ducklings were hatched and reared in 2000. The best young duck subsequently won Best Heavy Breed his drake also won Junior Champion at the Scottish National (January 2001)
This year we bred with a trio of Aylesburies and were pleasantly surprised with the fertility of the eggs: 80% of all eggs layed were fertile. Out of these 24 ducklings have been hatched, and are now looking quite promising. Some of them can be seen in these next two photos. From this I have assumed that the plentiful supply of water was a major contributing factor to a very successfull breeding season
A good Exhibition Aylesbury should have a horizontal carriage and a keel which is parallel to the ground.However there are also Utility Aylesburies which are more vertical without the keel. The Exhibition Aylesbury should also have a strong head and straight bill which measures about 15-20cm from the top of the head to the tip of the bill. The bill should be pinkish-white in colour as well as long and wide. There should be an almost straight outline from the top of the head to the tip of the bill. All feathers should be white and the legs should be orange in colour. The Aylesbury is a very large duck and was initially bred for table purposes because it is quite a fleshy bird. The drake should be between 4.5-5.4kg and the duck slightly smaller 4.1-5.0kg.
These are four Aylesburies we have bred this year and which Colin is hoping to show later in the year.
|This November we exhibited at the BWA Champion Waterfowl Exhibition for the first time. It was a long journey (560 mile round trip) but proved well worth the effort. It was very interesting seeing all the breeds and colours of ducks on show (and there were a lot). Colin was particularly pleased when this Aylesbury drake (hatched this year) won Best Aylesbury. So no doubt he will feature in one of next years breeding pens. This photo is shown with the kind permission of Chris Ashton.All in all a great day was had by us all and with the result that Mum is now acquiring some Trout RunnersHopefully we will get the other pages updated after Christmas as we are busy with Xmas poultry at present.