Aylesbury United F.C. However, if you do want a bird that produces some stunning looking feathers, then the Aylesbury Duck is probably one of the best birds there is. [12] Stock ducks—i.e., ducks kept for breeding—were kept on farms in the countryside of the Aylesbury Vale, away from the polluted air and water of the town. [9] Originally the ducks would be kept in every room in the ducker's cottage, but towards the end of the 19th century they were kept in outdoor pens and sheds with suitable protection against cold weather. and is in effect an Aylesbury /Pekin crossbreed with occasional nasty temperaments as found in 'meat' breeds destined for a short life.. can be nasty to other ducks [8], The First World War devastated the remaining duckers of Buckinghamshire. Aylesbury ducks are prized for meat production due to their large size and while plumage but true Aylesburys are very rare and most are rather mixes of Aylesbury and Pekin, which also makes a good duck for meat production. Although, of course, you do need to make sure that you treat the duck well or it is going to have feathers that lose that white shine. [16] The area had a number of open ditches filled with stagnant water, and outbreaks of malaria and cholera were common. [17][note 5] As with all poultry, ducks require grit in their diet to break up the food and make it digestible. Most of this farming would have taken place around the Aylesbury area. White crested ducks are said to be a mix of Aylesbury and Pekin ducks. Spotted on Jan 27, 2012 Submitted on Jan 27, 2012. [6], A rather large duck breed,[7] the Aylesbury duck has pure white plumage and bright orange legs and feet. A Moulard duck is a cross between a Muscovy drake and a Pekin hen, and is a sizable bird with a well-developed breast. The Pekin or White Pekin is an American breed of domestic duck, raised primarily for meat. The duck is ready to be slaughtered at about 9-weeks old, which means it is one of the faster duck breeds to mature for slaughter. Whatever the latter’s flesh is less palatable than the Aylesbury duck. One poor man whom I visited, had before his door a small pit of water, about three yards long and one yard broad: at two corners of this pit are places of shelter for the ducks, thatched with straw: at night the ducks are taken into a house. Sign in to comment. For dishes like duck a l'orange (see Duck À l'Orange), in which various duck parts are cooked separately, we prefer mild, meaty Pekin duck. The skin of the duck is white, which is actually something that is incredibly rare to find. [8] Some of the breeders in the Aylesbury area began to cross Pekin ducks with the pure Aylesbury strain. Perhaps the only problem is the fact that they can be a bit tougher to breed, but this is OK. As with most breeds a few centuries ago, there were no breeding records kept. However, the Aylesbury Duck can produce a decent number of eggs. In most of my Pekin drakes, this occurs well-after the wing molt is noticeably underway. To keep the meat as white as possible, the ducks would be suspended upside down and their necks broken backwards, and held in this position until their blood had run towards their heads. Breeding the Chinese version with an upright Japanese duck fr… Let me start by saying that I had no idea there was a difference between Pekin and Peking duck! (Some larger-scale duckers would boil a horse or sheep and feed this to the ducklings in place of greaves. [10] Because ducking was a secondary occupation, it was not listed in Aylesbury's census returns or directories and it is impossible to know how many people were engaged in it at any given time. Although its meat was thought to have a poorer flavour than that of the Aylesbury duck, the Pekin was hardier and cheaper to raise. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Round the walls of the living-rooms, and of the bedroom even, are fixed rows of wooden boxes, lined with hay; and it is the business of the wife and children to nurse and comfort the feathered lodgers, to feed the little ducklings, and to take the old ones out for an airing. This is a white feathered duck. By the beginning of the 20th century competition from the Pekin duck, inbreeding, and disease in the pure-bred Aylesbury strain and the rising cost of duck food meant the Aylesbury duck industry was in decline. [29], In 1873 the Pekin duck was introduced from China to Britain for the first time. [18] The plucking was generally carried out by the women of the household. They were kept in this position for ten minutes before being plucked, as otherwise their blood would collect in those parts of the body from which the feathers had been plucked. Often the flock spread over the road from side to side and all traffic had perforce to stop, while, quacking much and ambulating slowly, they passed and the road would then be free. Listen to a duck's quack. By one year of age, females and males grow to an average weight of 6 and 7 pounds (2.7 and 3.2 kg) respectively, although males can reach around 10 pounds (4.5 kg). They will usually lay about 35 to 125 eggs per year. [20], On 15 June 1839 the entrepreneur and former Member of Parliament for Buckingham, Sir Harry Verney, 2nd Baronet, opened the Aylesbury Railway. [25][note 6], In 1845, the first National Poultry Show was held, at the Zoological Gardens in London; one of the classes of poultry exhibited was "Aylesbury or other white variety". [9] Until eight weeks after hatching, the time of their first moult, ducks and drakes (females and males) are almost indistinguishable. Duckers were typically skilled labourers, who invested surplus income in ducklings. Many breeders switched to the Pekin duck or to Aylesbury-Pekin crosses. Only one letter separates a "Pekin duck" from a "Peking duck," so the terms are often used interchangeably. The only difference is the color of the beak. The ducks are good mothers, and Aylesbury duckling incubates in the egg for 28 days. Related Spottings. They are marketed earlier than Muscovies as ‘green’ ducks. Some of the differences are their personalities, meat, eggs, appearance, and more. [28], Breeders would choose potential exhibition ducks from among newly hatched ducklings in March and April, and they would be given a great deal of extra attention. If you want a show bird, then the Aylesbury Duck is tough to raise. That is one of the most popular duck breeds in the world, yes? Weighing 9 lbs or more, the Aylesbury Duck has pretty much always been designed to be a meat duck. [35] A 1950 "Aylesbury Duckling Day" campaign to boost the reputation of the Aylesbury duck had little effect;[36] by the end of the 1950s the last significant farms had closed, other than a single flock in Chesham owned by Mr L. T. Waller,[35] and by 1966 there were no duck breeders or rearers of any size remaining in Aylesbury. [24] The arrival of the railway had a powerful impact on the duck industry, and up to a ton of ducks in a night were being shipped from Aylesbury to Smithfield Market in London by 1850. Sexing Pekin Ducklings by Bill Color. Cayuga. And the females generally exhibit duller colors. In many duck species, the male ducks have more colorful feathers and bills. So, you should be able to get a few of them each week, and they do taste absolutely delicious. Some wild duck breeds take between 27-31 days. Well, incidentally, it was the Pekin Duck. If there were not ‘better’ birds in recent years, we have no doubt that the Aylesbury Duck would still be raised as a meat bird. The one that looks pretty much the same as the Aylesbury Duck. 13/132 quite as good as the Pekin. The opening of a railway to Aylesbury in 1839 enabled cheap and quick transport to the markets of London, and duck rearing became highly profitable. [19], The Rev. [10] Kelly's Directory for 1864 does not list a single duck farmer in Aylesbury,[10] but an 1885 book comments that: In the early years of the present [19th] century almost every householder at the "Duck End" of the town followed the avocation of ducker. This can actually cause a few issues in the long term, but since you are likely going to be using them for slaughter at 9-weeks, this isn’t that much of a problem. Like the Pekin, the Aylesbury (which can grow to 8 to 10 pounds) reaches a market weight of 7 pounds in eight weeks. 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