British Waterfowl Association

Miniature Silver Appleyard

Miniature Silver Appleyard on a blue photographer's backdrop
Miniature Silver Appleyard — Tim Daniels

The Miniature Silver Appleyard is a busy, inquisitive little duck. They are equally suited as pets or exhibition birds, not much bigger than a Call Duck, but much quieter.

Miniature Silver Appleyard drake
Miniature Silver Appleyard drake — Sarah Pilkington

Bantam duck breed

Domesticated Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Standardised in 1997, the Miniature Silver Appleyard is roughly one third the size of the Silver Appleyard; a utility breed developed in the mid twentieth century by Reginald Appleyard. This miniature version is genetically the same as the full-size version and was developed by Tom Bartlett in the 1980s.

The face and body plumage are both paler than the wild-colour Mallard, because they have genes restricting the amount of pigment. Though paler than wild Mallard, the deep fawn line through the eye in the female is very obvious, and it is called for in the exhibition breed standard.

Miniature Silver Appleyard ducks — Sarah Pilkington

One key feature of both breeds is the presence of the ‘Mohawk stripe’ on the head of the ducklings. If this is not present, the bird is not genetically an Appleyard.

Duckling showing the Mohawk stripe
The 'Mohawk' stripe — Julian Burrell

The Miniature Silver Appleyard is a hardy bird and ducks are very diligent mothers. If eggs are removed, some strains can lay up to 160 eggs a year. Ducklings are sturdy and usually considered ‘good doers’.