Despite being developed by Reginald Appleyard in the 1940s, the Silver Bantam has a different genotype to the large Silver Appleyard. When the Miniature Silver Appleyard, a scaled-down version of the breed, was standardised in 1997, the Silver Bantam dropped its middle name of Appleyard. Even today, confusion is understandable as it resembles the Abacot Ranger more closely than the Appleyard. Early descriptions of the breed did not help, describing them as a variation of the Appleyard.
Like many small breeds, the Silver Bantam is an active and lively little duck. Drakes weigh 0.9kg and ducks 0.8kg. With tight and glossy plumage and a clearly delineated hood it is very attractive, and not overly noisy. As an exhibition bird, it presents enough challenges to be interesting and rewarding. Devotees of the breed are not numerous. The Silver Bantam is suitable for gardens, and they are principally kept as pets or for exhibition.
The number of Silver Bantam ducks being kept is diminishing; they are currently listed as a priority breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).
Silver Bantam ducks lay between 60 and 160 eggs a year, depending on strain. They sit well and are attentive mothers. Ducklings have a dark smoky haze tipping the yellow down, as seen in Abacot Rangers.