The market town of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire became synonymous with chunky white ducks in the 18th century. Huge numbers of them were supplied to the London market. Their plumage was prized for quilt filling and pale skin made the carcass attractive for the table. The exhibition Aylesbury Duck is popular today and a good drake weighs more than 5 kilos.
The Aylesbury Duck was a leading waterfowl exhibit in the first national poultry show held at the London Zoological Gardens in June 1845. This was the beginning of live poultry exhibitions, and it was the Victorian stress on size that led to the development of the modern Aylesbury Duck with its pronounced keel and long pink bill which are a must for exhibition birds.
The Aylesbury is a heavy duck with the drakes weighing 4.5-5.4 kg (10-12 lbs) and the ducks weighing 4.1-5.0 kg (9-11 lbs). The females are not very good layers, only producing 80-100 eggs per year.
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