If you are looking for an entertaining pet that requires minimal care, a Silver Bantam duck may be your answer—provided that you have the proper environment, and it is within your local ordinances. These are small-sized, friendly, and comparatively quiet ducks that are ideal as pets, for small-scale farming, or for exhibition.


Quick Facts about Silver Bantam Ducks

Breed Name:Silver Bantam Duck
Place of Origin:Suffolk, U.K.
Uses:Pets, exhibition, eggs and meat
Drake (Male) Size:900 grams, or approximately 2 pounds
Hen or duck (Female) Size:800 grams, or approximately 1.75 pounds
Color:Hens are cream and fawn; Drakes are green, black, and brown
Lifespan:4-8 years, but they can live up to 12 years in the right environment
Climate Tolerance:Cold and heat tolerant with ample water during the summer
Care Level:Easy to care for with the proper setup
Production:Eggs – between 60 and 160 a year
Optional:Also called Silver Appleyard in the U.S.

Silver Bantam Duck Origins

The Silver Bantam duck was developed by Reginald Appleyard in the 1940s1. It was originally named the Silver Appleyard Bantam, but when the Miniature Silver Appleyard breed was standardized in 1997, it dropped its middle name of Appleyard.

It was created by crossing a White Call drake to a small utility Khaki Campbell duck. Appearance wise, it looks rather like the Abacot Ranger in color2.


Silver Bantam Duck Characteristics

The Silver Bantam duck is a very active duck with lots of energy. They can fly, but not very high or far, typically just a few inches off the ground and a few inches forward.

If you are looking for ducks as pets, they are a good option, as they are docile and less noisy than many other ducks. The hens are very good sitters and attentive mothers.


For the most part, Silver Bantams are kept as pets or for exhibition. They are reasonably good egg layers as well, for a bantam duck, delivering very nutritious eggs, which are believed to be more nutritious than chicken eggs.

They are extremely rare and their population is gradually decreasing.  Despite their small size, these ducks are also used for their meat, which is said to have a non-greasy texture, and to contain less fat than many other ducks.

Appearance & Varieties

The female ducks have fawn or buff-colored heads and necks, with occasional dark brown flecking. The breast and underbelly are typically cream with brown streaks. The back is usually black with occasional white edging.

Males have an iridescent hood and neck during the breeding season, and a black hood and neck otherwise. Their shoulders and breasts are red-brown, and their belly and sides are silver-white.

Both genders have orange legs. The Silver Bantam is a sex-linked bird, which means the gender can be determined by coloring. By eight weeks of age, the bills will turn olive green if it is a drake, and dark slate gray if it is a hen.


The Silver Bantam has become a rare duck, and its numbers are gradually decreasing.  They do enjoy foraging, so plenty of space is a must. Although they are cold and heat tolerant, it is necessary that they have plenty of water during the hot summer months.

Even though they are not able to fly like wild ducks, they do need ample fencing to keep them contained, and to keep them safe from predators. Most are kept as pets today, and can be found in urban, as well as rural settings.


Are Silver Bantam Ducks Good for Small-Scale Farming?

This is a dual-purpose duck breed which means it is used for meat and eggs, therefore it is an excellent choice for small-scale farming. With the proper nutrition, these ducks will provide you with 1-3 exceedingly nutritious eggs per week. If they are fed the proper foods, they will reach the slaughter weight quickly.


Summing it Up

The Silver Bantam duck was developed in the 1940s in Suffolk in the United Kingdom by Reginald Appleyard. The breed was created by crossing a White Call duck with a small Khaki Campbell. They are useful for their egg production and meat. They make great pets because they are hardy, docile, and friendly. Even for beginners, these ducks are easy to keep and maintain.

The Silver Bantam duck is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Because of its decline, the breed has been listed as a priority on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist in the UK.

Featured Image Credit: Scott Lyons, Shutterstock