Follow southyeofarm on Twitter

Aylesbury ducks, Shetland ducks, Pilgrim geese & Black Orpington large fowl chickens

Please note that we will not be hatching any birds for sale this year - hatching eggs only for sale in 2017.

We sell hatching eggs and will rear birds to order;
duck hatching eggs are available from end of February through into July, goose eggs are only available during March to May. Contact us with any enquiries or to place an order. For prices see our price list.  Hatching eggs can be sent anywhere in the UK, ducklings/ducks, chicks/chickens and goslings/geese are collection only from the farm.  Please note that we cannot send eggs outside of the UK.  Fresh hatching eggs can be collected from the farm or mailed in multiples of six (multiples of four for goose eggs), sent first class using polystyrene egg posting boxes.  We do test our eggs regularly for fertility, so regret that we are unable to make refunds or replace eggs that do not hatch.   All our birds have tested negative for salmonella. 

Please note that as the summer draws on duck eggs in particular naturally become less fertile; from a 95-100% fertility rate in the Spring, by early July we achieve a fertility rate of 66-75% (although we cannot guarantee that you will). Please be aware of this when deciding to purchase eggs, and that fertility diminishes further as summer progresses; we stop selling duck hatching eggs in July.

  
 
Aylesbury duckling 
Pilgrim goose family
Shetland drake
                                               
Utility Aylesbury ducklings
 and hatching eggs: Our Aylesbury ducks are reared for both meat and eggs; after years of duck keeping, a duck egg is now far preferred to those of the hen for their taste, not just through sheer greediness for their superior size. Our Aylesbury hatching eggs are available from February through into July, and are from a flock of very active and large, unrelated drakes and ducks. The Aylesbury is a fabulous meat breed, with a dressed weight of 6-8lbs, and they aren't slack in the egg department either, producing an egg a day throughout the laying season; the eggs are very large and creamy white. These are the Jemima Puddleducks of the waterfowl world.

We have now sold our breeding flock of Black Indian Runner ducks to make room for a small breeding flock of Shetland ducks, the rarest duck breed in the UK.  Eggs are proving to be exceptionally fertile and we now have hatching eggs available, ducklings reared to order.  Our birds were hatched from eggs sourced from the Island of Trondra, in the Shetland Islands, where the birds were saved from extinction by Tommy and Mary Isbister. We have been surprised and delighted that the ducks lay almost year round - they must find our Devon weather a doddle in comparison to their Shetland origins. Please note that although laying is prolific, the breeding season is still limited to spring and early summer.

Black Orpington large fowl chickens and hatching eggs: we have kept various chickens (and guinea fowl) for many years but hadn't had any clucking around for far too long.  In 2010 we decided to remedy this and have developed a small flock of rare breed Black Orpington large fowl. We are now selling their hatching eggs and taking orders for birds.

Pilgrim geese and hatching eggs: The orchard and farmyard are home to the rare Pilgrim geese, which allows them to gorge freely on windfalls in the autumn and to keep the grass between the trees and around the house and barns beautifully cropped and fertilised the rest of the year. They are fed mixed corn during the winter but in summer their diet is just grass.  Pilgrim geese are a light weight auto-sexing breed, their colour indicating their gender (the gander is white with some grey speckling, the females a light grey with some white). Pilgrims are now officially on the Rare Breed Survival Trust at risk register.  Our pilgrims are beautiful calm birds and we will have young birds available during the summer months. Hatching eggs are available between March and May.

 
 
 
 Young Aylesbury pair
Black Orpingtons
 Pilgrim females

Tips for successful hatching
In response to lots of queries about the hatching and raising of Pilgrim geese and ducklings, we have produced a Pilgrim Gosling factsheet and a separate duckling factsheet.
 

Seasonality: Ducks lay seasonally and hatching eggs are normally available from March to the end of July.  If you want birds of a specific gender, they need to be reared to 8 weeks following a 4 week incubation, so do order well in advance (i.e. a minimum of 12 weeks) so they can be hatched and reared especially for you.

On receiving hatching eggs: When you get your eggs, store them overnight in a cool room, pointed side down, and then bring them up to room temperature before putting them under your broody or into the incubator. 

What our customers say:
"Last year I bought some Aylesbury hatching eggs from you and they were a big success. The resulting birds were a very good size (finished at 8-9lb), much the best of all the ducks I produced last year. I would like to buy some more this year." CD, Orkney.
"My wife bought some duck eggs from you a couple of months ago. The Aylesburys are huge, I think they double in size each week. We will be back to you in the spring for some more." IG.
"Thanks again for raising such excellent (Black Indian Runner) ducklings. They arrived safe and sound and are installed in the kitchen". JK, Scotland.

Please contact us to place an order or if you have any questions. For prices, see here.

Not only are our pigs captured in print, but both our Aylesbury and Black Indian Runner ducks have acquired a bit of fame of their own; they now feature in Jack Byard's Know Your Ducks, published in Spring 2011.