Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
In 1949, Welsh waterfowl breeder Leslie Bonnet noticed a color mutation in his flock of Khaki Campbells. He began to hatch and select for this coloration, and created the Welsh Harlequin Duck. Bonnet's fowl spread throughout Europe and was exported to the United States in 1968. Today, the Welsh Harlequin is considered very rare, and is classified as endangered in many countries.
Varieties: Gold, Silver
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Pets, Ornamental, Exhibition
Personality: Active, friendly and inquisitive
Suitable housing: Free range during the day, or a large pen
Capable of flight: No
Weight: 5 - 5.5 lbs
Noise level: Average
Egg production: Very Good (4/week)
Egg color: White
Meat production: Excellent lean meat, that cleans well
What else you should know:
Welsh Harlequin ducks can be sexed as soon as they hatch by bill color, with 90% accuracy. Ducklings that hatch with dark bills are males, and ducklings that hatch with light bills that have a dark spot are hens. These bill color differences will disappear within several days after hatching.
dual purpose, active foragers, good natured, great egg production, duck meat, vivid plumage
dry bedding straw, lean meat, good allrounder, swimming area, Livestock Conservancy
I Will Always Own These Ducks-They Are Perfect
Hands down, Welsh Harlequin ducks are my favorite breed of duck. I love all ducks but if I could only be allowed one breed, these would be it.
I started with WH because they were listed as critically endangered through the Livestock Conservancy. I cannot believe they were endangered because this is an all purpose animal with a fantastic personality.
They are beautiful. They will stop traffic, particularly the males (really they do, people stop in front of my house to watch them often). They are so friendly. They will eat out of my hand, follow me around, talk to me constantly, and sit with me.
They are dual purpose. You will have great egg production from the females and they make excellent mothers. They also produce a white meat that is not greasy like other duck meat.
Because they are so rare, it is best to find a breeder or hatchery that has true WH and not mixes.
I know good reviews should have positives and negatives but I cannot find a negative for this breed. I really can't..
From farmgirl2015 Sep 5 2014 11:08PM
Welsh Harlequin, one of the best layers and a good all-rounder
I grew up near to where the duck was first developed (Criccieth in North Wales) and most duck rearers in the area always had a few of these. As excellent foragers, they are typically low maintenance though they do need dry bedding (straw works well). They were bred from a colour variant of Khaki Campbells with vivid plumage and like the parent birds they are excellent layers (200 eggs a year is not uncommon). If you like duck eggs, then they are an excellent choice.
The bird is leaner than most other duck breeds and is of medium weight (about 2.5kg). Because of this it makes an wonderful bird for barbecue meat and frying joints.
If you are a breeder or keep other ducks for meat, the Welsh Harlequin plays well with other ducks and geese and can easily be kept in a mixed flock. They do not fly and therefore are low maintenance for outdoor keeping. The bright plumage also makes them a good show bird.
If you train them by getting them used to being handled they can make a good pet and are a calm waterfowl that like being stroked. If you are looking for an all-rounder then the Welsh Harlequin is the duck for you. When crossed with a mallard the meat of the offspring is excellent being both lean and having a mild gamey flavour..
From DLlE Sep 1 2012 2:42AM