Welsh Harlequin Duck

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Bred animal myself

Gender: Both





Meat quality


Egg production


Commercial value


Welsh Harlequins


Pennsylvania, United States

Posted Jul 28, 2013

Orginally a colour sport from the Khaki Campbell breed, these ducks would be expected to have excellent egg production, but they usually do not. They have been bred more for show than production.

They are small-bodied ducks, very active but also quiet. The drakes have a sort of pastel mallard appearance, while the ducks have a beautiful speckled tan colour in varying shades of darkness. They tend to be regular layers of medium green eggs.

I have never had a Welsh harlequin hen commit to broodiness for a full 28-day term. I use bantam hens and incubators to hatch the eggs. The ducklings grow quickly and are often sexable at hatching by bill colour (drakes usually have pink bills, ducks usually have blue-bills -- but this is not 100% reliable, particularly if they have been crossed with other breeds).

I feed my Welsh harlequin ducklings gamebird crumbles (unmedicated) and chopped greens; the adults do well on a daily ration of layer pellets and 22% ration-size dog kibble, as well as free choice weeds and grass.

I have had more than one drake of this breed go into a sort of permanent eclipse plumage, having all the physical appearances of a duck but with the drake's voice and curled tail feathers intact. This is something to keep in mind for breeding purposes -- you may want to watch for these drakes as they may be unsuitable for breeding.

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