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Welsh Harlequin


Pros: Quiet, friendly, good layers, pretty to look at, calm, gentle

Cons: None that I know of!

I have some Welsh Harlequins that I ordered from Metzer farms and they are very calm and quiet. Some of mine have been shy and others extremely friendly and always come running when they see me and they greet me with soft gentle squeaky sounds... I can't explain the sound too well but it's a very soft sweet sound. I love these ducks their temperament is wonderful and even my one drake is very respectful of me and keeps his distance. He never gets too close to me and won't eat from my hand unlike the girls which makes me have a lot of respect and love for him because I feel totally and completely safe and not threatened at all whenever I go in the duck pen. This will be my first spring with them as adult ducks so I am hoping my drake doesn't change too much but I am prepared for anything.


I am definitely in love with this breed of ducks and am going to be hatching a few eggs in my incubator very soon so that I can have a few more of these sweeties. The girls do lay well. They have been laying throughout the winter. The egg size I am getting is about the size of a Large chicken egg? Maybe even a bit larger. I don't particularly like the taste of duck eggs so I don't eat them the way I eat chicken eggs,  but I do use them in baking and they make an amazing french toast and delicious homemade pancakes! The ducks are not quite as large as my Cayuga duck and defintely smaller than my Pekin girl. They are a light breed of duck but I would say they are definitely not too small to eat either if you are looking for a dual purpose duck. On top of all this I find them to be beautiful animals. I really like the contrast of a dark bill and dark legs on a lighter colored duck.  If you are considering Welshies as a layer, dual purpose duck, or even just for backyard pets, I think you will be pleased with them and I do highly recommend them.


I had 2 gold phase girls and 2 silver phase. These are the gold girls.






Pros: Tame, beautiful, good layer, and adorable personality!

Cons: Of course not!

We got our Welsh Harlequin hen (Lucy) last summer. Lucy is so sweet and very loving to both people and to the other ducks. She has been a very good layer and lays beautiful big eggs! 




Pros: Large, Tame, Good layers, Beautiful colors, Hardy

Cons: I can't think of anything!

Welshies are my favorite duck breed! (besides calls) They are very tame and will crawl on your lap for food, follow you around, and generally act sweet.

My first trio is 1 month old right now, and I LOVE them. They are totally different from my last ducks, (mallard x, I think?) being much more personable and silly. Overall, I would highly recommend this breed, especially for those new to ducks.



Pros: Calm, quiet, winter hardy, good for meat and eggs, make good mothers

Cons: The drakes are randy but that's a drake for you!

I have kept Welsh Harlequins for over 5 years.  I love the coloring and it changes slightly depending on the season or the age of the bird.  Like all waterfowl ducks can be flighty but these birds are  as calm as they come.  I expect one could tame them as a pet if one had the inclination.  


Pros: Beautiful

Cons: None.

   I have two drakes, Lamorak and Amorok, and three hens, Lucia, Gillis, and Caillean. They are very pretty and some of my quieter ducks. The two drakes are inseparable. The females and males both get beautiful markings that look like they have been painted on. I have yet to get eggs, but they are still young.


Pros: Lots of eggs, great temperaments, funny, knowing, smart, habit-forming

Cons: none that I know of

My adults are one year old October 2014; they came from Mtzer. Their babies are only 3 months old.

My male speaks in a whisper. The females are a riot; they sound like a bunch of old men laughing in my backyard.

I can't help but laugh along with them. :old


Lots of eggs this year. I read somewhere that I could be hard on a duck to lay so many eggs each year, so I let her go broody. This allows the female duck to rest from laying. She had 8 eggs. Some were males. One egg was squashed with the bird inside (gasp), and one was booted out, chirping, because she was one week late. I managed to help her hatch. (wonderful)


I now have 1 male, 3 females, and a craigslist crested duck-- along with the 2 geese I have had since 2012. I've placed another order through Holderread for the spring. I can't wait. I wish I had a farm (hence: backyard ducks)




My babies aren't old enough to be laying just yet, but I love their temperaments! They're not as social, curious, and calm as my Mallard, but I suspect that that's because I got them when they were three days old and I didn't handle them nearly as much as I handled Pyrrhos. However, they are definitely a lot more calm that I expected, and very willing to take food from our hands. Out of our four Welsh Harlequins, only one was sexed incorrectly(by us, not the breeders).


Aside from their awesome temperaments, they are so beautiful. Even though we have three hens, all three are colored differently. We even - by chance - got a gold phase hen! (: That definitely makes me one happy duck owner haha.


As my ducks haven't started laying yet, I can't comment on their laying abilities or their broodiness, but it seems pretty much common knowledge that WHs lay excellently and are broody and great mothers. My ducks are all relatively calm and easy-going with our dogs. The only time they get uncomfortable is when someone is walking toward them and gets too close. None of them like to be pet or picked up, but they all are very willing to come up to us.


Overall, I have to say, I love these birds, and I'm excited to begin breeding them!


Pros: Beautiful, friendly and smart

Cons: Can't think of any!

When I decided I wanted to get ducks I did lots of research and decided that Welsh Harlequins were for me.  I wanted a duck that would lay lots of eggs, plus be a good duck for the table.  I ordered mine from Holderread's, and they are absolutely gorgeous.  I would recommend WH's to anyone looking to raise ducks.  They are funny and smart, and a joy to have around!


Pros: great egg layer, forager, pest control, friendly, beautiful

Cons: can't find any

I bought my welsh for her sheer beauty but recently read that they are on the critically endangered list.  This duck provides hours of enjoyment. Not to mention she keeps the weeds and bugs in my garden and around my house, at bay. She is also a prolific egg layer.  Definitely a species we need to save!

Welsh Harlequin

Welsh Harlequin ducks are a derivative of Khaki Campbell ducks. When Leslie Bonnet of Wales found 2 light color mutations in his khaki flock, he began to breed for the trait. Welsh Harlequin ducks began to be imported in to the US in the late 60's with additional imports made in the 80's to diversify the gene pool. Welsh Harlequins were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 2001.

Breed Colors/VarietiesSilver Phase <p> Gold Phase
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Breed Details:

Weight classification: Lightweight breed. 5-6 pounds. Dual purpose. Great egg layer. Plucks clean.

Brooding: Welsh Harlequin hens will brood their own eggs.

Eggs/year: 300+

Flight: Welsh Harlequins are NOT good fliers. They may leap and flap a bit but they don't get far.

Personality: Welsh Harlequins are a friendly, curious breed. Drakes can get protective when their hens are nesting, but they are not capable of doing much harm.

Drake traits: Iridescent green/black head, pale yellow bill with black bean, white neck ring, chestnut shoulders, cream and brown stippling on back, black (silver phase) or brown tail (gold phase), iridescent blue (silver phase) or bronze (gold phase) wing bands, orange feet with black toenails.

Hen traits: Creamy white with a stippled effect in browns, slate to dark olive green bills, dark legs and feet, and iridescent blue (silver phase) or bronze iridescent (gold phase) wing bands.

Duckling traits: Yellow with slight blushing of black (silver phase) or brown (gold phase) on their heads. Welsh Harlequins can be sex linked at hatching. Females have light pink bills. Males have dark bills.


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