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/Varieties:
- Silver Phase
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
Weight classification: Lightweight breed. 5-6 pounds. Dual purpose. Great egg layer. Plucks clean.
Brooding: Welsh Harlequin hens will brood their own eggs.
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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Recent User Reviews
"Docile, sweet and trusting"
Pros - Pretty, colours change throughout the year, long lifespan, docile, sweet, friendly when worked with daily. Alert you to visitors in their area.
Cons - Can be noisy if that bothers you.
I have owned my two harlequins for 6 yrs. They are docile and alert. Very sweet natured. They love following me in the paddleboat on the pond. They eat out my hand and come to see me when I am in the yard. They are curious about animals that may come to the pond and will quack to alert me. They will also quack if they want a treat. They like stomach pats. They are easy to pick up and carry during their winter transition from the fenced pond to the fenced yard and heated house. I recommend them to anyone as they are a pretty edition to a flock and are very easy to tame and to interact with if you follow a daily routine.
"Best Overall Backyard Duck Breed"
Pros - Great layers, brooders, mothers. Standard large egg size. Able to sex during first 3 days. Docile and friendly dual purpose breed.
Cons - Small for a meat bird if you want a large carcass.
The hens are prolific layers of white standard large size eggs, which make these delicious eggs easy to incorporate into any recipe. They are also excellent brooders and mothers when the need arises. The ducklings are very robust and you can sex them during the first 3 days with fairly good accuracy. The drakes are docile towards the hens and ducklings, quickly "giving up the chase" when in amorous pursuit or pecking order dominance. They are very friendly to humans as well. Adult birds that were not human-socialized when we brought them home were literally eating out of my hand within a few weeks. Although they are considered a dual purpose fowl, we haven't eaten any of ours. I'm sure they wouldn't provide as much meat as a Pekin since they're only half the size. But then, for a backyard, their compact size is just another a bonus!calliope8 likes this.
"Beautiful, Sweet tempered"
Pros - Laying an egg every day, don't eat alot of feed, great forager, broody, calm
Cons - Drakes seem to get territorial
Absolutely love my two pair! They don't seem to need alot of feed because they forage so well, and they lay lots of eggs. They are calm and quiet.