Welsh Harlequin

Pros: adorable, quiet, friendly, fun
Cons: can fly but not high
I decided to get a WH because of how pretty I thought their coloring was. WH are very adorable. My girl will look up at me and “smile.” She doesn’t quack much, but when she does it’s not that loud. She loves to splash around in her water. It’s quite fun watching her run, splash, and dive. The most entertaining though is when she flies up and splashed into the water. Thankfully, there is a top on the run so she can’t fly out (we have short fences so she’d probably be able to fly over it if she wanted to). If you’re considering a WH, go for it.
Pros: Great layers, five or six eggs a week
Very friendly and lots of personality - made me laugh a lot
Pretty and easy to tell apart
Smart - I taught them some tricks
They bond with people really easily
Cons: They are not very hardy. Some dropped dead for no reason after wasting away for a few days, which only happened with this breed

They get broody easily - I found it funny but it could be annoying

They seem to have more trouble avoiding predators
While there are a lot of pros, the cons are strong enough that I gave them a lower review

They are great layers and really friendly. I taught them several tricks as well! They're smart - they figured out which window was mine so that they could tap on it and beg for food. They wander but not too far.

However, they are really fragile. I lost many Welshies as ducklings, all but one of my ducklings that I lost were Welshies and they weren't raised any differently. They also seem to just waste away with no explanation before dying a few days later.

It could be that their smaller size compared to my other ducks makes them easier targets for predators, but their ill health was the main issue.

If you keep them alive, they are lovely! They would be my favorite breed if they were hardier.
Pros: 300 plus eggs their pullet year If you buy the right strain.
Cons: Can be a little flighty.
Cackle Hatchery and Holderreads have wonderful birds. They added color to the flock with out sacrificing egg production. The Khaki campbells from Mcmurrays were the only ducks I have seen to out lay these pretty girls.
Purchase Date
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.
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!


  • Like
Reactions: calliope8
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.
Purchase Price
$50 for 4 adults
Purchase Date


Pros: gorgeous, calm, quiet, sweet, good layers, friendly
Pros: Loving, friendly with strangers, get along with other breeds, very calm
Cons: Will peep when you're not there
I love my two Welshies. They follow me and cuddle up with me, and they get along well with my Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner. According to Metzer Farms, Welsh Harlequins are the calmest bird on their farm - and they raise many different breeds of ducks, geese, chickens, pearl guineas, and quails. The only downside is that they will get attached and peep when you're not there, but mine have actually learned not to peep when my boyfriend and I are asleep. All in all, this is a great breed for beginners and pros alike.
Purchase Price
Pros: calm disposition and heavy layers
We've had Welsh Harlequin for 10 years now and have tried other breeds before and during this period. None has compared with the overall calm disposition and heavy laying combination of our Welsh Harlequin. From time to time I take fancy to a different breed but have never completely replaced my WH, and good thing since I always go back to the mainstay great layers.
Purchase Date


  • Like
Reactions: gigi56 and flwrldy
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: Gentle, pretty, good size, amazing layers.
Cons: Nothing, honestly.
I've owned a few Welsh Harlequins over about a year and a half. They continue to impress me with their sweet temperaments and absolutely stunning colouring. Another plus is their laying ability---one of my females rivaled my sexlink chooks in rate of lay, giving me one egg almost every day until I had to euthanize her prematurely due to a predator. Every flock should have a welshie or two in it.
  • Like
Reactions: flwrldy
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.
  • Like
Reactions: flwrldy
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: 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.

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)

  • Like
Reactions: flwrldy
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: \
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!
Purchase Date
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!
Purchase Price
Purchase Date
Top Bottom