New to Ducks -- Welsh Harlequins

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by lesduckerables, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. lesduckerables

    lesduckerables New Egg

    7
    0
    9
    Oct 24, 2014
    Oregon
    Hi! I'm getting two Welsh Harlequin ducks tomorrow morning and I need info! This is my first time owning ducks, and I am so so worried they won't like me or I'll not know what to do! They're nine months old, so I don't really know if they'll be as social or okay with me being best friends with them. Anyway, I have some questions:
    • How old are ducks when they start breeding/laying in general?
    • How small are Welsh Harlequins in comparison to most ducks?
    • What are Welsh Harlequin's personalities like, in your experience?
    • What are their favorite foods? What stuff is really bad for them (I know-- no white bread!!) and shouldn't be given?
    • Can they eat lentils?
    • Should they be in an enclosed area? There's 12 acres of property that they could go on, but I don't want them running away(lol)
    • How fast do ducks get acquainted to new people?
    • Are Welsh Harlequins unique or different from other ducks in any way?
    • If they're outside, do they need grit given to them by me?
    • Do female WHs have loud quacks?
    • Should I have more than two?
    • How much could I sell ducklings for, when they have them?

    Thanks so much!!! <3 <3
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,979
    1,950
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Welcome and congratulations!

    First, they must be kept safe. At nine months old, they are old enough to lay, but a change in their environment can stop that.

    Many many critters like to eat ducks. They may seem to come out of nowhere. Be sure the ducks are secure.

    Since they are new to your place, they will need to be kept in a safe and secure pen - no roaming around - for I would say a couple of weeks. So the pen needs to be big enough for them to spend all their time in.

    And it needs to be big enough you can join them without making them feel cornered.

    Mostly you will need patience, Each duck is unique, some are more friendly than others. Treats, and time and gentle conversation helps quite a bit.

    Take a look at at the stickies (link at the top of the duck forum index). There is an ultimate list of treats thread - read at least the first post on that.

    Not sure about lentils - someone else can help with that, I hope.

    Female mallard-types (like WH) do quack.

    I think of them as kind of medium-small sized ducks, maybe 4-5 pounds.

    Many ducks are crazy about peas. Many like dried mealworms. Mine like shredded lettuce in water also.

    Two is good, a few more if you have the space is also nice. That way if (sad thought) you lose one, there will be other duck buddies.
     
  3. lesduckerables

    lesduckerables New Egg

    7
    0
    9
    Oct 24, 2014
    Oregon
    Thanks so much, Amiga!! I looked at the stickies and learned a lot! (and I thought I was educated on ducks beforehand)
    I'll try to figure out the situation with a cage ASAP! The ducks are staying at my sister's place(about 20 mins away) so I won't be in full control of their housing but I'm babysitting her kids most weekends and visit often so I should have a great deal of time with them and stuff. Maybe they could even stay inside at night because of possible predators, who knows? (she's got 8 more birds inside so I think she'd be fine with it, although they're doves and finches etc., but she's also got two dogs and two cats soooooo... I don't know really.)
    If I can, I'll build them a coop/cage area (with a heat lamp in-coop so they wont get terribly cold in wintry nights) this weekend. Maybe her landscaper could help me. Now I'm just thinking out loud!
    Also, could you tell me how much space 2-3 ducks generally need?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    22,979
    1,950
    471
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    If they will need to be confined in winter, the more room you can manage the better. My thirteen ducks have about 100 square feet of night pen. That's big, but it means I can keep them in during days-long inclement weather without stress on any of us. Five square feet per duck would probably work, though, for such a small number.

    Ours have a space in our walkout basement. We have all kinds of predators here.

    You are right to be concerned about dogs and cats - actually I found that young children combined with dogs and cats were deadly (long ago when I first had ducks). So, not only would a closed door and cage be advisable, but some kind of latch that a child absolutely cannot reach, to let the dogs and cats in when they go to sneak a peek at the ducks.
     
  5. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,552
    328
    216
    May 19, 2014
    Round Rock, TX
    Since they are full grown they will not need heat. Having heat lamps and bedding is a huge fire hazard so don't use them unless it's really needed. As long as they have a safe draft free house they should be fine unless you live in an area that sees extreme cold. When building a run and coop keep in mind all possible predators in your area. Raccoons and stray dogs seem to do the most damage. 1/4 in hardware cloth on all openings for overnight is usually your best bet. Keep in mind that Chicken wire is to contain poultry not keep predators out.
     
  6. lesduckerables

    lesduckerables New Egg

    7
    0
    9
    Oct 24, 2014
    Oregon
    The kids are 4 and 6 years old, and only get more devious with age, so I'll definitely be wary of that!
    I'd rather not have a fire hazard, so I won't be doing the heat lamp, thanks for that! I just don't want them too terribly cold here in the Pacific Northwest!
    I can't wait to meet them!
    (Do any of you have name suggestions for the girl? I think I'm naming the boy Shakespeare.)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by