Snowy Mallards and Welsh Harlequins....what's a show duck supposed to look like?


7 Years
May 28, 2012
Hi All,

I'm new here, well not that new...I've actualy been reading the older posts for a long time to learn how to take care of some ducks and spend about 2 years now gathering up what I needed for them, but I haven't joined in the discussions until now.

So now I am proud to announce I have a nice little flock of snowy mallards and a small flock of Welsh Harlequins, seperated on two sides of my small barn with individual outside pens for each type. I've also just hatched my first broods of each duck.

So my question is....what makes a show duck? I have read all I can find on the breed standards but they don't seem real exact.

I have W. Harl females that have good black bills and dark feet and the males have the orange/yellow bills and feet. I think they have good color and good generall conformation. I have both silver and gold varieties of the W. Harls

My Snowies have a range of color on the females. Some have really nice solid dark bills and the others have yellow bills with a large speckling of black on them. All have orange/yellow feet. The males have solid orange/yellow bills and feet.

So my question is...shoud snowy females have solid dark bills like the W.Harls or are speckled bills acceptable? Are snowy feet all orange or should the females have dark feet?
Having a lot of speckling on the heads of the females is desirable or no?

I also have 6 new snowy chicks that I would like to find homes with some local 4-Her's or others looking for nice snowys for show. I have a few more eggs in the incubator that should hatch in a week, but I want to know if what I have is good for showing on a national level or just good for the freezer later in the year.

Thanks and looking forward to the discussions.

Oh PS: That is my best snowy hen "Dolly" in the avatar photo...with one of her 3 chicks she has naturally hatched this spring. Her mate, "Macho" is my best snowy drake.


Goto the American Poultry Association web site and purchase a copy of the SOP (standard of perfection) so you can read the details of faults and correct line and color for the breeds you are raising.
I've gone to look at the webpage for the APA, but I really can't justify $85 without some idea of what information is included in the standards book. I don't even know if both the breeds I have are in there. If I could just purchase the standard for the breeds I have for $10 or something, that would be a good deal. I also have AKC dogs and their standards are available free on the AKC webpage. It really promotes new puppy purchasers to know what they are buying by having that standard publicly available.

Personally, I'm not interested in showing my ducks as I use them for training herding dogs, but I think I have some really beautiful stock that have been collected from show breeders who have gotten out of showing.

Since I believe that both of these breeds are rather rare, I'd like to make what I have available to others to add genetic diversity to their flock, but if they are not worth it then I'd sort of like to know so I don't mislead those who might purchase ducklings.

Anyways, still curious as to what else makes a show duck.

The info is strictly copyrighted so no one can post the SOP on your breeds. Snowy Mallards were added in 1987, Welshies in the silver color in 2001. Doesn't look like the gold is in there, but they'll have to have the same type as the silver, just a different color.

You can find used books as well, just need to look around. You'll need one from 2001 or later to get the Welshies in it.
How strange that no one can publish or make comments on a SOP on line. The AKC Breeds are also all copywritten materials by their respective breed clubs, who actively promote the standards to be published and shared so that everyone knows what each breed is really supposed to look like. I guess each registry has their own thoughts on how to promote their sport.

I'm not that interested really to spend so much time at it. I guess the sport just lost a prospective promoter. I'm happy to keep what I have as pets and herding animals and just breed and keep what I think looks good.

I guess it will have to be buyer beware if they are looking for show ducks.
Thanks for the information.

People looking for show ducks buy from lines that are listed as SQ, known winners and they buy the SOP so they can research and be aware. It's just that simple. Those wanting pets tend to not bother with it at all.
The SOP is worth every penny. It's a beautiful hard cover, stitched binding. It is crammed full of gorgeous color plates.

You will need more than the standard for your breed. The SOP also lists all the general disqualifications and has information on judging. It has diagrams and glossaries to teach you the vocabulary that you will need.

The AKC standards are different. Each standard belongs to its respective breed club. It does not belong to the AKC. So it is the decision of each individual breed club whether they will enforce their copyright rights or not. The AKC has no say in what is done with the dog breed standards.

Even if dog breed standards are available on-line, I don't know so much as a single show dog person who doesn't own the AKC's book, and I know multiple thousands of dog breeders, handlers, trainers, judges, and exhibitors. I even know some breeders in foreign countries who have copies of the AKC's book, just for general information and to compare the AKC standards to their own.

People who want to breed show quality birds own the SOP. I see dozens of copies being consulted at the shows.

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