Welsh Harlequin Breeding Thread - People who are breeding or want to breed their WH's talk

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by sherylreno, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
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    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    I have 3 WH's, 1 drake and 2 hens. They all have the same father but might not have the same mother. I'm ready to start breeding them. They just started laying and I'm going to have a friend incubate them for me. This is my first time having eggs incubated and raise the ducklings. 2 ducklings is for a friend on here.

    I heard I can either have the hens mate with the father or the drake mate with it's mother but I want to start with my group with these ducks. I was thinking to try it, they most likely do not have the same mother so there is less of a chance of deformities.

    Please help me by letting me know how your breeding program is done.

    I'm going to keep this thread on going updating it as I go along with my new adventure into duck raising.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    I'm getting SWH foundation stock this spring. My breeding program for any bird never involves any sort of inbreeding if I can help it. {Note: Spiral breeding is not considered a form of inbreeding), however, one generation of inbreeding usually does little harm.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
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    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    I have no other choice at this time and can't do the spiral breeding because this breed is so rare here. I went to a poultry show last weekend and there were none for sale only 4 were being shown. I'm not going to have hatchery ducks either so where can I turn to now?

    I have SQ SWH's and I want to keep it that way as well.

    I'm learning a lot about breeding now. I didn't know the hen determines what sex the duckling will be. All poultry have WZ chromosomes instead of XY.

    Where are you getting your stock from?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  4. Tahai

    Tahai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Sheryl.

    If your objection to hatchery ducks is a quality concern, then you should reconsider Holderread's for additional foundation stock. Holderread's WH are highly regarded.

    If your objection is to shipping live ducks, you might want to consider purchasing fertile eggs via e-bay if there are no show quality breeders near you.

    Best Wishes,

    Tahai
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  5. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
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    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    I have a huge concern for quality with my stock on these birds. I'm a days drive away from Holderread's place, perhaps I should look into this as well. He's also a lot cheaper than what I paid for my stock but I'm not really worried about the price as long as this bread and get going further along with the quality.
     
  6. duck&chickencrazy

    duck&chickencrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2008
    Indiana
    I have 11 welsh harlequins from Holderreads. They are my pride and joy! First off if you are going to be breeding your ducks make sure they fit the standards for welsh harlequins. Make sure that you breed your ducks to improve the breed. One fault that I have seen alot from some WH are when the hens have stripes across the eyes like the saxony or silver appleyard ducks do. So you just need to make sure your birds fit the breed standards. If I were you I would consider getting some new blood in with your birds if they have the same father. Maybe order some ducklings from Holderreads this year. His prices are actually pretty amazing considering the quality of his birds. I am gonna be getting some more from Holderreads this year so that I will have 2 separate breeding flocks. My flock right now consists of 3 drakes with 8 hens (3 goldens and 5 silvers). Maybe post pics of your birds. Where did you get them from?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    There are two hatcheries (one in US, one in Canada) that are opperated by only a couple of people, and stock from them is almost like breeder stock, and they are very reputable. Holderread's (Dave Holderread) is in Oregon, and Performance Poultry (Jason Cain) is in Ontario. I'm getting the ducklings from Performance Poultry, because I've been pleased with the ducks I've gotten from him before, and since no other canadian hatchery sells WH, and I haven't found breeder stock for sale (don't get me wrong, there are breeders around, but no WH for sale yet, and the ducklings are already coming). I'm not intending to have SQ Welshies. I'm going to open an egg strain. Now some birds, when breeders focus on utility alone (like red stars) can become really mangy-looking and aren't terribly hardy. WH, however, as long as I keep improving hardiness, alone with utility, I don't care what the judge thinks of them. I just like the look of Harlequins, and because of their genetics, they usually look different anyways (I would also like to point out the show I like entering is not 'hard core' and is only about 200 birds, and isn't APA sanctioned. It's the only show like that around here. It is not a good show for the fancier or show-breeder, such as yourself) ! Oh, I will show them, showing is lots of fun, but like I've said on another string, Showing, for the bird's sake, is usually only feather-deep, and if the birds do what they're supposed to, I'll be content, even if they don't place. Basically, I don't mind starting with HQ stock, because, to become a good breeder, there needs to be something to hone my skills on. However, it's very good that you do not want to lower your stock's quality. If you can save yourself years of breeding, good! (It also supports those who have obviously done years of hard breeding). Actually, the main reason I'm getting WH is because previously, the only local strain of Appleyard (now there are two) was only mediocre at best in it's utility, and I am displeased with it. Harlequins will lay more eggs, and, as soon as he has some for sale, I'd like to try some of Snyder Waterfowl's Blue cream Appleyards, which should be better in the meat department than the old appleyards (due to Rouen blood).
     
  8. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
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    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    Thank you everyone for your help. My Welsh Harlequin's fit the breed to a tee. One of the ducks fit the American Standard and the other duck fits the English Standard. Here is a picture of the trio:

    [​IMG]

    I'm mainly going for eggs as well and keeping the SQ, I'm not showing but the person whom I bought these from is showing her birds. The bird in the middle is going through her light stage right now with her bill. It will change in a few months back to black, she is the English Standard. Mine are the Silver WH's.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  9. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    WOW! Thank you so much for showing me a picture of the ducks you're giving me! [​IMG]

    Question -- which standard does Justin fit into? I don't know the standards very well. In drakes, Silver coloration is very variable and sometimes messy, and I find them all pretty, so those colors are the worst for me to identify the quality of!

    Oh, and make sure you try Autosexing the ducklings!
     
  10. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,813
    16
    148
    May 13, 2011
    Reno, Nevada
    [​IMG] Thanks! Justin fits both standards. In England the female (hen) can not have any flashy coloring in their feathers such as the wing feathers. In America people show their females (hens) with the shiny wing colors that reflect the green and blue colorings. Here's a picture of the American Standard coloring, I'll have pictures of the English Standard later:

    [​IMG]

    The WH's has a 90% self sexing already.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

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