Welsh Harlequin ducks? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sid Post, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    TIA everyone! I appreciate you helping this "duck" newbie.

    I'm looking to add Welsh Harlequin ducklings to my property in ~March. I have an Incubator coming so, starting from eggs is an option. I want calm relatively quiet ducks so, this breed seems to be a good fit. While I want to have some duck eggs for consumption and I have the incubator, I also want a duck that will raise some ducklings if I leave the eggs alone. I also want ducks that aren't going to "fly away" or wander off that hopefully can protect themselves somewhat however, I realize I will need Guinea or something similar to keep dogs away.

    What hatchery or hatcheries are recommended?
    Metzer Farms? (http://www.metzerfarms.com/BirdInformation.cfm?ID=WH&BirdType=Duck&Breed=Welsh%20Harlequin&CustID=3037170&CFID=5652927&CFTOKEN=e5d7e3057aad5113-B4D04FF3-0B3A-6B1C-28FC3298622B95AB)
    Cackle Hatchery? (
    http://www.cacklehatchery.com/harlequin.html)
    Do I need to have the wingtips clipped (pinioning I think its called)?
    Do I need to fence them in?
    Do they comingle with chickens well?
    I know they need shelter but, do they require a coop like chickens?
    Lastly, do they need supplemental heat in the Winter in East Texas (I-30/I-20 area 2 hours outside of DFW)?


    I have 40 acres total but, the place I intend to put them has ~5 acres with a pond that is ~1 1/4 acres with a small fishing dock. It is stocked with Blue Gill and will have Tilapia when the weather warms up. I'm hoping they will help me with the frog problem too (literally thousands of tadpoles last year). The Japanese Quail are in a total separate area so, no worries about "bio contamination" killing off the quail.

    Lastly, are there good recommendations for another breed of duck like Muscovy or Giant Pekin (don't need that much meat from a single carcass though)? As you can tell, while I may treat them as pets, I will cull and eat them so like my chickens, dual purpose and easy to handle are important traits in my flock. While I can deal with problem birds, I don't want to and I have nieces and nephews to consider as well when they come out to visit.

    Best Regards,
    Sid
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  2. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mississippi Y'all
    Welsh harlequins can't fly so no don't pinion them.
    Best to have a coop for them to go in at night, but in the day you should let them free range at the pond.
    All depends on the duck not the breed when it comes to being with chickens
    heat would be ideal for them but they can also be very cold hardy.

    For the culling thing i would go with pekins because muscovys can fly and if they figure out that you could eat them some of the smarter ones could fly away, also for muscovys only the males are heavy the females would be lose to the bantam class for waterfowl.
     
  3. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mississippi Y'all
    Ohh for the dog thing get geese my ducks are happily portected by my 4 American buffs.
     
  4. Sid Post

    Sid Post Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are Embden Geese a good pairing?

    Thanks,
    Sid
     
  5. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mississippi Y'all
    Yes I've heard they are nice to people but good protectora
     
  6. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most domestic ducks won't be able to fly away (muscovy and mallards can as well as some of the ornamental and bantams). But the ones you'd want for meat and eggs - they aren't going anywhere (except muscovy).

    For protecting from dogs - the best way to do that is a fence. Just be aware that some critters can/will go over/through a fence depending on what type. I had no issues for 3 years and then this summer we had a young fox learn how to hunt with my ducks and chickens.
    I have a raised coop for the remaining chicken and a hut that is ground level for the ducks.

    My girls are kind of afraid of the chickens. Even the last chicken which is much nicer to them now, they are very aware of where she is when they are close. But they do hang out near her and don't run away quite so often now when she approaches them.

    Heat in the winter - I think you will be fine without it. Just make sure you have ventilation, but not crazy drafts in the winter in their house.
     
  7. We raise only Welsh Harlequin ducks so I have no comparison advice on noise etc. I agree with the bulk of the other commenters in that fencing and shelter are needed. We allow some of our ducks to freely free range as they never took to any sort of housing and have always stayed on the pond but have also dropped from 11 in number to 3 within 3 years.
    Thier offspring hatched in the incubator (as they lay eggs anywhere and everywhere, never once choosing anest) have been confined to a large duck yard with artificial pond and small shelter. This group will house themselves each night soon after and just like the chickens with no coaxing or intervention on our part. We simply lock the door once everyone is settled. There are 3 chickens that chose to become duck yard residents and roost in the duck house. The ducks get along fine with these birds and essentially ignore various daily chicken visitors as some additional chickens scout for food within the duck yard.
    They are a beautiful breed and have worked for dual purpose layer/meat birds (when we can find the eggs!) Best of luck in your choice!
     

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