Welsh Harlequins as dual purpose birds?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by andythescot, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. andythescot

    andythescot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    Hi all, I'm looking for a dual purpose duck, and so far I'm really attracted to the Welsh Harlequin.. but so far I've only been able to find success stories in the laying department. Has anyone had success with using the drakes and extra hens for eating purposes?

    This is my first time posting in the Ducks section! So exciting!!

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    My WH are not big enough to eat-

    I think the mallard looking ones that are large lay eggs... Rouen?

    Peking are mostly meat breeds.

    Orpingtons (called buff here) are duel ...
  3. Dances with Ducks

    Dances with Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welsh Harlequin are considered a duel purpose duck because they are easier to pluck than a lot of ducks, the white feathering somehow helps. I can't bear to eat mine so I can't make claims from personal experience, but plenty of people have eaten WH and I've never head any complaints except that ducks are harder to pluck in general than chickens. They seem about as large as most chickens I've bought to cook, so the size should be within a decent range I would think.
    Another option would be the much larger Saxony, the males have similiar coloring to the WH, the hens are a light buff color but you are trading off a lot of eggs for size with them. The Saxony are OK layers and their eggs are humongous!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  4. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Dances with Ducks pretty much said it all. Another option besides the saxony, or pekin, would be the muscovy. They don't lay as many eggs as the WH or saxony, but they males have an excellent size.
  5. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2010
    You could use any duck really, just depends on how many you want to prepare per meal. I have made 3 mallards for dinner before.Now those are small!
    The Pekins come out nice...
    1 person likes this.
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    WH are kind of skinny. Not as bad as runners, but its a lot of work for not much meat when you butcher them. I really love thei.r egg laying ability though...and you have to do SOMETHING with those extra drakes.

    I have been giving some serious consideration to crossing my Welshies with a Silver Appleyard creating a jumbo WH of sorts. It would be a bit of a challenge to see how big you can get the birds without losing the great egg production.

    If the info I got in the past is correct, the genes for high egg production get passed down through the drakes. Anyone know if this is accurate? If so, I can pick up some appleyards in a year or two as I cycle out my older hens and keep my WH drake.
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Not sure but it makes sense as all birds are genetically by default male- that is the males carry all the info on their genes and the other gene has the programming for 'be female'.

    However I did a test cross on my chickens I had a silkie roo I crossed to two GLW and one RIR, the silkie*RIR cross is never broody, the other two are always broody. (but that's broody behavior, not egg laying)
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You can certainly eat WH, but they are small.

    The Silver Appleyard makes a large table duck plus is a good egg layer.

    My Pekins, which are the fastest growing meat duck with the best feed conversion, have turned out to be very reliable layers of huge eggs. I was surprised because nobody ever calls them a top breed for laying, but 2 ducks, 2 eggs every day without fail.

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