Baby Welsh Harlequin Ducklings
Hatching February to November.
Small but productive, Welsh Harlequins have many attributes that recommend them. They provide lean meat, plenty of eggs, and they are beautiful.
Production: Welsh Harlequins will lay 160-190 white to greenish eggs per year, and weigh 4.5 - 5.5 pounds at maturity.
Temperament: Welsh Harlequins are both curious and calm. They like to forage, but will also sit on their nests.
History: Welsh Harlequins are a relatively new breed. They were developed by Leslie Bonnett in 1949, and were accepted into the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 2001. The breed originated with two mutant Khaki Campbells, which is the reason Welsh Harlequins are such good layers.
Almost any description you find of Welsh Harlequins will include the word "beautiful." They are fairly small, but have gorgeous coloring. Though small, they have nicely balanced bodies, with wide-spaced legs.
Welsh Harlequins were first introduced to the US in 1968, but by the 1980s, there were only two small flocks. Breeders began importing adult birds in order to expand the gene pool. Some flock keepers with pasture suggest that Welsh Harlequins may be more susceptible to predators due to the combination of their light color and small size.
Colors: Describing this breed is challenging. Drakes are more colorful than ducks, and have dark, greenish colored heads, with chestnut, cream, white, and brown appearing on other parts of the body. Females are cream-colored with brown stippling. Drakes have orange legs, and ducks have orange legs when they are young. As Welsh Harlequin females age, their legs turn brown.
Status: The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists Welsh Harlequins as critical. At the last census there were only 188 breeding birds in the US. These birds are prolific layers, excellent table birds, and beautiful to look at, making them a practical addition to any back yard flock or farm yard.
Body Type: Welsh Harlequins have compact bodies, oval-shaped heads, and wide spaced legs.
Standard Weights: Old Male 5.5 lbs, Old Female 5 lbs, Young Male 5 lbs, Young Female 4.5 lbs
Classification: American Poultry Association Class: Light Duck