We have a small flock of Silver-Phased Welsh Harlequins. They are very fun to have on our hobby farm. They are comical, intelligent and great layers.
Originate: They are a beautifully marked duck that originates from a flock of miscolored Khaki Campbells, they are considered a rare breed.
Markings and Coloring: Welsh Harlequins come in two phases, the gold phase and the silver phased. Silver phased ducks differ from the gold in that the silver ducks have more grey tones and their wing speculum is blue/green. Females have a black bill and brown legs and feet, and their plumage is similar to a mallard but heavily frosted with white. They also lack the eye stripes of mallard females. Drakes are also similar to a heavily frosted Mallard with a yellow/green bill and orange legs and feet.
Size and Production: Welsh Harlequins are great foragers and prolific layers. They lay medium to large white eggs and provide 150-280 eggs per year. They are considered a medium size duck, females weighing around 4 1/2 lbs. and males weighing around 5 1/2 lbs.
Ducklings: Welsh Harlequins can be sexed right after hatching with about a 90% accuracy within the first 3 days as girls will have a pink beak with some dark spots and the boys bills will be darker entirely.
Welsh Harlequins mature at 16-28 weeks and are known to be broody. Like most domestic ducks, they are capable of flying very short distances, ours don't fly much over two feet off the ground.
HOW I CARE AND RAISE DUCKLINGS AND DUCKS!
Ducklings stay in a brooder the first two months of their lives. They receive non-medicated chicken starter along with niacin I take out of a Niacin Tablet I get in the vitamin section of Walmart. Brooders will get dirty very fast, ducks are messy. I supply 24/7 feed and water for them so they grow up nice and strong.
FEEDING: When I switch my ducks from brooder to coop I switch them to two times a day feed. I do this as mine are pasture-raised so they can forage all day but then they will come in at night for their dinner. They will still need Niacin every once in awhile.
WATER: Ducks must have a way to get their full bill into water to clean out there nostrils. I provide an outside water bucket in the winter. In the summer along with bucket I provide a nipple waterer in the coop and a kiddie pool.
HERDING: In the beginning, before they know the routine that dinner is served at night in the coop, I do have to "herd" them in. This takes maybe a week to herd them until they get the idea.
To get them to herd, raise both arms up and out to the side, as if you are flying. Slowly get behind them and send them the direction you want them to go. It takes some practice but it does work. If they veer to far to the right.. move your right arm further to the front to direct them to go left. Some nights this can get frustrating but it works. ALL my ducks are trained.
PASTURE RAISED: Even though we have a huge pond on our property I keep mine in a pasture with my goats. I feel they are safer in there. They get the bugs they need, the kiddie pool is available to them and I don't have to worry about them taking off. To keep them in I have put up a 4 ft no-climb goat fence with a 2" x 4" weave. Welsh Harlequins really cant fly all that much, mine barely make it up their 2' high ramp into their coop.
I will add videos and more information when I can. I truly think ducks are amazing and have to resist getting more! :)
If you have any additional questions please feel free to email me and Ill do my best to answer them. Thanks for you visit!