Today I want to share a little bit about Welsh Harlequins and why we chose them over other breeds.
First a very, very short history of the breed. They were created in 1949 in Wales when “Group Captain Leslie Bonnet discovered a colour mutation among his flock of Khaki Campbells and began breeding selectively for the trait. By 1968, hatching eggs were exported to the United States, followed by the importation of live birds in 1981.” (Wikipedia)
They are a light weight breed and among the top egg layers. They are around 4.5-5.5 pounds full grown. Some hens can lay more eggs than chickens. Apparently in North America, the Welsh Harlequin is considered critically endangered because there are so few. (Wikipedia)
The Welsh Harlequin is raised for its practical attributes of being highly adaptable and excellent producers of lean meat. (Livestock Conservancy)
Just a few last qualities to share that you can find on multiple websites. The Welsh Harlequin is considered to be broody so a pair can successfully hatch and raise ducklings on their own apparently. They will lay through out the year if conditions are right where other duck breeds can be more seasonal layers.They are excellent foragers and great for pest control. They are quiet, calm/docile, friendly, funny (what duck isn’t though 😉 ), can handle our winter weather, smart, and their colouring is gorgeous.
I am sure this doesn’t cover everything but it is some of what I found that sold me on this breed over other breeds. I found a comparison chart in the book I am reading (Storey’s Guide to Raising Ducks) that is quite interesting as well which helped me decide too. I am not sure if I can share it on here without permission but if you would like to see it, let me know.
I hope this has been informative. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back again! Only 4 more days until the ducklings arrive and I can guarantee that there will be plenty of photos. 🙂