Welsh Harlequin Ducks
The Welsh Harlequin Ducks were created by Group Captain Leslie Bonnet who was very much a utility duck breeder. Starting at his house in Hertfordshire in 1949, two light colored sports of pure Khaki Campbell ducks he was keeping were bred together and he named them Honey Campbells. These were later called Welsh Harlequins when Leslie Bonnet moved to a farm in North Wales around 1950 with his family. Bonnet claims in his 1960’s book “Practical Duck Keeping” that a flock would lay on average over 300 eggs per year.
The drake has a green and bronze head with a white circle around his neck and his breast and shoulders are a laced, rich red mahogany brown. The wings have a tortoiseshell effect. The duck has a honey brown head and neck and her main body is fawn to cream with lacing on her wings, making them a handsome pair.
A good egg layer with stains ranging from a respectable 150 to a superb 250 eggs a year, the carcase is big enough for the table as well. It is docile and placid and doesn’t fly and is happy to stay in the orchard or garden where it forages enthusiastically for insects. It has a high libido so don’t keep more than one drake in a pen or the females will be damaged. It is classified as a light breed.
Uses: Utility: eggs.
Eggs: 150 to 250 eggs.
Origin: Wales, U.K.
Weight: Drake: 4.5 lbs. Duck: 5.5 lbs.
Useful to Know: Originating from the Khaki Campbell, itself originating from the Indian Runner, the Welsh Harlequin is an excellent egg layer and an active forager.
Domesticated ducks are raised for meat, eggs, exhibition, pets and down. All varieties of domesticated ducks are descended from the mallard, apart from the Muscovy duck, which seems to be a breed of it’s own.