Ducks: Welsh Harlequin - Harlequin of Wales

Ducks: Welsh Harlequin - Harlequin of Wales

Origin, diffusion and economic characteristics

Like all breeds of ducks created in the late nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth century, the Harlequin Ducks of Wales or Welsh Harlequin also carry the genetic makeup of the Indian Corritories. This has ensured over the years an exceptional vitality and resistance deriving from heterosis, also this genetic makeup has transformed them into an excellent laying duck. Despite the incredible amount of eggs laid by females, such as Campaki persimmons, also because in fact the Harlequin are nothing but mutated persimmons, the Welsh Harlequin are one of the least common domestic ducks, created in England, in the world. In fact, the Harlequin of Wales were very unfortunate and had ups and downs in their diffusion. Really sudden twists.
They were created almost by accident. An RAF squadron captain, Leslie Bonnet, raises chickens during the Second World War, unfortunately due to the coccidiosis lost in almost a year in all the hens. So I start the following year to breed Kaki Campbell ducks. The first stroke of luck occurred in 1949, when two mutated colored ducklings, yellow with dark streaks in the head and back, were born. Fate dictated that they were just a boy and a girl.
In a short time Leslie Bonnet and her son William obtained many specimens, initially they called them "Honey Campbell" which could be translated for "Campbell color Honey", a characteristic color that describes in particular the plumage of the female.
Subsequently, the Bonnet family moved to North Wales, a third twist took place here. Leslie Bonnet wanted to sell her ducks to a lady who had a farm where she raised only "Welsh" animals, so she invented the name Welsh Harlequin. This duck born in Hertfordshire, north of London, suddenly became "Welsh" to bring a sale to its creator.
The new name was a second stroke of luck, on the one hand it united the territoriality and tickled the "Welsh" ego, on the other it took up a funny and funny mask loved by young and old. The career of this new breed seemed at this point on the rise and ready to cross the borders of England and instead of everything suddenly changed.
In 1968, then, fate or rather a fox raged against the Harlequin. Unfortunately, Bonnet's breeding group was decimated in one night. The captain had forgotten them free outside in the open. A disaster, in one night he lost almost all the breeding stock. In the years to come, he tried to recover subjects and recreate a group of reproducers. Unfortunately he failed in this attempt. The Harlequin were now definitively extinct. Bonnet surrendered.
But with one final twist, the decisive one, the Arlecchino rose from their ashes. A client from Bonnet, a Lancashire nurse named Eddie Grayson, had bought some specimens from the Captain in 1963. He then decided to cross-breed them with the Campbells and thus managed to save the breed.
Subsequently Eddie Grayson had the Harlequin recognized in England in the late 1980s and founded the first breed club. Thanks to Grayson's great work, his determination and perseverance, we can now breed the Harlequin Ducks of Wales.

Morphological characteristics

The duck has a bearing on 35 degrees, compact in shape and a little elongated, exactly like a Campbell. The tail is short like Campbell. The neck is moderately short. The male head and wing mirror are bronze in color, the female has the characteristic honey color in the plumage especially in the head and neck. Genetically, the color of the plumage of the Harlequin Duck of Wales is composed of the "Harlequin" gene of the Streicher duck and the silver Wild Indian corrective to which is added the "brown dilution" typical of the Campbell Khaki. It is a form and shape of a Campbell in all respects. It lays like a Campbell, then safely exceeds 200 eggs a year. They are sociable and quiet ducks, excellent grazers and very rustic.
Wild brownish coloring.

Medium weight:
The male weighs between 2.3 and 2.5 kg, the female around 2 and 2.3 kg.

curated by Giacomo Cellini

Harlequin Ducks of Wales - Welsh Harlequin (photo

Harlequin Ducks of Wales - Welsh Harlequin (photo

Breed standard - FIAV

I - General

Great Britain. Created in Wales from Campbell duck and recognized in 1949.

Minimum weight g. 65
Shell color: white.

Male and female: 15

II - Type and Address for Selection
Lively duck, with rounded trunk and slightly raised habit and smooth abdominal line.

III - Standard
General Appearance and Characteristics of the Breed

1 - Form
Trunk: medium length; well rounded; a little detected. Parallel back and abdominal lines.
Head: slightly elongated; well rounded; with slightly raised forehead and little pronounced cheeks.
Beak: medium length; straight top; medium width.
Eyes: brown iris; positioned high enough.
Neck: of medium length; moderately arched; not too strong; transaction 1) I prefer harmonious passage with the chest.
Back: long and with gentle inclination.
Wings: medium length; well tightened to the body; courses not too closed.
Tail: must be the extension of the back without interruption; flow rate not too closed.
Chest: well rounded; carried a little high.
Legs: legs not very visible. Medium length tarsi; in the male a little higher than in the female.
Belly: well developed; without fanone and who does not crawl.

Serious defects:
Non-cylindrical shape. Too horizontal habit; presence of baleen.

2 - Weight
Male: kg. 2.50
Female: kg. 2.0

3 - Plumage
Conformation: well tightened to the body and smooth.

IV - Colors

creamy white background color. Brown-black head with green and bronze reflections, which continues on the neck up to the well-defined and closed white ring. Chest, base of the neck, neck, shoulders and upper part of the hips mahogany brown with cream-white hemming. Creamy white belly. Terminal part of the back, tail covers and anal part of the same color as the head. Dark bronze tail with light cream edging; black-brown curls. Lower part of the back silver to brown gray with dark splashes; look for a cream edging in all feathers. Covering of the wings wavy gray-brown with cream edging. remiganti mixed with cream and brown. Bronze wing mirror with few green reflections, bordered by a dark brown border.
Brown to olive-colored beak with dark nail. Orange tarsiers.
Uniform yellow-brown head and neck and a slight brown design on the head and at the top of the neck; stark contrast between the cream-colored neck, the upper part of the chest, the lower neck, neck, back and sides with the interior of the light brown feathers, cream edging and the brown section clearly visible in the center of the feathers. Lower part of the brown-spotted back. Low chest light brown to cream with dark brown streaks. Coverers of the brown wavy wings. Cream colored remiges mixed with intense brown. Brown wing mirror with few bronze reflections and dark brown border. Medium-intensity brown tail feathers.
Beak colored from slate to black. Brownish tarsi to brown-black.
Serious defects: black parts on the top of the chest, the neck, shoulders and hips; white curls in the male; faded or open ring on the back in the male; eyebrow in the female; total absence of cream-colored hemming; wing mirror blue or with strong green reflections; pure yellow beak in both sexes.

Video: Welsh Harlequin ducks at play (September 2021).