Welsh Harlequin Duck
Facts about Welsh harlequin Ducks. The Welsh harlequin is a domestic duck breed that comes from Wales. A duck farmer, Criccieth Group Captain Leslie Bonnet had discovered a color mutation back in the year of 1949. Than he began selectively breeding the trait between the mutant pure Khaki Campbells. By the year 1968 he began exporting hatching harlequin eggs to Tennessee in the United States of America and than started importation of live Welsh harlequin Duck started in 1981.
Appearance of the Welsh harlequin duck.
The female Welsh harlequin duck has a black bill and her plumage and has brown stripping is creamy white and the edges are white in color. Drakes on the other hand are quite similar to a faded mallard. However the Welsh Harlequin Duck have a yellow bill and their wings may bear a shiny green cross-band on the edging. The upper back of the Welsh harlequin duck usually has a tortoise effect in brown, cream, chestnut and white while the fore-wings are reddish-brown and cream-white. The Welsh Harlequin Duck has orange-colored feet and legs while else the toe-nails are brownish-black. While compared to the rest of the body, the crown of the head usually have a browner tinge. Welsh Harlequin Ducks are normally streamlined with relatively long bodies while compared to ducks of same size. The Welsh Harlequin Duck have medium-width backs and full abdomens. Their chests are rounded and have wide-spaced legs. The neck is topped with a lean oval head that sports a medium-length concave bill.
Welsh Harlequin Ducks are related to geese and swans and the duck is the smallest of these birds with shorter wings and neck and a stocky body. Welsh Harlequin Ducks on average live 4 to 8 years and can live up to 12 years depending on the breed. The Welsh harlequin duck as we know today bears a vivid plumage and is a fantastic egg layer. Although we wouldn't say that the Welsh harlequin Duck is a superior breed or is overly big the duck is also not the a small breed. The adult male Welsh harlequin duck weighs an approximate 5 to 6 pounds (2.2 to 2.7 kg).
Uses of the Welsh harlequin duck.
Duck farmers use birds that are good at laying eggs if they are not heavy enough for commercial meat production. The Welsh Harlequin Duck egg laying ability is ultimately valued highly as some hens have been recorded to have production that does not only rival that of chickens but also exceeds it. This coupled with the fact that the Welsh Harlequin Duck is highly broody and a pair of ducks, the female and the drake, can produce without human supervision or interference, makes the Welsh Harlequin Duck very profitable in terms of reproduction. Due to the fact that the Welsh harlequin duck has a calm disposition and is a good layer, the duck has become a backyard pet in most recent years. The year 2000 census carried out by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in North America proved that the Welsh Harlequin Duck specific breed of duck is critically endangered since the headcount was only a hundred and eight breeding birds.
"Scientific name for Duck Anas Platyrhynchos" meaning - Wild dabbling duck from which domestic ducks are descended. From New Latin "anas" meaning "Duck" and the word Platyrhynchos comes from "platyrrhine" Ancient Greek meaning broad snouted, flat-bridged nose.
Welsh Harlequin Ducks are birds in the Class of "Aves". Ducks of all types are part of the bird family "Anatidae". Welsh Harlequin Ducks are also called "waterfowl" they are generally found in places were there is water such as ponds, rivers, streams, lakes and occasionally your back yard pool.
Welsh Harlequin Duck is a Precocial meaning Born or hatched with the eyes open, a covering of hair or down, capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth and able to leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.
A male adult Welsh Harlequin Duck is called a drake and a adult female Welsh Harlequin Duck is called a hen. A young baby Welsh Harlequin Duck is called a duckling. A group of ducks is called a brace, raft, team, flock or paddling. The male Welsh Harlequin Ducks drakes are the brightly colored ducks while the female hen are usually a plain colored brown for hiding purposes to be camouflaged from their enemies when they are sitting in their nests.
Features about the Welsh Harlequin Duck Bill
The bill is what is call a Welsh Harlequin Ducks mouth. There are no teeth in the ducks bill they have rows of thin bristles which helps them to filter pieces of nutrition out of the water. Welsh Harlequin Ducks swallow there food whole and it goes to an organ called a gizzard, were the food is first ground up and than moves on to the stomach. The different bill shapes and sizes for finding food has over time mutated to fit each environment for each duck. The bill is flat and broad and has rows of fine incision along the outer edge called lamellae. meaning a thin membrane, plate, scale or layer, as of cell wall or bone tissue. The larnellae helps the Welsh Harlequin Duck to clutch food for feeding. Underneath the water-proof coat are downy soft fluffy feathers which keep the Welsh Harlequin Ducks body warm. Welsh Harlequin Ducks keep clean by being able to turn their heads completely backwards and put their bill into their feathers by preening themselves.
About Water-proof Feathers, special feature that the Welsh Harlequin Duck is its water-proof feathers, even when the duck dives underwater, its downy under-layer of feathers will stay totally 100% dry. There is a special gland called the Preen Gland also called Oil Gland or Uropygial that produces oil that is near the Welsh Harlequin Ducks tail which covers and spreads the outer coat of the duck's feathers which makes the duck water-proof.
In the wild the male Welsh Harlequin Duck will guard their nest by chasing away other ducks. Once the female Welsh Harlequin Duck lays 5 to 10 eggs, she will start to sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they can hatch into baby ducklings. The eggs will hatch on average within 26 to 28 days. Baby Welsh Harlequin ducklings are able to fly within 5 to 8 weeks.
In captivity Ducks will lay more eggs when there is more daylight that's why farmers will keep the lights on in the ducks house for longer periods of time. At about 5 to 7 months old in captivity the Welsh Harlequin Duck are excellent year-round layers, producing 250 to 330 awesome tasting pearly white-shelled eggs all yearly.
Ducks fly in a V shape to makes flying easier.
The Welsh Harlequin Duck is a great forager. This duck is a favorite due to the fact that it produces a lean carcass. Unfortunately for the Welsh Harlequin Duck its light colored feathers do not go unnoticed by the birds of prey. Since it is not a heavy breed it will more often than not be prone to being preyed on by hawks and eagles.
Features about Welsh Harlequin Duck Feet
Welsh Harlequin Ducks have webbed feet that makes them act like paddles designed for swimming. The Welsh Harlequin Duck push their webbed paddle feet back in a kicking motion, this allows them to move swift through the water and when the feet come back, they close for less water resistance. The Welsh Harlequin Ducks paddle feet do not feel cold even when it swims in cold icy water. The webbed feet makes a duck waddle instead of walk. The duck's feet have capillaries which help blood flow to their feet. The warm blood flow down the leg and creates a heat exchange system or countercurrent. When the blood flows down the leg it meets the cold blood and is warmed up to keep the Welsh Harlequin Ducks feet warm. Ducks feet are thin because they contain soft tissue and few muscles.
Features about Welsh Harlequin Duck egg
A Welsh Harlequin Duck egg has twice the nutritional value than a chicken egg and will stay fresh longer because of their thicker shell.
Welsh Harlequin Duck eggs are richer with more Albumen "the white of an egg" making pastries and cakes richer and fluffier. A Duck Egg has more Omega 3 fatty acids than a chicken egg. Omega 3 is thought to improve skin health, memory and Brain health. Welsh Harlequin Duck Eggs are an Alkaline producing food and a Chicken egg is an acid food and leaves your body more acid. Welsh Harlequin Duck eggs are high in Cholesterol. Duck eggs have 6 times the Vitamin D and 2 times the Vitamin A than a chicken egg. Welsh Harlequin Duck eggs have 2 times the cholesterol than a chicken egg.
Welsh Harlequin Ducks see in color with very good vision and can see well underwater. Welsh Harlequin Ducks have three eyelids the third eyelid called nictitating membrane. They have a top and bottom as well as a third eyelid that is found on the side of the eye. The Welsh Harlequin Ducks eyelid blinking acts as a windshield wiper to clear the eye. This helps to see when diving under water can also help the eye from drying out while flying. This is an act of constantly cleaning and keeping the eye moist.