Monday, March 17, 2014

Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducklings - Week Two


Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducklings

On March 3, 2014 my Welsh Harlequin Ducklings hatched at Metzer Farms and arrived at my house on March 5, 2014. To view the Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducklings- Arrival Day Click Here

Today is March 17, 2014 and my ducklings are now two weeks old.

Being two weeks old means they have double in size and since and are much bigger now from when they hatched.   I have had to move them from their brooder located inside the house to a temporary pen / brooder out in the garage.   Over the past two weeks they have eaten almost 20# of starter /grower and drink about 1 1/2 gallons of water a day.  They also enjoy making a mess and playing in the water, ducklings just want to have fun.

Additionally being two weeks of age means that (according to  Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry, 4th Edition: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guineas, Gamebirds) you change the duckling diet from one that contains 20+% protein to one around 16-17% protein.  Unfortunately Rhode Island feed stores don't carry any waterfowl feed so I will have to augment the current starter/grower feed with 25% old fashion oats.  I have also started giving them some brewers yeast to supplement their Vitamin B (niacin) intake to ensure they have strong legs to waddle with.




They should start growing in their feathers soon and as soon as I can build the duck barn they will be moving to their permanent home.

Stay tuned for further updates....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducklings - Arrival Day


Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducklings 

On March 5th, 2014 I received my Welsh Harlequin Ducklings from Metzer Farms.

I ordered 10 females and 2 males from Metzer Farms and was shipped 10 females, 2 males and one straight run duckling.  Two females died in transport.  

The Cost for the Ducklings:
  • 12 @ $6.65 (Plus) $22.20 for sexing charge (Plus) $16.45 for shipping = $118.45

Metzer Farm was very accommodating and refunded me the cost of the two lost females.

The ducks arrived in the following box
 at the Post Office in Coventry, RI.

Here is the brooder that I have set up for them along with
 the supplies needed for their first few weeks:

Here the ducklings day one exploring and making themselves at home:

The approximate cost for the duckling and supplies needed for this project:

Ducks- $118.00
Brooder- $60.00
Food- $8.00
Feeders (both duckling and future duck size)- $25.00

Total Cost To Date: $211.00

Check back soon as I will be posting additional post on their progress and building the duck coop.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

NOMADIC CHEF: The Ducklings Are Coming, Raising Welsh Harlequin ...

NOMADIC CHEF: The Ducklings Are Coming, Raising Welsh Harlequin ...: The Ducklings are coming, The Ducklings are coming After two years of anticipation and trying to decide whether  I wanted to raise chi...

The Ducklings Are Coming, Raising Welsh Harlequin Ducks

The Ducklings are coming, The Ducklings are coming

After two years of anticipation and trying to decide whether  I wanted to raise chickens or ducks I have decided to raise ducks.

I have decided to raise ducks, but just not any ducks, I have decided that the Welsh Harlequin duck from Metz Farms.  are the ducks for me.

According to Metz Farms the Welsh Harlequin is a fairly new breed, developed by Leslie Bonnett in Wales from two off-colored Khaki Campbell ducklings in 1949. They came to the United States in 1968 and were accepted into the American Poultry Association in 2001 in the Light Duck class. They are becoming a very popular breed due to their multipurpose characteristics.

They have excellent egg production abilities due to their Khaki Campbell background yet retain the instinct to sit and hatch a nest full of ducklings. They are calm, inquisitive and excellent foragers. 

They can also make an outstanding dressed bird as their under-feathers are almost exclusively white making their carcass as pretty as a pure white bird. Interestingly, they can be sexed after hatching with 90% accuracy by their bill color. Darker bills mean a male and lighter bills ending in a dark spot are normally females. Within several days this distinction disappears. They are also a beautiful bird, especially the feather patterns and colors on the adult females.

The ducklings are scheduled to arrive on March 5th 2014. I will have to pick them up at the Coventry, RI post office.

Here are some stock photos from Metz Farm

 Here is the future first home for the ducklings: My Home-Made Brooder