Yesterday we added a new species to the farm. Four Welsh Harlequin ducks, about 6 months old and just started laying. I had planned on getting Indian Runner ducks (primarly because they are good layers and the come in the 'typical' white with orange bill colouring - our daughter is a mad Jemimah Puddleduck fan...). As it is the Welsh Harlequin is a rare duck breed, which was derived from the Kahki Campbell duck - which is a very good layer.
The ducks are very beautiful (I would love to get a drake of the same breed they are stunning!), and fairly calm for ducks, although they don't really like the kids running around them too much. At the moment they are confined to a small pen and yard. I have 2 side by side, so I'll rotate the ducks between the yards once it gets too muddy. We will eventually fence off an orchard and let them run around there. I'd love to set up a 'duckaponics' system to grow rice, but that will probably be a few years down the track.
Our reasoning for getting ducks is to complement the egg laying of our hens - ducks are happy in the winter and lay well when the hens mope an moult their feathers and don't lay much. The ducks will slow down when the hens will pick up the pace in summer. We do lots of baking and cooking and use lots of eggs, so diversifying our egg production is important to keep us in good fresh eggs.
The kids are rapped in the latest additions, and the paler duck is of course Jemimah Puddleduck.