The Welsummer is yet another popular chicken breed. Though it is quite a recent addition to all the breeds of chicken, it has gained a lot of popularity in Australia and UK, and a little bit in the USA. In this article, we will discuss all the important things that you need to know about Welsummers including their history and origin, egg laying capabilities, appearance, size and color, temperament, and how you could properly take care of them.
Origin of Welsummer Chicken
The Welsummer breed has existed for less than 100 years. It was made in a village called Welsum, which is located near Daventer, Netherlands. It was considered a great dual-purpose bird during the post-World War I era. Netherlands is home to many breeds of chicken. To arrive at the Welsummer breed, various breeds were crossed. These breeds include Rhode Island Red, Barnevelder, partridge Leghorn, partridge Wyandotte, and partridge Cochin.
However, some people disagree with the breeds mentioned above. They claim that other breeds such as Malay, Brahma, and Croad Langshan also have genetic contributions to the Welsummer. One thing is for sure though – no one knows for sure which breeds exactly made the Welsummer.
The Welsummer was introduced in the public in 1921 at the Hagues’ World Poultry Congress. Spectators of the event include many European poultry enthusiasts. The Welsummer made its way into England in 1927 and then into the USA in 1928.
In 1927, the Dutch Welsummer Breeders’ Club was founded. The organization aimed to improve and refine the Welsummer breed. Another interesting fact about this chicken breed is that a statue of it was erected in Welsum.
The Welsummer has an overall partridge feather pattern. Most of its body is colored dark brown with some light brown or white feather shafts. Its most noticeable characteristic is its golden-brown colored feathers on its neck and nape. This gives the Welsummer the appearance of a golden mantle.
The rooster Welsummer appears a little different. Its saddle feathers and hackles are colored chestnut brown. They also free flow. The sickles under its feathers and chest are colored luster green, similar to a beetle.
The Welsummer also has a single comb with five points. Its earlobes, wattles, and comb are all colored red. They also have a short beak that has either a horn or black color. The skin of the chicken is color yellow. Its shanks are without feathers. Each of its foot has four toes. The eyes of a Welsummer are also beautiful. They are reddish bay in color. It has a full breast, a long flat back, and an upright stance.
Size and Color
In general, a Welsummer hen weighs around six pounds while the rooster weighs around seven pounds. There is also a bantam variety, which was created in 1930s. The officially recognized varieties of Welsummer include gold duckwing and silver duckwing.
The Welsummer can lay about 160 to 250 eggs every year. This variability implies that Welsummer are not the most excellent birds when it comes to egg production. During winter, they tend to stop producing eggs. But they pick it up again when Spring arrives. Also, make sure to get one of the best chicken nesting pads to foster egg production in Welsummers.
Many people want Welsummer not because of the quantity of eggs that they give but because of its appearance. The eggs look stunningly beautiful. The eggs are dark in color. They have rich terra cotta brown coating. They sometimes have dark speckles.
Welsummer don’t breed well. This means that they don’t tend to sit on their eggs after laying them. Another good thing about this breed is that chicks autosex, which means that you can easily distinguish a male Welsummer from a female one right after hatching.
Welsummers are friendly, docile, calm, and intelligent birds. You can feed them by putting the feeds on the palm of your hands. They will gently peck the feeds without harming your palms. Welsummer have a somewhat strong build compared to other breeds. They are sturdy. But this does not mean that they can be pushy to other birds in the flock. In terms of ranking in the pecking order, they can be somewhere between the middle and the top.
Perhaps one negative thing about this breed is that they can be quite noisy. It might not be a good idea to put them in an open backyard with neighbors nearby. But actually, they only shout when they are not in a good mood.
Welsummers can tolerate confinement well. They are not great flyers and can be good at foraging. They prefer cooler weather. But they can also be quite heat hardy.
Should I Get a Welsummer?
If you want beautiful speckled terra cotta-colored eggs, then go for the Welsummer breed. It was originally a dual-purpose hen so you can expect the chicken to give you both god eggs and meat.
Although they tolerate confinement well, you should give some time for them to free range. They are actually good at foraging so you can save some feeds.
Overall, the Welsummer is an outstanding chicken breed, which is why it is considered to be one of the top 20 chicken breeds. You have been given the most important things that you need to know about the Welsummer – including how the breed originated, its appearance, temperament, size and color, and egg laying capabilities. The choice is up to you now to decide whether to get one for you coop or backyard. Whatever your decision may be, we wish you good luck in your chicken breeding journey!