Welsummer

Welsummer

The Welsummer breed of chickens originated in the little Dutch village of Welsum, Holland somewhere around the turn of the century. This is how they came to be named Welsumer. This changed to Welsummer when they were brought to the States.

They were developed there from breeds like the Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin, Partridge Leghorn, and then later, the Barnevelder and RIR were added to the mix.

The Welsummer

Welsummer chickens are highly sought after as a production bird. They lay a good amount of beautiful large dark red/brown eggs. The eggs are also sometimes speckled with a dark over coloring.

The plumage of the male Welsummer is very different from the plumage of the females. The male’s saddle, head and neck feathers are rich golden brown while the back, wing front and wing bows are bright reddish brown. Each feather on the back of the females is reddish brown, stippled with black, and has a distinct lighter shaft. Mature hens weigh about 5 pounds.

Brown/Red is the Standard color of the Welsummer, but it also occurs in Silver Duckwing and Gold Duckwing in both Large Fowl and Bantam chickens. Their feathers are very elegant.

Welsummer cocks have a real maternal nature and are willing to accept young birds into their flock, usually more so than the hens. The roosters have gone so far as to stay down from roost at night to care for peeps or baby chicks, falling just short of brooding them.

Welsummer hens, on the other hand, have little to no tolerance for chicks, period. The hens seldom go broody and seem to lack any maternal instinct whatsoever. You’ll have to find a different breed to brood your Welsummer eggs or incubate them yourself.

Young Welsummers can be quite nervous. You can combat that by having a mild mannered breed like Cochins or Single Comb Rhode Island Reds brood and hatch the eggs for you. The young birds will feed from the calmness, and ultimately end up a sweet and gentle bird. The birds also mellow dramatically when they reach maturity.

We got our Welsummer hen from Crystal over in Knoxville, MD. She is a sweetheart and lays about 4 dark brown speckled eggs a week. She is tame and loves to be helped up on the roost at night. She also has a weakness for bread and would probably eat a whole loaf herself if the opportunity showed.

Photo of Welsummer hen with Wyandotte Splash rooster, Cochin Frizzle rooster, EE hen, and a pair of Russian Orloffs in the background.

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