The Welsummer chicken breed is distinguished by its beautiful brown and red feathers. It is also renowned for its exceptionally high egg production and superior hardiness in cold climates. Its friendly personality makes it a favorite for small-scale and backyard chicken production.
History of the Welsummer Chicken Breed
The Welsummer (sometimes spelled Welsumer) is named after the village of Welsum, Holland, and was first imported into the United States in 1928. They became popular due to the beautiful dark brown eggs that the hens lay. The Bantam Welsummers were created separately in both England and Germany during the 1930s.
As the Welsummer chicken gained recognition for its unique attributes, it spread beyond its Dutch and English origins. The breed made its way to the United States in the early 20th century, where it was officially recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1991. Since then, Welsummers have become a favorite among backyard chicken keepers and small-scale farmers, appreciated for their dual-purpose capabilities and aesthetic appeal.
My Pet Chicken offers both the standard-size Welsummer.
The Personality of a Welsummer Chicken
The Welsummer chicken breed is a friendly, intelligent, and easily handled bird that loves to free range and forage for food but can also be kept in runs quite happily. These chickens are not known for being overly aggressive or flighty. Welsummers are generally considered easygoing and adaptable.
Welsummers are naturally curious birds that enjoy exploring their surroundings. They are active foragers, spending their time scratching the ground in search of insects, seeds, and other treats. Their natural curiosity can make them entertaining to observe in a backyard setting.
They make great backyard pets for beginner chicken keepers or families with children.
The Appearance of a Welsummer Chicken
When many people picture the stereotypical rooster, a Welsummer is what they have in mind--this was the same rooster featured on the cornflake boxes! Their hackles and saddles are fiery burnt orange and scarlet, with beetle black tails iridescently shining green, like the bars on their wings. The hens are modest, heathery brown, with their hackles shading to glints of gold and black. Even their eyes are a lovely red bay.
The Welsummer chicken breed has single combs, medium-sized wattles, almond-shaped ear lobes, and a strong, short beak. The rooster's weight is 7-8 lbs, and the hen's is 5-6 lbs.
Egg Color and Production of Welsummer Chickens
Hens lay large, medium to deep brown eggs that are often speckled, making them very lovely! The egg coloring is so thick that if you catch it while it is still wet, you can wipe off some of the browns with a clean cloth! Remember that, as with all dark egg layers, the eggs will vary in color, growing lighter as the hens get into the full swing of laying and darkening again after a break in laying (like a molt).
Welsummer hens are very good layers! On average, they lay about 4 per week or 150-200 annually. They usually start laying around 20-24 weeks of age (around 5-6 months old).
Care and Health of Welsummer Chickens
The Welsummer chicken breed is very hardy and can do well in both heat and cold weather. They don't have any specific health concerns and should be cared for as any other chickens in your flock are. The average lifespan of the Welsummer chicken breed is 6-12 years.
Do you have any Welsummer chickens in your backyard flock? Share with us in the comments below.