Day Old Welsummer Baby Chicks
When someone says the word “rooster,” there’s a good possibility that you picture a Welsummer. The rooster on the Kellog’s Cornflakes box - whose name is Cornelius - is a Welsummer.
Production: Welsummer hens lay about 160 dark brown eggs per year, making these birds a good dual-purpose breed for the small flock keeper.
Temperament: While Welsummers are not particularly docile, they are intelligent and friendly. They are also quite active, and one of the best free-range foraging breeds available.
History: This breed was first imported into the US in the early 20th century, and was accepted into the British standards in 1930. The wait was longer here; the American Poultry Association did not include the Welsummer in its Standard of Perfection until 1991.
The name Welsummer is derived from the village where this breed was developed. It is a Dutch name, and the village of Welsum is located in the Netherlands. This practical and beautiful breed was quickly exported to England and other parts of Europe in the early 1900s.
Welsummers lay beautiful dark brown eggs that are a terra cotta color, which is one of the many reasons they are quite popular. They are heavy enough to be used for meat, as well. Their skin is yellow, as are their legs.
APA Class: Continental Class
Color Description: Females are a lovely partridge color, and males have an intricate and beautiful coloring which includes a dark red across the saddle and bright green in the wings, as well as beautiful, black tail feathers. The comb, wattle, and earlobes are bright red.
Welsummers have one additional, very practical quality. This breed can be sexed upon hatching. There are obvious differences between males and females immediately. Females have dark, clearly defined lines around their eyes, and extending beyond the eyes, while the same line on males is indistinct and blurry. Females also have a clearly defined dark triangle on the tops of their heads and males have a less obvious, much blurrier marking.
Livestock Conservancy Status: Not applicable because it is still considered new to the US.
Body Type: Welsummers are heavy chickens, with an upright stance and proud bearing.
Weight: Cockerel 6 lbs, Pullet 5 lbs
Photo courtesy of Brenda Eldridge