Welsummer Chicken Breed

Above: Partridge Welsummer Rooster

Welsummers are what typically comes to mind when one thinks “rooster”.  In fact, it is speculated, because of their amazingly close resemblance, that the Corn-Flakes rooster is non other than a Welsummer…

Welsummer History

Welsummers originated in Netherland, specifically in Welsum, a dutch village. This is where the breed got its name.

Physical Characteristics

The most common Welsummer color variation is Partridge (which greatly resembles that of Red Jungle fowl). However, two other varieties are recognized: Golden Duckwing and Silver Duckwing. The Duckwing varieties bear a strong resemblance to silver Dorking chickens. However, Welsummers have 4 toes and yellow legs (unlike Dorkings). All Welsummers have clean (non-feathered) shanks and feet and have brown, orange, red and/or gold colored eyes.

Above: Partridge Welsummer hen

Size

This breed is medium weight. A Standard Welsummer rooster will weigh ~7-8 pounds and a Standard Welsummer hens will weigh ~4-6 pounds. However, bantam (miniature) variations are available. A bantam Welsummer rooster will weigh ~34 ounces and a bantam Welsummer hen will weigh ~30 ounces.

Hardiness

Welsummers are fairly hardy except roosters have large, pointed, single combs. For this reason, they are prone to frost-bite on their combs in below-freezing temperatures (you can read about chickens in the cold here: How Cold is to Cold for Chickens?). However, the hens have fairly small combs which makes hens less susceptible.

Productivity

 Wesummer hens lay ~180 eggs per year, which makes them rather productive egg layers. However, Welsummers are known to be seasonal layers and do not lay well through colder seasons (unlike Faverolles). Welsummers also lay beautiful Burgundy/reddish-brown eggs that commonly mottled/speckled. This gives Welsummer eggs a unique, colorful appearance. Welsummer chickens are not just superb egg-layers, they known for their meat quality as well.

Above: Dona, a rescued hen

Temperament

Welsummers generally are very easy-going and have mellow temperaments.  Additionally, they are generally good with handling.  However, since Welsummers are generally submissive, they may get bullied/picked on when placed in large flocks or with other, bigger breeds.

Activity Level

Welsummers bear confinement fairly well (they are less prone to boredom issues than many other breeds). However, at the same time, they are productive foragers and enjoy roaming.

Intelligence level

The Welsummer is reputably a very intelligent breed. I have experienced this by a definite. My Welsummer hen (Dona) is an escape artist… and a good flyer (bad combo). My Welsummer rooster (Henry) had very strong flock-keeping instincts while still remaining docile towards people.

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