Welsummer Chicken: Egg Production, Breed Personality and Care

Welsummer Chicks Featured Image
Welsummer chickens are great layers (160+ eggs per year) while being calm and friendly. They make excellent family pets for the backyard chicken coop and are ideal for the first-time owner.

Welsummer chickens are named after the village of Welsum, Holland which is in the Netherlands, where they originate. These beautiful birds were bred from several different chicken breeds including Barnevelders, Cochins, Partridge Leghorns, and Rhode Island Reds.

This dutch chicken breed is dual-purpose and can be used for both egg production and meat. It is a popular choice for backyard chickens for this reason.

The Welsummer comes in both standard and bantam varieties and is recognized by the American Poultry Association after the bird came to the United States in 1928.

The Welsummer is a long-lived breed with an average lifespan of 9 years.

What do Welsummer Chickens Look Like?

The Welsummer is a bird with a distinctive look that can easily be picked out amongst other chickens. These beautiful birds are subject to a breed standard as they are recognized by the APA.

The Welsummer hen has a heathery brown body with a red partridge pattern while the Welsummer rooster has golden brown feathers, triangular wing patches on the saddle feathers, with a green chest and wings.

Both the hen and rooster have bright red almond-shaped earlobes, red combs and wattles and red bay-colored eyes. The rooster’s comb is extremely prominent, while the hen has a smaller single comb.

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These birds also have yellow skin and yellow legs.

If you’ve ever seen a box of Cornflakes by Kellogg, this is the bird featured on it.

Are Welsummer Hens Good Egg Layers?

Welsummer pullets are decent egg layers and produce an egg color that is brown with pretty speckles. They lay approximately 160 eggs per year.

Welsummer egg size varies from medium to large, and a single hen can produce different shades of dark brown eggs depending on her egg laying cycle.

Egg Production160 eggs per year
First Laying20 to 24 weeks
Laying Span3 years+
Egg ColorDark brown
Egg SizeMedium to large
Lays in Winter?Sometimes

One interesting fact about Welsummer eggs is the dark brown pigment on them can be removed by wiping the eggs. But why do that? Their eggs are among the most beautiful of any breed.

To optimize egg production, you will need to ensure you have plenty of nesting boxes for your hens – one 12X12 box will accommodate up to three hens and keep the eggs clean and easy to collect.

Be sure to provide extra calcium by way of mineral grit (oyster shells) for your hardworking hens to help them produce strong eggshells.

Are Welsummer Chicks Easy to Breed?

Breeders of Welsummer chicks have said that producing these baby chicks is not more difficult than any other breed.

As with breeding any chicken, it is important to start with healthy parentage and keep a close eye on the eggs. Some Welsummer hens do go broody and it is important to recognize if the eggs need to be placed in incubation to help them along.

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Group of Welsummer chickens and rooster
Welsummer chickens are just as easy to breed as most others

Once the eggs are in the incubator, and if you’re keeping the temperature and moisture consistent, you should have hatching eggs in 21 to 22 days. You can keep the baby chicks in the hatchery for a day or two before moving them to a brooder box.

One huge plus in breeding Welsummers is you can easily sex the chicks because the females will have significantly darker head and back markings than the males.

Keep in mind that Welsummer hens are not known as especially good mothers. It will be up to you to ensure the baby chicks are thriving, and have enough food, water, and supplements to their diet, as necessary.

Occasionally a Welsummer cockerel or rooster may show signs of aggression but it is not typical of the breed. If your cock is overly aggressive, you may need to remove him from the hens to prevent injury or use a chicken saddle for breeding purposes.

What Kind of Personality do Welsummer Chicks Have?

Welsummer chickens have docile and friendly personalities and are especially easy to handle for beginners. They are quite a common breed in Europe, America, and Australia for their temperament.

They are foragers and prefer to be free-range though they can also do well confined in chicken coops and runs, as long as they have some access to perform foraging activities.

Welsummer hens outside
Welsummer chickens enjoy free-ranging and will enjoy following you in the garden

If you need to keep your birds somewhat confined, a chicken tractor can be helpful in giving your flock access to tasty treats they can find by pecking in the ground to supplement their diets.

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What Health Problems do Welsummer Chickens have?

Welsummer chickens are fairly hardy and healthy birds and can do well in different climates. However, due to the prominent comb they possess, they can be prone to frostbite during winter. Having a heat lamp is essential in cold temperatures to prevent this.

Like other birds, they can be prone to ectoparasites and as such will need an area to take dust baths. You will also need to ensure your birds are up to date on any required vaccinations for their overall health and well-being.

Are Welsummer Chicks Right for Me?

Welsummer chickens are a great choice for anyone who is looking for a gentle bird that is easily raised and can provide both plentiful eggs and meat.

Welsummer chicks aren’t more difficult to care for than other breeds and are typically healthy. They can survive in both warm and cold climates.

These birds are beautiful and their worldwide popularity is a testament to how wonderful they are to keep for backyard coops.

Christina

A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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