If you’re looking for a gorgeous, friendly, and productive chicken that lays the prettiest dark brown speckled eggs you could imagine, the Welsummer is the perfect bird for you!
I got my first Welsummers in a Cackle Hatchery Suprise Box, the same one that brought me my first Appenzeller Spitzhaubens. They look just like every other brown chipmunk chick at first so it took me a while to realize what I had.
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Since then Welsummers have become some of my favorite chickens. I even ordered more when the original batch began to dwindle in numbers.
There are two main things that Welsummers are known for, the first is their gorgeous speckled dark brown eggs and the second is that the iconic Kellogg’s rooster is a Welsummer.
Starting with the most exciting part, these birds are known for laying dark brown eggs with gorgeous speckles. Now if you’re after the super dark, chocolatey brown eggs you’ll need to get some French Marans but in my opinion, Welsummer eggs are prettier.
It could be a speckled egg bias, I love all things irregular, but there is no denying how gorgeous a Welsummer egg is!
One thing you might not know about eggs is that all eggshells start out as either white or blue. The way we get brown (or green) eggs is with the addition of brown pigment that’s added to the outside of the shell.
That’s why when you crack open a brown egg the inside of the shell is white and why you can rub the color off a brown egg.
The irregular addition of the brown pigment is what causes the speckling. I have one hen that lays the most gorgeous olive green eggs with brown speckling and while I’ll never be able to prove it, I believe she’s a cross between a Welsummer and an Easter Egger.
Read more about Easter Egger Chickens
It’s pretty easy to pick the Welsummer eggs out of the crowd and I can say I’ve noticed they definitely slow down a lot more in the winter than my Brahmas & Wyandottes but not nearly as much as my white egg layers (seriously those birds might as well fly to Florida for the winter).
When it comes to the numbers, Welsummer hens aren’t the best layers but you can certainly do worse! You can expect 200-280 medium-large eggs per year from a hen putting them on par with most of the popular heritage backyard breeds.
Getting to the actual birds themselves, Welsummers are a medium Dutch breed. The hens weigh in around 6 pounds and the rooster doesn’t get much bigger, tipping the scales at a whopping 7 pounds.
For comparison, my Brahma hens are bigger than the Wellie boys! Larger roosters will cause more wear on the hens so having a smaller guy is definitely helpful when it comes to keeping your hens feathered.
The hens are pretty, if basic, in appearance with reddish brown feathers on their bodies and clean yellow legs with a small single comb and red earlobes. The one thing that makes them stand out in a crowd is the yellow feathering on their necks.
They’re a sturdy-looking bird with a wide frame, more similar to a Rhode Island Red or Wyandotte than a slender Polish chicken or even a Leghorn.
Welsummers are active and good foragers, making them a great choice for a free-ranging flock. I’ve had quite a few over the years, including several roosters, and they’ve all been friendly and I’ve never seen a hint of aggression from any of them.
I’ve never had a broody Welsummer, at least not one that was broody long enough to hatch anything. Broodiness is great if you’re trying to hatch out replacement birds but since the hens stop laying when they’re broody the egg production takes a nose dive.
Read more about Broody Hens
If you’re talking about looks when it comes to Welsummers the roosters are where the attention goes.
Between the large red wattles & single comb, bright copper hackle & saddle feathers, and the iridescent black tail feathers it’s hard to know where to look. They really just have it all going on.
Add to that their upright, regal posture with a wide chest and they’re everything you want in a barnyard icon.
Of course, looks aren’t everything and I can say with confidence that they have the personality to match their stunning looks. My rooster Flamingo was almost death-proof and incredibly tolerant even when injured.
The absolute unit of a rooster survived being snatched by a fox at a young age and getting hit by not one, but two cars only to die of old age.
Of course, you don’t have to hit your rooster with a car to test his personality, this was more of an anecdote to share how sweet my Welsummer boys have been even when they had every right to be straight-up nasty.
Read about the Adventures of the Death Defying Rooster: Flamingo
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