Welsummer Chicken Hens Lay Large, Rich, Terra Cota-Colored Eggs

Posted by Christy Caplan
Welsummer

The Welsummer chicken is underrepresented in backyard flocks. The hens are widely known for their happy and gentle disposition. After researching this chicken breed and looking at all their dark brown eggs on Instagram, I'm sold on the Welsummer chicken breed and should add the hens to my flock. They're beautiful!

Backyard Chickens also explain that this breed does well in mixed flocks, too.

"The hens have a nice disposition and do good in mixed flocks. They are also very good layers, with some hens laying up 250 or more eggs a year. The egg color and production make them a very popular addition to backyard flocks for people looking for a dark brown egg to add to the egg basket."

The most common color of Welsummer is the partridge, though silver and gold duckwing also exist. They are single-combed, the hens are fairly cold-hardy and they'll go broody occasionally. Nothing is more important than a cold-hardy bird. 

Reasons to love them

Roy's Farm reviews what's great about this breed:

  • Colorful chickens
  • Lay beautiful eggs
  • Good for meat production
  • Very hardy birds
  • Friendly and calm
  • Long laying season
  • Good forager
  • Not aggressive
  • Good for free-range

These benefits far outweigh that they're a little loud!

History

According to experts at Backyard Chickens, the Welsummer breed originated in the town of Welsum, Holland.

In the early 1900s, a farmer's son in the area began concentrating on improving the local birds and he soon developed an exceptional line. His birds were shown at the World's First Poultry Congress in 1921.

In the next few years, fanciers wrote a breed standard for the Welsummer, and in 1927, a Dutch association of Welsummer breeders was formed. The Welsummer became widely known when their eggs were exported to other European countries for the commercial egg trade. 

Qualities

This bird has some really nice qualities. All I could find were comments about how chicken keepers love their Welsummers and how friendly they are.

  • What about overall temperament? They are an intelligent bird, also calm, friendly and docile.
  • They also prefer colder temperatures and are known as a cold-hardy bird!
  • This breed has a lifespan of 9 years and they're a sturdy breed with very few known health issues.
  • They shout the loudest and can be noisy! (I have plenty of birds that are noisy like my Polish birds and I love their personalities).
  • The standard color of this breed is red partridge. 

Egg production

These brown eggs are stunning! According to The Happy Chicken Coop, there is a huge variation in egg production numbers, anywhere from 160-250 eggs per year.

"They do tend to drop or stop production over the winter months but pick right up again during the spring. My Welsummers have put out around 4 eggs per week during their prime years. However, it's not the quantity but the visual quality of the eggs that is stunning.

The eggs should be a dark, rich terra cotta brown sometimes with dark speckles. The pigmentation of the egg is so rich that you can wipe it off with your fingers when cleaning the eggs if you aren't careful."

The eggs are often speckled!

The Welsummer hen is now on my list of must-have chickens. My list continues to grow longer every day. My Wyandotte chickens may need some company this summer. The one color missing in my rainbow of eggs is a dark brown. My Rhode Island Red lays beautiful brown eggs (more golden brown), but they're much lighter than Welsummer eggs.

These beautiful birds would make a wonderful addition to a flock of Leghorn chickens!

Know someone who would like to add chickens to their flock? Tell us in the comments below!

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Welsummer Chicken Hens Lay Large, Rich, Terra Cota-Colored Eggs