In comparison to most chickens in Europe, the Welsummer chicken is surprisingly recent. However, this Dutch bird has taken many places in Europe by storm. This isn’t surprising, really. It is certainly not going to be difficult to find Welsummer chicks for sale online or in your local hatchery.
This is due to the fact that the Welsummer chicken is an excellent dual-purpose chicken breed.
Let’s take a little look at in some more depth, shall we?
Welsumer Chicken Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||160 per year|
|Use||Dual Purpose (Meat + Eggs)|
|Comb Type||Single comb type|
|Weight||Male Standard: 7 lb (3.2 kg)|
Male Bantam: 34 oz (965 g)
Female Standard: 6 lb (2.75 kg)
Female Bantam: 30 oz (850 kg)
|Temperament||Friendly and docile|
|Country of origin||Netherlands|
The Origins of the Welsummer Chicken
It was in the early twentieth century when the breed first started to be developed, and it became officially recognized as a breed in the early 1920s. However in the US, it was admitted to the APA in 1991.
We know that the chicken breed was initially developed in Welsum in the Netherlands, hence the name. Actually, the story about the development of this breed is very interesting.
A farmer from these village, began crossing some local chickens with the Barnevelder chicken. He was doing this until he finally obtained a stable cross. That is how the Welsummer chicken was developed.
Don’t worry if you have never heard of the place, it is a rather small village.
It wasn’t until 1930 that the Welsummer chicken really started to become popular, though. It was around this time that the breed was introduced to the United Kingdom, and then a few of the birds were shipped off over to Australia.
Even today, these countries are more popular for this chicken breed than the originating country! This is incredibly rare for a chicken breed, to be honest.
It is difficult to find this breed in the United States. While it certainly exists as a breed here in the US, it never quite ‘took off’ in the same way.
This is likely down to the fact that there are several chicken breeds in the United States that pretty much do the same job as this one.
The Look of the Welsummer Chicken
The Welsummer Chicken is available in both standard and bantam sizes with the former, of course, being a lot more popular as a chicken breed.
Have you ever seen the Kellogg’s cereal? If you have, then you will have seen a Welsummer Chicken. The bird is the exact one featured in their branding.
We are not sure why this particular bird was selected, considering there are plenty more chicken breeds that are actually American to choose from, but we guess that Kellogg just loved it!
The Welsummer chicken stands up nice and straight. Almost majestic.
They have a single comb with five points on it, longer in the middle than in the end. This comb will always be a bright red. Their legs will be yellow.
It is worth noting that this breed of chicken has a very deep breast. It is also very meaty which, of course, should come as no surprise since it is originally designed as a meat bird.
As a Show Bird
This bird isn’t really for show. Yes, there are Welsummer chicken shows, and they can be quite competitive at times. However, the shows are going to be quite rare.
This is because it is not the primary purpose of the chicken, and it never will be the primary purpose of the chicken. If you are looking for a chicken breed that you can enter into dedicated chicken shows, then the Welsummer chicken is not for you. Check out our other article about best show chicken breeds.
That being said, it is not difficult to be enamored by the beautiful look that the Welsummer chicken boasts. While this is going to be an incredibly useful bird to raise, it also does look delightful. This means that you can use it as an ornamental chicken, if you wish.
The Welsummer Chicken Eggs
The Welsummer hen is able to lay 160 eggs per year. The bantam version of the chicken can produce a little bit more than this although, of course, their eggs are going to be a touch smaller due to their size.
One of the main reasons why the Welsummer chicken was initially raised was due to the beautifully colored eggs that it produces.
If you love eggs that are a deep shade of brown, then the Welsummer chicken is for you. This is one of a few dark brown egg layers out there.
These eggs are not too bad when it comes to size either! They certainly do err on the larger side of things.
The chicken egg from this breed is a little bit more unique than the eggs from other breeds, though. You see, a lot of the pigment is added to the egg after it has been formed.
This means that you can rub the pigment off a little bit. While it is not a particularly useful trait, we figured you may want to know that!
Raising This Breed As a Meat Chicken
If you want meat chicken breeds, then the Welsummer Chicken is for you. In fact, nowadays, the meat that they produce is the main reason as to why they are raised.
The Welsummer is a very meaty chicken, with very deep breasts. While they do not grow particularly quickly in comparison to other chicken breeds, they are easy to raise. This means that they will be suitable for commercial chicken farming.
One of the wonderful things about the Welsummer chicken is that despite them being on the larger side of things, their meat still tastes great. It is not overwhelmed with fat, and since the chicken is slow growing, the meat just tastes better.
Looking After Welsummer Chicken
Since this is a breed that was (mostly) developed for commercial chicken farming, it is not going to be especially tricky to look after.
In fact, they have no health issues, and as long as they have access to food and water, this is a bird that tends to be quite content with life. However, we do recommend that they have a bit of space to roam around in.
The one issue that you may have will be if it gets too cold. Since they have a larger comb, there is a strong chance that they could get frostbite. This means that you will need to look into ways in which you can protect this.
In terms of personality, this is an exceedingly friendly chicken. As a result, we recommend that this chicken is suitable for families.
You could even hand rear it, if you want. However, do bear in mind that this chicken does enjoy foraging, so you will want to ensure that you have a lot of space available for it to do this.
Welsummer Chicks for Sale
If you are lucky enough to live near a local hatchery where you can find Welsummer chicks for sale, that is great. If, however, you are among the unfortunates that are unable to do so, consider the following hatcheries as good options: