Pros: Beautiful birds and eggs, hardy, good foragers, good producers of lovely speckled or dark brown eggs

Cons: Can't think of any.

I spent months researching what breed I wanted when I decided to get chickens about 4 years ago.  I settled on the Welsummer for their reputaion as a great back-yard all-purpose bird, which is what they were designed to be.  I also liked the idea of a dark brown or speckled egg.  When I read Will's descrription of them on teh Whitmore Farm website (www.whitmorefarm.com) as his friendliest breed, who laid his customers' favorite eggs, I was sold.  I drove down to his farm in western Maryland and brought home five of his babies, and enjoyed a wonderful tour of his gorgeous, well-managed operation.  My girls started laying at four months (!) and one of them imediately went broody -- rare for a Wellie.  My youngest son was entranced-- i remember watching him out the window one morning as he ran laughing into the coop, and came out with the broody pullet, Mrs. White.  He plunked her down on trhe seat of our garden tractor, where she sat as stil as a statue for 30 minutes.  When I asked him why he did this, he replied delightedly, "You can pick that chicken up and put her anywhere, and she just sits there!"  After she got over her little hormonal fit, she became my best layer.  alll five had very distinct egg patterns, shapes and sizes.  They are great foragers, super-smart, with great survival instincts. They all seem to prefer to forage for seedheads on grasses rather than bugs, except for butterflies and moths, for some reason!  I have four of the five left after four years.

The largest, heaviest one (probably close to 8 lbs) was found dead in my yard during a 100+ degree  humid day (I am in Delaware).  They have a nice grassy, shaded yard and plenty of water, but she was a big. heavy girl and it was just to much, I guess.  Cold does not bother them, though they hate walking in snow (as do all my chickens).  They are all still beautiful, a testament to their good breeding, I am sure.  I get about an egg a week now from each, and what I love is that their eggs, unlike my other older hens', never got excessively large as they aged.  They are nice, large, perfectly-shaped and speckled, which I love.  they get lighter toward the end of the cycle, which is normal.  They laid through the winter for two years, and started to taper off their third year, but I love their peronalities, so I will never put them down.  They are laid back, but don't allow anyone to bully them, including the roos! They like to be around people, and come running when I go out, although they have never loved being held.  If I need to handle them, I get them off the roost in the evening.  I imagine they would make good table birds, too, being heavy, but I can't say since I could never bring myself to eat them ( although I have slaughtered and eaten others -- usually roos, or hens who were mean to other hens). I also have buff orps, Aussies, sex links, and have had barred rocks, but the Wellies are my favorite, and my egg customers love their speckled eggs the best.  Once the coop got inadvertently closed and they could not get in.  I got home after dark and saw this, and went out with a guilty, heavy heart.  I looked around their yard and eventually found them all -- cleverly hidden under various objects like the wheelbarrow, a piece of plywood resting against the fence, etc. I tucked them under my arm and placed each one  lovingly in their coop, none the worse for wear.  They quietly murmered what sounded like " thanks" and hopped up on the roost.  They have never been sick.  My favorite whistles a quiet little song to me if I talk to her on her roost when they first go in, while she gently rocks back and forth.  What's not to love?   


Pros: 5-6 eggs a week, VERY friendly (follows me around the yard) pretty

Cons: haven't found any yet

I love my welsummer hen stella. she was my first chicken and she is the best. she lays well, and she is soo freindly. (probably because she was raised by a class of kindergardeners) she forages well, and i had her free range all summer and she didnt need any feed although i did give her seeds and such every once in a while because she was eating things on my property all day. she is also a survivor. she was sharing the coop with four pullets when one night a raccoon dug under the wire. all four pullets were eaten, but stella, the survivor-survived. she also survived 3 nights in the deep woods of connecticut surrounded by a group of foxes. she his in a tree and we finally found her after shooing away a bunch of foxes. she is amazing. I don't know if i got lucky with her, but if she is the average welsummer, get a flock of them. 


Pros: friendly, outgoing, cute, great egg layer, beautiful eggs

Cons: picked on by other hens

My welsummer, named Pickles, was born with a crooked tail, but this did not stop her from being a friendly, outgoing chicken. She is my favorite chicken in my flock of 6. Also, a little over a year ago, she was attacked by a raccoon at night. If my poodle hadn't woken us up in the middle of the night, then she surely would have been killed by the raccoon. The morning after she was attacked, I did not think she was going to make it. With about 3 weeks of quarantine, treatment, and TLC, she was able to survive. In the attack she lost one of her eyes. It took a while for her to get used to only having one eye, and I had to slowly reintroduce her into the flock. She was picked on a lot at first, but I used a water sprayer, and would spray any chicken that touched her, causing that chicken to run away. After around 3 weeks of slowly reintroducing and spraying the meaner chickens, I was confident that Pickles would be safe back in her flock. It took about 6 months after the attack for her to start laying again, but now, over a year later she is a great layer at over 2 years old. I absolutely love Pickles, she is adorable and has a great personality, and is very friendly with other chickens. Overall, Pickles, my welsummer, is a great bird who has been through a lot.



This photo shows the good side of her face, and her crooked tail. 


Pros: Friendly, beautiful, good layers, easy going

Cons: None

Granted my Wellies are one week old to 9 weeks old, but so far, they're all very personable and easy going. The rooster has been a delight to keep. He's quiet and runs the place well without being in the least mean. He puts down insurrections from our younger roosters without so much as a noise--let alone any real fighting or damage. He's also growing up gorgeous, which can't hurt his chances of being kept around :love The older hen is also very sweet and neither the top of the food chain nor at the bottom. She is particularly inquisitive, and he is particularly laid back. They don't necessarily like being picked up but can be easily handled (seem more confused by it than anything). Neither of them has pecked or scratched anyone--bird or person--even in 'investigating' the new bird on campus. He is very fond of dustbathing and really likes to let everything just hang out, flops out on his sides and everything. 


Pros: Personality, amazing eggs, constistent layer, gorgeous

Cons: None

If you scroll down, you'll see that below the line is my original review of Eula, my Welsummer. But I have to edit it! She has really come into her own over the past year and she deserves a rewrite....


Eula is now 16 months old. And she's simply the BEST girl of my flock of 9!


While she was maturing, she screamed for attention. A LOT. But that stopped once she really embraced her status as top hen. She's not a bully any more either. Maybe she was only establishing her place in the order, I don't know. But all the qualities that were "cons" before have virtually vanished. She's a A+ now. It just took a little while.


She's the top hen, but she's not mean or threatening. She rules fairly and she's very accepting of new flock members. She isn't a huggable chicken, like an Orpington might be, but she's very friendly and runs to me every time I come into the yard. She is a little shy. She does like to sleep with no other chicken too close to her, but she isn't a meanie. She only has to look at another hen to let them know that SHE comes first. She is respected by the everyone, but yet no one fears her. Even my BO has really learned to live with her and no one is getting hurt.


In hindsight, I was much too impulsive with my original review. I tried to changing the star rating, but the system wouldn't let me. I'd easily give her 5 stars now.




My Welsummer, Eula, is about 7 months old as of this post.




Terrific production. She started laying at 24 weeks. So far, I've been getting 6 eggs a week from her consistently.


Beautiful bird. She's much, MUCH prettier than I expected her to be. The photos don't do these pretty girls justice. Her feathers are bold in color, and very silky to the feel. It literally feels like I'm running my hand across fine silk whenever I pet her. 


She's active, curious, only slightly and occasionally skittish. Terrified of any kind of cord or hose -- probably thinks it's a snake, which is a good thing because we have rattlers in our area. She forages, but she's a "delicate" forager, as compared to my BO, which is a ferocious, deliberate and tenacious forager.




Extremely loud. She literally screams her lungs out most of the morning. Surprised the neighbors aren't throwing rocks at my house yet. What she wants is attention. I do spend a lot of time with her, but I can't be there every second of every day, and she's a little high maintenance in the attention department. So she screams when she wants out of the run, she screams when she wants me to come hang out with her,.... she just screams. All. day. long. If I go out and hold her for a few minutes, I can usually get her to stop for a little while. But I can't do that all day -- I have a life! ;P


Bully. She dominates with an iron beak. Hasn't drawn blood (yet!), but does stop the BO from eating and drinking at times. Then again, the BO is a very docile breed. Breaks my heart to see the gentlest one be so intimidated by her. My BO won't even sleep next to her any longer because she's afraid of her now. I may have to put her in "time out" for some much needed discipline if this doesn't resolve itself soon.




I adore her! Full of personality, and oh-so pretty. Lays consistently, beautiful medium-sized dark drown and (sometimes) speckled eggs. Very reliable layer. However, I wouldn't get another -- only because I prefer the docile, more affectionate breeds. And my Welsummer tends to pick on those :(


Pros: Calm, pretty yellow legs & feet, likes to be held

She is very calm and is neither on top of the pecking order or on the bottom.  She likes to forage yet seems content in the run. As a chick, all she wanted was to be held- she would fly over the brooder wall, land on my lap and sleep.  Now a  young pullet, she doesn't mind being held, but no longer seeks me out.  I look forward to her dark brown eggs. Good experience thus far. 


Pros: Pretty eggs, decent layer, lovely bird

Cons: Standoffish, didn't tame well

I cared for a flock of chickens (varied breeds) at my last job, and the welsummer and I had a longstanding feud. Despite all attempts to socialize or bribe her, no matter how much time or how many treats, she did NOT like people and was always the last to be put away because while the others usually cooperated and went into the run when I started rounding them up, miss Poorwinter (yes, we're extremely original) was just as contrary as her name and would run off every which direction, screaming bloody murder and acting generally like an idiot. Her eggs were a pretty medium brown with speckles (they were no where near chocolate, not even at POL, and she was not from hatchery stock), and in summer she laid about 3-4 a week, winter she slowed to 1-2. When I was planning my home flock, I intentionally left out the welsummers. It may just have been my particular hen's personality, but she was such a frustrating bird that I didn't feel the pros outweighed the cons. She also was an aggressive forager and ripped the landscape to shreds, which is fine if you've just got pastures, but for a backyard flock she'd be a nightmare. When planning for dark, pretty eggs, I chose a golden cuckoo marans for the rich browns instead-- much better experience.


Pros: Beautiful, Big eggs, Great foragers, Old breed, Not very broody.

Cons: Bad layers, Rare where I live, Mean to other birds.

I breed Welsummers and these birds would be great for any one.


Pros: Very smart, great layers, beautiful choclate browne eggs!

Cons: None that I can think of.

I have 4 welsummer hens, they were my first to lay, and haven't stopped! They are very smart, the first to use the perch, the first to figure out changes to waterers and feeders. They free range well, but always lay in the coop, so I never have to search for eggs. They lay beautiful, chocolate brown eggs. I often am required to keep them in coop and open topped runs, and have never had one get out when I don't want her to, though she makes it clear she could, if she was so inclined by standing on top of the gate, but never flying over. Over all they have been great ladies!


Pros: good egg color, super smart, pretty, calm

Cons: flighty, timid, doesn't like to be handled

My review is pretty much like many others.  This egg color is amazing.  My hens are timid with humans and at the bottom of the pecking order; they get picked on.  They are flighty and too smart so can get into places they shouldn't be in. LOL. But they are not troublemakers and they are calm and quieter than my Delaware or Astralorp


The Kelloggs Cereal rooster is none other than the Welsummer. The Welsummer is prized for their large dark brown egg, some mottled with brown spots. They originated in Welsum, Holland and are made up from the following breeds; Partridge Cochin, Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Leghorn and later Barnvelder and Rhode Island Red. They are bred towards good layers of large dark brown eggs along with beauty. They have yellow skin and are a nonsitting breed.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceCold
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorDark Brown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well
Breed Colors/VarietiesRed Partridge
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: Cold

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Dark Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Red Partridge

Breed Details:

I was awestruck the first time I saw a flock of Welsummers free ranging. The roosters were breathtaking with their bright colors and size, and the hens had an understated beauty. Then someone showed me an egg and I gasped at the wonderful color and size. I was hooked. In my experience they are a gentle, although not overly friendly breed. They take confinement well.

Hens are very independent and do not tend to go broody. I have heard of roosters being mean but mine have been pretty laid back. Beware dark eggs can be tricky to hatch. Following is some information from the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection:

Standard Weights:

  • Cock 7 pounds
  • Cockerel 6 pounds
  • Hen 6 pounds
  • Pullet 5 pounds

According to the standard colors for males:

  • Comb, face, wattles and earlobes: Bright red. The comb having five regular and distinct points.
  • Beak: Dark horn shading to yellow at point
  • Eyes: Reddish bay
  • Head: Rich golden brown
  • Neck: Hackle - rich golden brown as uniform as possible, free from black striping, some striping allowed in under feathers; Front of neck: same as breast
  • Back: Bright reddish brown; Saddle - Rich golden brown as uniform as possible, free from black striping, some striping allowed in under feathers.
  • Tail: Main tail - lustrous, greenish black; Sickles - lustrous, greenish black; Upper coverts - black; Lower coverts - black edged with brown.
  • Wings: Shoulder front and bows - bright reddish brown; Coverts - lustrous, greenish black forming a wing bar when the wing is folded. A little brown peppering is permissible; Primaries - upper web black; lower web brown; Secondaries - upper web black with brown peppering, lower web brown.
  • Breast: Black with red mottling
  • Body and Fluff: Black and red mottling
  • Legs and Toes: Thighs - black with red mottling; Shanks and toes - yellow.
  • Undercolor of all sections: Slate

According to the standard colors for females are same as males except:

  • Head: Golden brown
  • Neck: Hackle - golden brown or copper, lower feathers with black striping and a golden shaft; Front of neck: same as breast
  • Back: Reddish brown, each feather stippled with black and having a distinct lighter shaft.
  • Tail: Main trail - black; Coverts - black edged with brown.
  • Wings: Bows - same as back; Coverts - chestnut brown; Primaries - upper web black, slightly peppered with brown; lower web brown; Secondaries - upper web black slightly peppered with brown; lower web brown coarsely stippled with black.
  • Breast: Rich, chestnut red going well down.
  • Body and Fluff: Brown with gray shading
  • Legs and Toes: Thighs - same as breast; Shanks and toes - yellow.


  • White earlobes