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Chicken Breeds item created by dheltzel, Feb 17, 2016
Pros - Calm, beautiful dark brown eggs, auto-sexing, pretty makrings
Cons - Low on the pecking order, doesn’t like being handled
We got a Welbar for the auto sexing and brown eggs. She is the lowest of our pecking order, but is an opportunist. She will steal a treat even from our lead hen, and deal with the consequences. I love her beauty and her chocolate colored eggs. She doesn’t like being handled, and is a bit fearful, but we stil love her.
Pros - Lots of very dark eggs from beautiful, calm hens
Cons - Not yet readily available
I had heard of Welbars and read about the ones in the UK, but they were not available in the US, so I decided to re-create the breed here. It turns out that this is easy to do, there are known "recipes" for the crosses that are needed. It took over 2 years of intensive crossing and selection to get there, but I'm extremely pleased with how they turned out. I am surprised at how dark the eggs are compared to pure Welsummers, I expected the initial cross to a barred rock would more or less permanently lighten the eggs, but I can't find any discernable difference in coloring or size. I have a pullet that lays lighter colored eggs than the others, but then I have 1 or 2 Welsummer pullets that do that also.
These are now one of my favorite breeds, I expect to have them for a long time.
Welbar related web pages:
http://www.harislau.info/welbars - Best site for info about history and genetics behind Welbars
http://welbars.com - My site with pictures
https://www.facebook.com/greenfirefarms/posts/719438931492991:0 - Facebook post about Greenfire importing Welbars for 2017 availability