Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Dark Brown
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, Easily handled, Calm, Bears confinement well
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    Red Partridge
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl

    The Welsummer breed originated in the town of Welsum, Holland. In the early 1900’s 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. There the dark brown eggs were a huge hit with the public. Welsummer hens are justly famous for their very dark terracotta brown eggs, which are often speckled or spotted.

    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.

    Barnevelders, Rhode Island Reds, and Partridge Leghorns are amongst the breeds that were originally used to create the lines of Welsummers we have today.

    The most common color of Welsummer is by far the Partridge, though Silver and Gold Duckwing also exist. They are single combed, the hens are fairly cold hardy and they will go broody occasionally.

    The breed was recognized by the APA in 1991.

    Welsummer eggs

    Welsummer chick

    Welsummer hen

    Welsummer rooster

    For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-welsummer.980204/
  • 9c82b25c_2Welsummerbrownspeckled.jpeg 2bdee14a_welsummer-20455-999663.jpeg e109526b_welsummer-20455-205720.jpeg 43fa6fb8_welsummer-20455-898432.jpeg 636971e2_welsummer-20455-286692.jpeg 1fcc3688_974312061LL.jpeg a6f0a080_1349237374LL.jpeg dc0fc312_70912294LL.jpeg eee8db3d_457017618LL.jpeg 49133951_5913626109_bdc08fe260_z.jpeg 096eb20f_5935031205_e2571496b8_z.jpeg 67a5f29f_5986234152_bdc525cef8_z.jpeg 7d69b41b_6006606205_15816d3422_z.jpeg b9ef30d0_6067200981_ce3c5d2e06_z.jpeg a06040b3_6565994391_b362446e41_z.jpeg dfdcab2e_6679408917_0ff358ed3a_z.jpeg 4436f1c1_200x200px-ZC-9718c22a_SDC11507.jpeg bc5f7d51_100_0845.jpeg 9319f660_Louise.jpeg ac91bd42_Welsummereggs.jpeg 0e776c6c_IMG_3840.jpeg 9002886b_Chicks_Week_1.jpeg 59f3da65_IMG_2417.jpeg 9fa19c8d_PoultryAds10-WellieRooCloseUpGivingUstheEvilEye.jpeg cce15908_Zombie17weeks.jpeg eggs.jpg chick.jpg rooster.jpg LL.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Single
    Broodiness: Seldom
    Climate Tolerance: Cold

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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







Recent User Reviews

  1. lauralou
    "Nice birds"
    Pros - Very nice birds. The eggs are beautiful!
    Cons - None that I can think of.
    I used to keep Welsummers, and would gladly keep them again. Even the roosters. Complete eye candy! And the hens were lovely and sweet. The eggs were the real draw though, rich dark brown, some were even spotted. That was cool.

    Highly recommended.
  2. N F C
    "Wonderful Welsummer"
    Pros - Pretty eggs, nice temperament
    I've had my Welsummer for about 18 months now and really enjoy her. She's chatty and announces to the rest of the flock when I'm coming with treats. She's been a terrific egg layer and the eggs are beautiful. She gets along well with the Cream Legbars and Sapphire that make up the rest of the flock.
  3. Sunshine Flock
    "Heat tolerant and good layers"
    Pros - Great in extreme heat. We average four eggs a day. One of the five hens went broody. 8 of 10 eggs were fertile. Beautiful, protective rooster.
    Cons - All molted their first winter and stopped laying. Their age could have been a factor, not just molting. Eggs aren't all dark chocolate and speckled.
    I chose Welsummers for a couple of reasons. The primary reason was their heat tolerance since it get upwards of 112 degrees during summer here in Redding, California. They are smaller but still robust enough for meat, although we're only raising ours for eggs. I love their auburn coloring, and the roosters are beautiful.

    We got our Welsummers from a local feed store, who in turn ordered them from a huge hatchery in Arizona. I would have preferred getting them from a Wellie breeder, but that wasn't an option at the time. If you want dark chocolate, speckled eggs true to the breed, order your chicks from an established breeder.

    But we adore our flock. They're all Welsummers and get along nicely. Our hen Gertrude went broody earlier this summer and sat on several eggs during the heat. I won't let her sit on eggs after May anymore just to be safe, but was great throughout the three weeks. Very loyal to her clutch and protective, but not mean, and of the five that hatched out, she has been incredibly attentive. They're about three weeks old now and she's still fluffed up and clucking like a proper broody hen, and she takes wonderful care of them.

    As for size, Gertrude is a very large Welsummer, and our hen Rosie is the smallest, and yet they both are good layers with eggs that are nearly the same size. The hens used to jump on my back whenever I'd kneel down, but now they're too heavy for that. But with the chicks every time I kneel down I'm covered in them. They also run to me every time I approach their yard.

    And Henry the Rooster, well, he's my buddy. I adore him and can't imagine not having a rooster. I've been very happy with my Welsummers. I gave them four stars only because I thought they'd lay eggs throughout winter, as I've read elsewhere online. It's possible they will this winter and that their age and/or molting were why they stopped, so I'll be sure to come back here and update my review.

    Oh, and I meant to say: eight of the ten eggs in Gertrude's clutch were fertile. Henry's a stud muffin!

    I hope this was helpful. Cheers.

User Comments

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  1. feathermania
    We have 2 Welsummers and we love them!! They are so friendly and beautiful. And one of them is always "talking". They come up to us to be petted and they follow us all over our yard.

    Addition: We have had a lot of snow, about 3 feet after it settled (highly unusual for our area). Out of all of our hens, our Welsummers are by far the most curious! Betty (she took longer to mature than Shirley) decided to take a shortcut when following me through the paths in the snow that I had dug. She ended up on top of some very fluffy snow. She tried to get down, but ended up sitting until I could pick her up and put her back in the path. Then about a week later, she decided to try it again. This time the snow was solid enough that she could walk on top, only sinking a couple of inches every 3 steps. She made it down without a problem. About 10 minutes later, I heard a commotion and saw that Shirley had jumped up on top of the snow. She panicked and flailed around until I was able to get their treat container and shake it. She focused on that and finally made it out onto the path on her own. They are sweet, super curious and really comical!
  2. Serenityintheverse
    Mine is a talker! She is a gem
      N F C likes this.
  3. N F C
    I got 2 Wellies from a fellow BYC member in April. One turned out to be an "oops" rooster but so far, he has been great. He's calm, has a pretty quiet crow and is so handsome. The female is the sweetest bird in my flock and the least shy about coming up to greet me (looking for a handout of course, lol). It's too soon to see how she does with egg laying but so far, I've totally enjoyed the 2 Welsummer's I have.
  4. Egg-citable
    I have 3 in my flock of 5. They are Frick. Frack,. and Tiny Tina. They are absolutely the funniest things in the world! This morning one got a small worm and was running around the run with the others chasing after. They are very friendly and good layers. I would recommend this breed for anyone. They are also screamers.
  5. lifein1840
    Pretty hen, pretty eggs, good all around chicken.
      Phaedra Winters likes this.
  6. N F C
    Thanks for the review Banty! I got one of these girls as a chick about 4 weeks old and hope to enjoy her as much as you do yours.
      Better Than Rubies likes this.
  7. Lkcoop66
    This web site is one of the most informative sites I have had the pleasure of reading.
      happyfrenchman and Sparkle110 like this.
  8. clownychick
    aww, what a sweetie. RACCOONS SUCK!!
  9. Texas Kiki
    She is pretty. I just got 2 baby chicks of this breed, I can't wait for them to grow up!
  10. jas humbert
    I have two wellies. Middle of the flock, not bullies, dont get picked on much either. Friendly- will let me pet them and will tolerate being picked up but not super cuddly. Lay large very dark brown eggs- not quite maran brown - but significantly darker than typical. Good all around bird- fairly calm- don't pick on my silkies. .

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