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Chicken Breeds item created by Super Admin, Jan 10, 2012
Pros - Nice-looking, Great Egg Layers, Pretty Eggs, Good Free-Rangers, Handleable
Cons - MINE IS VERY LOUD, Not Easy to Catch
My experience with Welsummers have been great!
She is very pretty. I love her golden nape (back of neck) feathers.
Her eggs are amazing! I love their dark color! She is a consistent and reliable layer.
She is very predator-aware and free-ranges well. She always stays with the group, but is less inclined to stray from cover.
She is hard to catch, but is extremely docile once in my arms. She never tries to flap away, like my other girls do when restrained.
Mine screams! She is stupendously loud EVERY morning.
She is really difficult to catch, which can be a pro with predators.
Consensus: I would recommend her for any free-ranging flock
Pros - Independent, Smart, Good Forager,
Cons - None
My Welsummer has been top hen from day one, even keeping our young cockerel in line when I first introduced him. She lays well, though not as often as my EE's. I still get 3-4 eggs a week from her, all lovely brown. What she lacks in laying power she makes up for in smarts. If something is wrong she will come over to the porch and cluck under the dining room window until I'm summoned. We once had a couple pullets go missing, and try as we might we could not find them. She led me over to where their bodies were in a neighbor's yard behind a big maple tree by camping there, and clucking angrily until I came looking for her. She didn't budge from the spot for anything, even treats, until I walked over to have a look at why she was so upset. Welsummers in general tend to be stand-offish, but my Rosie is the boldest girl in my mixed flock, and while she doesn't seek out petting or attention most of the time, she's okay with being picked up. She will also ask to be picked up and carried if its very snowy or wet between where she is and where she wants to go (but doesn't stick around once I get her across). If you want a decent layer with pretty eggs and a big personality, the Welsummer is definitely the bird for your flock!
Pros - Nice terra cotta egg, well behaved
Cons - Not overly friendly, average layer
When searching for dark egg layers, I've heard many people are disappointed with hatchery chicks. I have to admit tgat I was concerned waiting for my first Welsummer egg. These eggs are certainly not chocolate or particularly dark, but they are darker than my other brown egg layers with tiny speckles. I have been happy with the four or five, terra cotta eggs a week. This hen is not friendly, but she's not aggressive or mean either. She's a nice bird all around.
The reason I only have one is that Murray McMurray only offers them straight run. I got four cockerels and three hens. Two hens and one cockerel all died as chicks from an impacted crop. I find that suspect. I normally make out well with MM. Maybe a bad batch? It would have been better if I didn't have to go straight run. Oh well. I'll probably order more anyway.
Pros - Sweet personality, pretty eggs, large eggs relative to bird size, integrates well with flock, winter hardy
Cons - None come to mind
My only Welsummer came from a hatchery. She arrived by mail in poor shape and was very undersized. She pulled through with extra attention but was stunted for many months. However, she eventually caught up and matured to a normal 4-5 lbs. She is among my sweetest birds in a mixed flock of half-dozen-plus other breeds and does well with others. She is always quiet and calm. She lays beautiful terracotta eggs that seem large for her size, so she is likely good for feed efficiency. I wish I had more Welsummers and will be including them in future additions. After molting last fall, she has resumed her second season of laying in mid-January, ahead of most of my other layers. She has been fine in heat and cold.
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 - Very Friendly, Hardy, The Roo's are very polite and protective.
Cons - Roo's can be aggressive.
I did no research on Welsummer's before getting mine and I would just like to say that I am thoroughly satisfied with my Welsummer's. I ended up with 2 hen's and 1 roo. My hen's lay at least one egg daily and are open to the thought of experimenting with brooding, they are doing their own experiment with laying on eggs. My Roo, which we named Red, is the most polite roo I have ever encountered before. I have never seen a Roo to be so lax and gentlemen-like. He is rather gentle when it comes to mating, very protective when it comes to other males who try to mate hens of his flock, very docile to other hen's and roo's when introducing them to the flock, I have even seen him defuse a fight that a Delaware roo tried to start with him! Red let's the ladies have first choice when it comes to feeding and treat time. On the down side he has challenged me more than once and I had to put him in his place. After I got over letting him think I was afraid of he, he has simmered down and I think we have a mutual respect for each other now.
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 - 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 - 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
Pros - Fabulous hatchability, does not eat a lot of food, good foragers, intelligent, ok production of beautiful dark brown/speckled eggs
Cons - Extremely loud and fussy, not very heat tolerant
I've been hatching Welsumer eggs for years. They have great hatchability, and vigorous health. They're still relatively rare in the U.S. Their eggs are gorgeous, and they're active, alert birds who tolerate the cold well (not so much the heat). They are sometimes very noisy, but overall they're a great chicken breed.