Did you find them not to be as hardy as your other breeds? This is in regards to hatchery birds, I know the breeders have better stock. I got six Welsummer pullet chicks from MPC last September. One ended up being a Roo, one died at two weeks, and three more have died of unknown circumstances in the last three months. I suspect Mareks in one instance, the other two just started looking poorly for a day or two and then died. During this same time period, I have 20 plus/minus other birds. They were not lost free ranging, I don't use pesticides, the only other bird I have ever lost was a barred rock hen who was egg bound. So, I basically lost 2/3'rds of the Wellies in about 8 months. I love them, they're great birds,and I love those dark brown Wellie eggs. It makes me sad to lose them. It just seems that my Orps, Rocks, BR's, EE's and Wyandottes seem so much less "delicate". Has anyone else had this experience? On that note...does anyone know of any Wellie breeders in New England? I think I'll try that route for my next birds.