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Tell me about your Barnevelders and Welsummers!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sBrickmanHouse, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Hope I'm posting this in at least somewhere around the right place-- if not, Mods, please feel free to move!

    We ordered 25 day old chicks from McMurray last February. It was a mix of heavy brown egg layers-- Speckled Sussex, Barred Rock, Buff Orp, Black Orp, White Rock, SL Wyandottes, and received one surprise rooster in the bunch. We have had a TOTAL blast with them all year, and they've been doing great. We're now looking this season to replace a few we've lost or sold, plus expand our flock.

    I've put in an order with Ideal for day-old chicks to be delivered in four weeks, and on a whim, added some Barnevelders and Welsummers.

    Our daughter sells the eggs as an ongoing 4-H project, so the attraction was mostly the different color eggs, but now I have questions. . .

    First, did you find that your Barnevelders and Welsummer chicks matured into nice birds? Our flock lives in our backyard, gathers around our feet while we're grilling, supervises kids while they're swimming in our pool, and serves as clean-up crew at birthday parties (they make quick work of stray Fruit Loops and cake crumbs). Will the new breeds fit in for a backyard family flock?

    Second, we live in the MidAtlantic, and while our weather's not severe, we do hover at freezing for three months of the year, with at least a couple weeks around single digits. Our coop is secure and draft-free, but it's only minimally heated (100 w bulb over the roosts) and not insulated. We have a heated waterer in there, but it definitely goes below freezing. Will the Barnevelders and Welsummers do okay in winter?

    Finally, mostly out of curiosity, are they good layers? Our girls produced like gangbusters during summer and fall. They slowed down markedly during the darkest of December, but even so, we still got a couple or three eggs a day from the Buff Orps and/or White Rocks. It's not a big deal, one way or another-- just wondering how they laid for you?

    Thanks in advance for any info, everyone!

  2. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Hi there. I can't help you with the Barnvelders, but I have owned Wellies and found them to be very nice birds. They were a little standoffish, but not bad, and they layed well for us. Our temps are freezing in the winter and our coops are not insulated or heated. In fact, they are 3-sided, and the girls never had any problem with it at all. They will most likely be a great addition to your flock and I'm sure you'll enjoy the nice, dark eggs!
  3. minifarm8

    minifarm8 Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    Hagerstown, MD
    I ordered 5 straight run Welsummers from Ideal last summer. Only one was a hen. She is a bit stand-off-ish but doesn't run far. Her eggs are only a little bit darker than my Buff Orps though.

    I have some eggs on the way from gamebirdsonly so I can get a darker color and more brown chickens in the flock.

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