Welsummers vs Production Reds

1hawaiian

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 3, 2012
84
8
41
I have 4 Production Reds and at 5+ months of age they are prolific layers and everything I wanted as a noob to chickens, i.e., easy-going, very friendly, great foragers and of course beautiful brown eggs every day!

However, I'm seriously interested in getting a few Welsummer hens...
#1.... Good-looking brown-speckled-eggs!
#2.... Good looking hens too!

But, I'm curious about their general characteristics and how they may differ vs a Production Red?

Interested in your opinions... Thanks!
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
194
303
North/Central Florida
The biggest difference you will find is the Welsummers are most likely not going to lay as prolifically as your Production Reds. Which if you want to keep that nice deep dark brown shell color you don't want them to. A hen can only make so much brown pigment since it's a breakdown product of her hemoglobin. To keep the really dark color they have to lay fewer eggs than a well bred sex-link would lay. This is presuming your Reds are actually sex-links and not some other cross or breed.

Otherwise I have not found a lot of difference in temperament or size between the two.
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,415
3,496
596
Northern CA
My Coop
My welsummers are much friendlier than my Production Red. Not friendly as in lap chicken, but definitely come up to you and try to trip you while you're walking! My Production Red is meaner than snot to other chickens. If she weren't my son's chicken, she'd be gone. My welsummers are more accepting of new additions to the flock. My welsummer rooster is easy on hens backs and a fantastic protector.

As for laying, my welsummers (breeder lines) have always been great layers - roughly 5 a week. They won't crank them out like a hybrid will though.
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
194
303
North/Central Florida
No, they should be different. I say should be because the term "Production Red" has no widely accepted definition.

New Hampshires (no "Red" needed) are a recognized breed that have been around for decades.

"Production Reds" can mean just about anything from a Rhode Island Red to a New Hampshire to a red sex-link or even just a red chicken that the breeder/seller believes will be a good layer. It can mean whatever the person breeding or selling the birds wants it to mean.

Mostly in my area it seems to mean a red sex-link. Maybe it was commercially bred so should be a good layer. Maybe he rolled his own and may or may not be a good egg producer. No way to know but to ask specific questions of the person with the birds. If they can't answer them then I'd look elsewhere.
 

devora

Songster
12 Years
Apr 9, 2007
1,170
34
206
Willits, CA Gateway to the Redwoods
Thank you so much for that excellent explanation! I now know why I was confused: it'a generic term, not a breed.

And thanks for the heads up on not needing the Red in NH. As someone who's always on my friends to say "leg-ern" I ought to be keepin' it straight. ;)
 

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