Welsummers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sheila, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
    NW MA
    We have 25 15 month-old RIRs (no roosters) and are considering adding Welsummers and/or Black Stars. We feed organically (expensive) and are wondering if the cost of feeding Welsummers, which I understand lay fewer eggs, is offset by foraging, which I understand they do well. That and their egg color are what I am looking at.

    Also, if we added a couple of Welsummer roos, what kind of egg layers would we get with the crosses, and would roo crosses tend toward being more dual purpose (meat).

    We are barely breaking even selling organic eggs and will be moving to a larger piece of land where foraging will be practical. We want to continue organic, as the customer base is there, whether it will support increased prices I don't know in the current economic climate. The foraging ability of the chickens is going to be important. We are in NW MA, where green things grow well, but not for as many months as I'd like.

    Any comments from those who have gone through this are appreciated.
     
  2. Puddle Foot Farm

    Puddle Foot Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 20, 2008
    Maryland
    From what I understand, the eggs from a RIR hen and a Welsummer roo would be darker than a normal RIR. The eggs would probably be half way inbetween, and the productivity would be slightly decreased. So you'd be comprimising - darker, but slightly less eggs. The reason Welsummers don't lay as often is that the darkness is a coating, so it stays in the Ovaduct longer. [I'm pretty sure, at least.]
    Welsummers are supposed to be economical eaters, but I only have three that are eight weeks old, so I can't really compare. But they're better than RIRs, I think. They aren't necessarily "foragers", though.
    I have no idea about the meat question, but according to Henderson's chicken chart, RIRs and Welsummers are both supposed to be dual purpose birds.

    I hope that helps a little!

    Chelsea
     

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