Welsummers are classically attractive chickens.
They can produce fantastically exotic dark brown-shelled eggs which is one of its major selling points. However not all strains will lay the very dark brown eggs.
The Welsummer, for many people represents exactly what a traditional chicken should look like. The breed is classified as Black/Red but this certainly does not do the subtle colouring justice.
The female is a soft partridge colour with a chestnut front and light hackles. Probably one of the most distinctive and attractive features of the hen is the light-coloured shafting on the feathers, particulary across the back.
The cockerel shows a darker plumage with a good deal of black, but is nonetheless appealing for that. He really does provide that 'classic' farmyard cockerel look, with his mixture of brown, red, black, and beetle green feathering, large flowing tail and yellow legs. But there are other versions too. There are three variations of the standard Welsummer, these are the Partrige, Silver Duckwing and the Gold Duckwing.
There is also a Bantam Welsummer breed which is similar but lays light brown eggs. Bantams exist in both Partrige and Silver Duckwing colours.
Representations of cockerels in the media are often based upon the "classic" Welsummer look. The most common example of this would be the Kelloggs Cornflakes rooster. Its eggs are dark-brown and spotty.
The Welsummer is named after the village of Welsum in Holland, in the east of the country, although the breed was originally developed in the area along the river Ysel to the north of Deventer, Holland at about the same time as the Barnevelders (1900-1913).
The Dutch bred it from the partridge Cochin, partridge Wyandotte and partridge Leghorn, the Barnevelder and Rhode Island Red.
The Welsummer is a reasonable placid breed that is well suited to the small-scale, domestic environment. It is a light, docile breed, with rustic-red and orange colour.
Welsummers look great and are family-friendly
Sexing Welsummer Chicks
It is possible to sex a Welsummer at day-old because the chicks are marked like a partridge, with a stripe on the top of the head.
The stripe is darker on the female so the difference can be seen by comparison.
After four to six weeks there is no doubt, as the comb of the male becomes obvious first.
See also: Dutch Chicken Breeds