Welsummers are named after the village of Welsum in Holland where they originated. They are famous for their large, dark, terracotta-brown eggs. They have a wonderful disposition. By far, they are the friendliest breed we have on the farm. They are the first to figure out who butters their bread and readily come to us when we call them with treats. In addition to breeding to the APA standard for the breed, our breeding program emphasizes egg color, size and lay rate.
These beautiful birds are also well known from their role in American advertising. The Kellogg’s Corn Flake Rooster, “Cornelius” is a Welsummer.
Here is a sample of the eggs laid by our Welsummer flock. The white eggs in the top right row are Leghorn, the egg in the middle is an Ameraucana, and the two tan eggs on the left are Delaware eggs. Welsummer have a higher lay rate than Marans and lay a large egg. Eggs from one year old hens average 2.09 oz (59.2 g) meeting the USDA “large” classification. Eggs from adult hens consistently hit the extra large USDA weights. The Welsummer eggs are by far the most popular at the farmer’s market. The dark spots bring a certain individual charm to each egg with no two being the same. An individual hen will lay the same general egg pattern throughout her life, so you can select for more or less spots, or large or small spots on eggs using trap nesting or simply only hatching the eggs with patterns you like.
Those interested in the breed, should join the Welsummer Club of North America. There is also a Welsummer Yahoo group.
Although Whitmore Farm only sells straight run chicks, Welsummers can be sexed at birth. The female has what I like to call “eye liner” the dark line extending beyond her eye towards her ear is dark and very well defined. On the male, that same line is light and blurry. Similarly, if you look at the triangle on the top of their head, on the female it is dark and clearly defined, the male’s triangle is lighter and the edges are not clearly defined. In both of the chick photos below, the female is on the left, and the male is on the right. If you plan on doing your own breeding, it is highly advisable you grow out all the cockerels and select the best two to keep as breeders. The male if very important and under ideal conditions, should not be judged until one year of age.