Welsummer Chooks

A Rare Breed of Dutch Origin

Welsummer hen
Welsummer hen in the right foreground.

The Welsummer comes from the Netherlands and is mainly known for its dark brown eggs. Here in New Zealand, after decades of only being bred by poultry fanciers, the trait of laying dark eggs has been lost. The judge does not see the eggs a bird lays and therefore the egg colour was neglected. There are efforts under way to select for birds that lay darker eggs but most hens still lay a cream coloured egg.

In the photograph on the right of a mixed flock of heritage poultry at the Rare Breeds display at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch there is a Welsummer hen in the right foreground. The other breeds from left are: Speckled Sussex, Blue Orpington, White Leghorn (largely obscured) and Black Australorp.

The Welsummer is a light breed, a good forager, a good layer and very attractive to look at. The colouring is partridge and the females look very similar to the Brown Leghorn, except for the ear lobes which are red in the Welsummer. Like all light breed poultry, the Welsummer is bred for egg laying.

Welsummer hen
Welsummer hen.
Welsummer pullet
Immature Welsummer pullet.
Thanks to Marina Steinke for supplying the above information and photographs.

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