Selecting Welsummer Chickens for Your New Flock
It is the age of the slow food movement, and you have likely begun considering new methods of acquiring foods that are better for the environment. Raising chickens for their eggs can be an excellent way to move toward homegrown foods. If you have been considering raising your own birds, there are a few things to consider when selecting the right breed for you. Welsummer chickens are an excellent choice that can help you easily start a new flock, as they possess a number of beneficial qualities and a friendly temperament.
Basic Considerations for Chicken Selection
As you begin searching for the right birds for your backyard endeavor, it can quickly become overwhelming. You may find yourself swimming in a sea of options. However, you can quickly narrow these options by considering your individual needs. Most importantly, as an urban chicken farmer, there are a few basic criteria that you will want to consider. First, you should look for more tame and docile breeds that will not wreak havoc on your yard, and only consider varieties that have been officially recognized. Additionally, birds that require little care and maintenance are best for your situation. Welsummer chickens fit these basic criteria and offer even more.
What Defines This Breed?
When looking at Welsummer pictures, you will be instantly reminded of the iconic cornflake rooster. This particular breed originated in the Eastern Netherlands from mixed origins of Wyandottes, Barnevelders, Cochins, Rhode Island Reds and Partridge leghorns. Originally there was little uniformity to this variety of bird. However, a standard was eventually set in the 1920s, and today there is more consistency in their stature and temperament. There are three common varieties: Silver Duckwing, Gold and Black-Red Partridge. The American Standard of Perfection admitted the breed in 1991.
Quality of Eggs
One of the most important factors in choosing a breed for your own coop is the type and quality of eggs. This is particularly important if you are creating a flock as part of a more natural locally grown diet. Welsummer chickens are highly recognized for their egg production, and many people specifically seek out the breed as a food resource. Welsummer eggs most often fall in the large and extra-large category and have a beautiful deep brown, speckled shell. These mouthwatering eggs are quite appealing to many. The hens typically produce about 160 eggs per year, which makes them quite lucrative.
In addition to their eggs, these birds are recognized for their intelligent and friendly personality, which can add to your flock’s communal temperament. They are not extraordinarily docile, but are not commonly disruptive or destructive either. They also make excellent foragers and stand above other layers in this category, which adds to their benefits. On the downside, they are not excellent mothers, so they are not the best option if you are looking to breed. Instead, let them stick with their egg-laying talents.
Selecting a Coop
As you select an appropriate coop for your flock, you want to closely consider their temperament. Because Welsummer chickens are free-range birds that excel at foraging, you want to ensure that they are given a reasonable amount of outdoor space, allowing them room to roam. Additionally, depending on your area’s climate, you should provide them with an indoor space to stay warm during cool months. While they can handle some cold, they need a place to retreat when cold weather hits.
As you begin to establish your flock, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind, and selecting a strong breed is essential to your ultimate success. Welsummer chickens provide a number of benefits and can be a great choice when looking for a versatile breed.