About the Welsummer

The Welsummer rooster is rustic-red and orange in color and the hen is a light and dark brown partridge pattern with gold around the neck area.  This dual purpose large fowl lays  large terracotta dark brown eggs, often with speckles. Expect about 160 eggs per year.

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Features & Color Variations
Single comb, medium wattles, broad chest and back, wide full tail, and 4 toes.  There are three variations of the standard Welsummer, Partridge, Silver Duckwing and the Gold Duckwing. Recognized Varieties: Red Partridge
Behavior
Welsummers are friendly and intelligent, but not considered especially docile. They generally confine well, but prefer to forage. Setter/broody: yes.
Bantams
The Welsummer Bantam lays light brown eggs, and their production is slightly higher than the standard at about 180 eggs per year. Bantams exist in both Partridge and Silver Duckwing colors but are rare.

Origin: Netherlands
Class: Continental
Type: Large Fowl
Size: Medium (6-7 lbs)
Rarity: Common
Purpose: Dual

Welsummer hen

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Getting Chickens to Roost in the Right Place

Chickens have a strong homing instinct which drives them to return to the same place to roost at dusk. Those who for whatever reason have decided otherwise, can easily be picked up when it’s dark and placed in the coop.  After a few days to a week at most, they usually give up the tree limb, fence, or corner they fancied and join the others in the coop without your interference.

Make sure it’s dark though! Because as soon as you turn your back they’ll run back to where you took them from. It’s very common for youngsters to choose a corner on the ground away from the coop.  Just pick them up and place them where you want them to be and they’ll catch on after awhile. However, don’t be concerned if your young birds pile up together in the coop, just be glad they’re in there! As they mature they’ll find their way to the roost, usually at around five months old.

This four month old Leghorn chose this spot to roost for the night. After a few evenings of fetching her off the fence and putting her in the coop she gave up and now joins the others on her own.

Leghorn Dottie 9316

Do all Chickens Roost?
No, don’t ask me why… some, such as Silkies for example, are known to hunker down for the night in the coop, off the roost.
I have four year old hens that refuse to roost, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are safely confined at night I just let them choose their comfort zone.

Broody Silkies 10-23-14

Night Behavior
A chicken’s behavior is dramatically different at night. During the day they are full of life, feisty, and confident, but when the night comes they turn into total milk duds, almost is if they were in a hypnotic state. Take advantage of this time, this is your hassle free ticket to handle, inspect, and doctor chickens. Especially the ones that are difficult or impossible to catch during the day.

Chickens are so docile at night you can usually sneak a new bird in the coop after dark, it will most likely go unnoticed until morning. Some chicken keepers choose to introduce birds this way. But I must warn you, a chicken’s night stupor disappears the moment they march out of the coop at the crack of dawn. Be prepared to witness a whole new ball game of unkind introductions to say the least! Learn more about Introducing Chickens to an Existing Flock.

 

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First Time Broody

Tulip is one of three 7.5 month old Silkies that has gone broody for the first time. There are four Silkies total, but one hasn’t shown any interest in motherhood at all. Of the three pullets, two stayed broody for only a week and left the nest. But Tulip has dedicated herself for 18 days now. Next time she’s broody I’ll put fertile eggs under her, and let her be useful while she’s busy not laying eggs.

So far, Tulip has been a good broody pullet. Not one of those scary hens who never seem to leave the nest to eat or drink. She comes out to scratch in the dirt, peck around in the feeder, drink, and back she goes to the nest. I like that!

Broody Tulip 4-18-14

Related Reading:

Broody Hens vs Incubators
Breaking the Broody Hen

Understanding Chicks Behavior in the Brooder

Here’s a handy chart to determine the comfort level of your chicks by how they behave in the brooder.

diagram 5