WELSUMMER POULTRY IN BRIEF:
CLASSIFICATION: Light: Soft feather
EGG COLOUR: Deep red-brown
Named after the village of Welsum, this Dutch breed has in its make-up such breeds as the Partridge Cochin, Partridge Wyandotte and Partridge Leghorn and still later the Barnevelder and the Rhode Island Red.
In 1928, stock was imported into Britain from Holland, in particular for it's large brown egg, which remains it's special feature, some being mottled with brown spots.
It has distinctive markings and colour, and comes into the light breed category, although it has good body-size. It enters the medium class in the country of its origin. Judges and breeders work to a Standard that values indications of productiveness, so that laying merits can be combined with beauty.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS, MALE:
Upright, alert and active.
Type: Body well built on good constitutional lines. Back broad and long. Breast full, well rounded and broad. Wings moderately long, carried closely to the sides. Tail fairly large and full, carried high, but not squirrel. Abdomen long, deep and wide.
Symmetrical, well balanced, of fine quality without coarseness, excess or exaggeration. Skull refined, especially at back. Beak strong, short and deep. Eyes keen in expression, bold, full, highly placed in skull and standing out prominently when viewed from front or back; pupils large and free from defective shape. Comb single, of medium size, firm, upright, free from any twists or excess around nostrils, clear of nostrils and of fine, silky texture, five to seven broad and even serrations, the back following closely but not touching the line of the skull and neck. Face smooth, open and of silky texture, free from wrinkles or surfeit of flesh and without overhanging eyebrows. Ear lobes small and almond shaped. Wattles of medium size, fine and silky texture and close together.
Fairly long, slender at top but finishing with abundant hackle.
LEGS and FEET:
Thighs to show clear of body without loss of breast. Shanks of medium length, medium bone and well set apart, free from feathers and with soft pliable sinews, free from coarseness. Toes, four, long, straight and well spread out, back toe to follow in straight line, free from feathers between toes.
Tight, silky and waxy, free from excess or coarseness, silky at abdomen and free from bagginess at thighs.
Compact, firm and neat bone throughout.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS, FEMALE:
The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences.
Pelvic bones fine and pliable; abdomen pliable; flesh and skin of fine texture and free from coarseness; plumage sleek; abdomen capacious, but well supported by long breast bone and not drooping; general handling of a fit, keen and active layer.
SCALE OF POINTS:
Comb other than single or with side sprigs. White in lobe, excessive white in plumage. Feather on legs, hocks or between toes. Other than four toes. Striping in neck hackle or saddle of male. Absolutely black or whole red breast in the male. Salmon breast in the female. Legs other than yellow. Badly crooked or duck toes. Any body deformity. Coarseness, beefiness and anything which interferes with the productiveness and general utility of the breed.
Welsummer Bantams are to be miniatures of the large fowl and so the standard for the large applies. Standard Weights, Bantams: The:weights set out in the British Poultry Standards are: Male 36 oz, Female 28 oz. At present, more realistic maximum weights are Male 48 oz, Female 40 oz. All things being equal, the smaller bird is the preferred.
THE WELSUMMER EGG STANDARD:
n.b. As from December 2004, the Club has a more informative Egg Standard, formulated to keep to the fore the importance of breeding Welsummers that lay well and produce large brown eggs. Members should be aware that if bantam eggs are shown that exceed 1.25oz, they may be excluded from winning higher honours in the general classifications under the Poultry Club's present standard for eggs.
The brown egg preceded the Welsummer breed. Various farmers' fowl around the village of Welsum laid large dark brown eggs. It was from these mongrel flocks that the Welsummer was developed and standardised. The Club's aim is to perpetuate the laying qualities and brown egg capabilities of the breed. Relative to their size, Welsummers lay large eggs. It is not uncommon for Large fowl to lay eggs exceeding 85g (3oz) and for Bantams to lay eggs over 55g (2oz) in weight.
A rich deep red-brown, as dark as possible. The pigment to be evenly distributed over the whole surface. Some products are speckled, mottled and occasionally blotched.
Egg shaped; the top, containing the air space, domed, the bottom less so and more pointed, with ample girth.
Exhibition eggs should be of good size. Ideally, Large fowl eggs should not be less than 70g (2.25oz), and Bantam eggs should not be more than 42.5g (1.5oz) in weight.
Matt, smooth and free from ridges, pimples or porosity. Glossy eggs can be produced but the matt egg is the preferred.
FRESHNESS AND APPEARANCE:
Exhibition eggs should be fresh, clean, with new laid bloom and with minimal nest marks and scratches.
SCALE OF POINTS:
Pale colour. Poor shape; spherical, narrow or equally domed at both ends. Uneven shell texture: ridges, calcareous pimples or roughness at either end. Very glossy or thin and porous shell. Excessive nest marks or scratches. Dirty or stained. Small size. Anything interfering with hatchability. When more than one egg forms a single exhibit they should match and be similar in all respects; failure to do so constitutes a serious defect.
To contact the club, please see our Links page.
Head and neck, rich golden brown. Hackles rich golden brown as uniform as possible, free from black striping. Back, shoulder coverts and wing bow bright red-brown. Wing coverts black with green sheen forming a broad bar; primaries (out of sight when wing is closed), inner web black, outer web brown; secondaries, outer web brown, inner web black with brown peppering. Tail (main) black with a beetle green sheen; coverts, upper black, lower black edged with brown. Breast black with red mottling. Abdominal and thigh fluff black and red mottled.
Head golden brown. Hackle golden brown or copper, the lower feathers with black striping and golden shaft. Breast rich chestnut red going well down to lower parts. Back and wing bow reddish brown, each feather stippled or peppered with black specks (i.e. partridge marking), shaft of feather showing lighter and very distinct. Wing bar chestnut brown; primaries, inner web black, outer brown; secondaries, outer web brown, coarsely stippled with black; inner web black, slightly peppered with brown. Abdomen and thighs brown with grey shading. Tail black, outer feathers pencilled with brown.
PLUMAGE, SILVER DUCKWING, MALE:
Head, neck and hackles white. Breast, black with white mottling. Back, shoulder coverts and wing bow white. Wing primaries, flight feathers (out of sight as wings closed), inner web black, outer web white; secondaries, outer web white, inner web black, with white peppering, coverts black with green sheen forming a broad bar across primaries. Main tail black with beetle green sheen; coverts, upper black, lower black, edged with white. Abdominal and thigh fluff, black with white mottling.
PLUMAGE, SILVER DUCKWING, FEMALE:
Head and skull, silvery white. Hackle, silvery white and lower feathers with black striping and white shaft. Breast, salmon red or robin red. Back and wing bow, silvery grey, each feather stippled or peppered with black specks (i.e. partridge marking), shaft of feather showing light and very distinct. Wing bar, silvery grey; primaries, inner web black, outer web white; secondaries, outer web white, coarsely stippled with black; inner web, black, slightly peppered with white. Abdomen and thighs silvery grey. Tail black, outer feathers pencilled with white.
In both sexes and colours: Beak yellow or horn. Eyes red. Comb, face, ear lobes and wattles bright red. Legs and feet yellow. Undercolour dark slate grey.
Large Fowl: Cock 7 lb, Cockerel 6 lb, Hen 6 lb, Pullet 4.25 to 51b.
These weights should be taken as minimum Standards.