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Welsummer Chickens Are A Dual-Purpose Breed
“I’m the president and founder of the Official Welsummer Club of North America,” says Wyatt Burnside of Monticello, Ind. “I breed and show Welsummers and have done so for the last 15 years.”
The American Poultry Association awards points to individuals who show poultry across America. Burnside has been doing this for so long that he has the second-highest number of points in the U.S.
Burnside says he stumbled on to the Welsummer breed when an acquaintance gave him several. “It snowballed from there,” he says.
The 24-year-old says raising Welsummers is easy in some ways and more challenging in others.
“They’re very hardy and extremely fertile,” he says. “That means it’s easy to raise a large flock of birds.”
Welsummers are known for their beautiful terra-cotta-colored eggs. They lay a variety of shades of terra-cotta with different levels of spackling.
“They can be challenging to raise if you’re trying to breed them to the highest standard for showing,” Burnside says. “The females have a very delicate, beautiful, and complicated pattern. Getting the right type and structure can be difficult.”
As a breed, he says Welsummers are typically very gentle and don’t show a lot of aggression, even among the male birds.
Welsummers, first created by a farmer in the Netherlands, are a dual-purpose breed, which means they’re good for laying eggs and providing meat. Because of their dual purpose, they don’t lay eggs every day.
“You don’t want them to lay eggs daily,” he says. “Those birds that do tend to burn out very quickly. While a Welsummer won’t lay eggs every day, they will lay eggs consistently for you every two or three days for 5 to 6 years.”
Other high-performance birds generally last only 2 or 3 years.
“As far as everyday care, they’re well known for their foraging ability,” Burnside says. “They’re great at finding part of their diets if you give them access to pasture.”
Burnside supplements their forage with pellets and recommends using a complete feed pellet. He doesn’t recommend mixing grains because it’s a complicated process to do correctly.
“I have butchered some of the birds, and they were delicious,” he says. “The Welsummer is a great dual-purpose breed.
“Anyone looking to start a flock of any size should consider getting a few Welsummers,” Burnside says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wyatt Burnside, 3522 East 400 South, Monticello, Ind. 47960 (ph 812-725-4985; officialwelsummerclub@gmail.com; www.owcona.weebly.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #6