The Welsummer or Welsumer is a Dutch breed of domestic chicken. It originates in the small village of Welsum, in the eastern Netherlands. It was bred at the beginning of the 20th century from local fowls of mixed origin: Rhode Island Reds, Barnevelders, Partridge Leghorns, Cochins, and Wyandottes. In 1922-23 steps were taken to fix a standard after the birds began to show a good deal of uniformity. The eggs were originally exported for the commercial egg trade where they were an instant hit. Soon after stock was imported into England. The breed was added to the British Standard in 1930.
It is a light, friendly, and intelligent breed, with rustic-red and orange colour. Representations of cockerels in the media are often based upon the “classic” Welsummer look. The most common example of this would be the Kelloggs Cornflakes rooster. There are three variations of the standard Welsumer, these are the Partridge, Silver Duckwing and the Gold Duckwing. There is also a Bantam Welsumer breed which is similar but lays light brown eggs. Bantams exist in both Partridge and Silver Duckwing colours but are quite rare in North America.
The standard sized Welsummer lays large eggs which are a terracotta dark brown, often with dark speckles. Some used to think that the eggs were a trick as the dark colouring can be removed when the egg is scrubbed. But this is to do with the way Egg colouration occurs – the brown on an egg is a protein coat with brown pigment that can be removed if scrubbed vigorously. The bantams lay a lighter brown egg. The bantams lay quite large eggs for a bantam and are great producers.