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Conservation Status: Threatened
Comb: Moderately Large Single
Use: Eggs, Meat
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large to Jumbo 200-280 a year
Average Weight: Rooster 7.5 – 10 lbs, Hen 5.5 – 6.5 lbs
Characteristics: Fast Growth, friendly, good foragers
APA Class: American
Color Description: Males: White with black barring on the neck and tail. Females: Same, except that the entire tail is black, edged in white
Breed Details: The Welsummer chicken is a Dutch breed named after the village of Welsum in Holland. Developed in the 1900’s it was first imported into the USA in 1928 for its large brown egg. The Welsummer eggs will vary in tints of dark brown and most of the eggs will have a real dark speckled pigment to the shell. The famed Kellogg’s Rooster was a Welsummer chicken.
The Welsummer roosters are glorious with their beautiful shades of red and black. They are a fast growing bird and a very rare breed here in the United States. Admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1991. The breed has only been in existence a little less than 100 years.
It was created around the village of Welsum near Deventer, the Netherlands as a dual-purpose bird post-World War I.The year of its debut was 1921 at the Hagues’ World Poultry Congress where it was eagerly greeted by Dutch and other European poultry enthusiasts.
Early specimens made their way back to England in 1927 and from there were eventually exported to the US around 1928. The Dutch Welsummer Breeders’ club was also formed in 1927 to continue to improve and refine the breed. The Dutch standard for this breed was set in 1924.
They were admitted to the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1930. They are classified as soft feathered, light. In 1935 they won the British ‘Best Utility Breed’ award over all comers. They were finally admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1991 where they are classified as Continental.
To say that the bird has an overall partridge feather pattern does a disservice to the bird. While the pattern is partridge, it is quite beautiful in an understated way. The recognized variety is partridge, but there are also silver duckwing and gold duckwing varieties out there.
They are in the Top Ten of foragers and will supplement their feed well. They tolerate confinement but prefer to wander and their coloring helps to camouflage them from predators.
Welsummers have put out around 4 eggs per week during their prime years. However, it’s not the quantity but the visual quality of the eggs that are stunning. The eggs should be a dark, rich terra cotta brown sometimes with dark speckles. The pigmentation of the egg is so rich that you can wipe it off with your fingers when cleaning the eggs if you aren’t careful.
They are not known to be broody and they are rotten mothers by all accounts anyway. If you desire to hatch some, use your incubator.
The nice thing about the chicks is they are autosexing, meaning you can tell the sexes right after hatching! Welsummer girls will show a darker more distinct pattern and a darker head, while the boys tend to have broken, fuzzier patterning.
Autosexing in chickens was first studied by Dr. R. Punnett in the 1920s in Cambridge, England. He theorized that the gene which controlled the expression of barred color patterns was different in the male and female chickens. The male would receive 2 barred genes, whereas females only get 1. This would mean that the male chicks were lighter than the females. His theory was proven correct and he was later able to create autosexing breeds such as the Cream Legbar.
W693 SILKIE, BEARDED BLUE SPLASH
W741 SILKIE, BEARDED CALICO
W770 SILKIE, BEARDED PAINT
W247 SILKIE, BEARDED PARTRIDGE
Comb: Walnut Comb
Egg Color: Cream
Egg Size: Small – 100 per year
Average Weight: Rooster 1.2 lbs, Hen 1.1 lbs
Temperament: Gentle, calm, friendly
Characteristics: Broody, Flightless, Black Skin
APA Class: American Bantam Association Feather Legged
Color Description: Multiple varieties with Blue Ears Pom Pom & dark mulberry comb
Breed Details: The Silkie Chicken is the fluff ball of the chicken world.
The Silkie (also known as the Silky or Chinese silk chicken) is a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk and satin. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four. They are often exhibited in poultry shows, and also appear in various colors.
In addition to their distinctive physical characteristics, Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. It is one of the most docile birds. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and care for young well. Although they are fair layers themselves, they are commonly used to hatch eggs due to their broody nature.
It is unknown exactly where or when these fowl first appeared, but the most well documented point of origin is ancient China centuries ago. Other places in Southeast Asia have been named as possibilities, such as India and Java. The earliest surviving Western written account of Silkies comes from Marco Polo, who wrote of a "furry" chicken in the 13th century during his travels in Asia.
In 1598, Ulisse Aldrovandi, a writer and naturalist at the University of Bologna, Italy, published a comprehensive writing on chickens which is still read today. In it, he mentions "wool-bearing chickens" and ones "clothed with hair like that of a black cat".
Silkies most likely made their way to the West via the Silk Route and maritime trade. The breed was recognized officially in North America with acceptance into the Standard of Perfection in 1874. Once Silkies became more common in the West, many myths were perpetuated about them. Early Dutch breeders told buyers they were the offspring of chickens and rabbits, while sideshows promoted them as having actual mammal fur.
In the 21st century, Silkies are one of the most popular ornamental breeds of chicken. They are often kept as pet chickens by backyard keepers.
This is a docile and friendly chicken breed. In fact they are so friendly they often get bullied by more assertive birds like Rhode Island Reds. They will do well mixed with other docile breeds (such as Polish, Cochin or similar types) and enjoy a peaceful coexistence.
Nevertheless, they really enjoy interacting with humans and are a pushover for lap time, where they frequently have a nap. Silkies love being carried around or having cuddles.
If you want a chicken that lays lots of eggs, the Silkie is not your bird. They are considered poor layers averaging 2-3 small eggs each week – around 100-120 eggs per year. However they excel in the broodiness department and are fabulous mothers.
Conservation Status: Critical
Comb: Rose with a leader on males
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Small 60-80 per year
Average Weight: Hen 20 oz. Rooster 22 oz.
Temperament: Active spunky, hens are not broody-nor good mothers. Friendly and easily tamed.
Like to fly. Do not tolerate cold. Not many eggs.
APA Class: British Origin Clean Legged Bantam
Color Description: Silver, with white base and black lacing
The Sebright is a British breed of bantam chicken. It is a true bantam – a miniature bird with no corresponding large version.
It is named after Sir John Saunders Sebright, who created it as an ornamental breed by selective breeding in the early nineteenth century.
The Sebright was developed by Sir John Saunders Sebright, the 7th Baronet of Besford, Worcestershire and a Member of Parliament for Herefordshire in the early 1800s, and is one of the oldest recorded British bantam breeds.
Saunders was a “gentleman farmer” who wanted to create a bantam breed that had well-defined lacing. His “recipe” for creating the breed is unknown, but in the process, he traveled the countryside collecting “odd” and “gamey” birds from the local poultry flocks, and may have imported birds from other countries. Some believe he may have used the Nankin, Polish, and Hamburg chickens. The most difficult part of the creation of the bird was getting it to have the desired lacing and breed true. The Sebright was finally introduced in 1810 – after 20-30 years of work.
The first poultry breed to have its own specialist club for enthusiasts, Sebrights were admitted to poultry exhibition standards not long after their establishment.
Easter & Olive Eggers
Easter & Olive Eggers
Comb: Pea Comb with muffs and / or beards
Use: Egg Layer
Egg Color: Blue, Green sometimes Pink
Egg Size: Large 220 – 280 per year
Average Weight: Rooster 6.5 lbs, Hen 5.5 lbs
Temperament: Friendly, Hardy, Quirky, Comical
Characteristics: Ornamental, heart stealers!
APA Class: Not recognized
Color Description: Multiple color variations
Breed Details: Every backyard flock needs a little pop of blue, green and pink! But FIRST let’s talk about the spelling shall we… the Easter Egger, Ameraucana,
Americauna, and Araucana. We must take a moment to define and educate because, well, certain places we will leave nameless; drive us insane….
Araucanas: Were recognized by the APA as a breed in 1976 they lay blue eggs. They have yellow skin, no tails, no beards, no muffs and can have ear muffs. There are 5 recognized colors Black Breasted Red, Black, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing and White. They are very hard to breed!
Ameraucana: Note the spelling. They have been bred in the USA since about 1960. The APA recognized them as a breed in 1984. They also lay blue eggs. They have a pea comb, white skin, full tails, muffs and beards (always), slate blue or black legs. They have specific colors which APA recognizes: Black, Blue, Blue Wheaton, Brown, Red, Silver Wheaton, and White. Lavender has also recently made the scene. Lastly, the color will sit in front of the name Blue Ameraucana and they should always be more than $4.00.
Americana or Americauna and any other way you might think to spell it: well it’s just not; sorry it is an Easter Egger.
Easter Egger – Now we’re cooking with peanut oil. AND, we’re back! I feel like I’ve been in school learning definitions .. ick Easter Eggers are not an APA recognized breed. They are a variety of chicken that possesses the “blue egg” gene however, they do not meet any breed standards. Don’t be fooled call it what it is.
Easter Eggers also have a blue laying egg gene but in fact can lay a rainbow (get it Easter egg) of colors from any hue of blue to green, pink, tan, even brown. Easter Eggers found their way into our hearts from true Araucana’s and true Ameraucana’s by breeders who were looking to carry that “blue egg gene” but not the difficulties of the breeding that comes with the Araucana. Not recognized by the APA but don't tell that to these happy little jewels, they are everywhere and backyard flocks need at least 6 or 12.
Our Easter Eggers will give you an assortment of colors from blue to green eggs. The birds are very friendly and good with kids. We have searched long and far to develop a certain look to our Easter Eggers and our Olive Eggers. All have muffs and some throw beards with their muffs.
Health Notes: We have never had it (Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise) but Easter Egger have been known to carry a scissor beak gene.
You've been wanting that shade of green (olive) eggs in your kitchen. Well, we have them hatching! Olive Eggers are an exciting breed of chickens that typically lay various shades of green colored eggs. They are created by crossing a dark brown egg layer with a blue egg layer. Our Olive Eggers were created by crossing some of our Marans, Welsummers, White Ameraucana and Whiting True Blues. The olive can be in a variety of shades and the potential always exists for chicks to grow to lay eggs of different green shades even brown. It is up to her. Although not a recognized breed we can say are parents are quality pure, never diluted and hand raised.
Conservation Status: Recovering
Comb: Single Comb
Use: Egg layer
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Large 280-320 per year
Average Weight: Hen 4.5 lbs. Rooster 6 lbs., Temperament: Very active, aloof, noisy, not great moms.
Characteristics: Hardy, easy to raise, not broody, vigor, excellent layer
APA Class: Non-Industrial
Color Description: Slim with long tail feathers. The legs are yellow. Body feathers are soft and evenly checkered black and white.
Breed Details: Origins of the Leghorn are not clear; it appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany. The name comes from Leghorn, the traditional Anglicization of Livorno, and the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America. The date of the first exports is variously reported as 1828, "about 1830" and 1852. They were initially known as "Italians"; they were first referred to as "Leghorns" in 1865, in Worcester, Massachusetts.
The Leghorn was included in the American Standard of Perfection in 1874, with three colors: black, white and brown (light and dark). Rose comb light and dark brown were added in 1883, and rose comb white in 1886. Single comb buff and silver followed in 1894, and red, black-tailed red, and Columbian in 1929. In 1981 rose comb black, buff, silver, and golden duckwing were added.
Exchequer Leghorns developed spontaneously in the White Leghorn flock of Scottish breeder Robert Miller in 1904. Fascinated by these birds, the owner spent time developing them, and eventually gave them the name Exchequer, inspired not only by the amount of revenue the birds contributed to the estate's "Exchequer" in eggs, but also inspired by their plumage, which was checkered evenly in black and white all over. He took a fancy to the unusual markings and developed the breed, which quickly became popular as a utility chicken.
The breed was first introduced to Britain from the United States in 1870, and from there re-exported to Italy. White Leghorns that had won first prize at the 1868 New York Show were imported to Britain in 1870, and brown Leghorns from 1872. These birds were small, not exceeding 1.6 kg in weight; their weight was increased by crossbreeding with Minorca and Malay stock. Pyle Leghorns were first bred in Britain in the 1880s; gold and silver duckwings originated there a few years later, from crosses with Phoenix or Japanese Yokohama birds. Buff Leghorns were first seen in Denmark in 1885, and in England in 1888.
In 1907 the Exchequer was introduced as a breed. Careful selective breeding has established the variety as a well-developed member of the leghorn group.
The breed has been recognized for exhibition for only a few years but is well regarded. The birds are both hardy and prolific and continue laying eggs for many years. They are easy to care for but can be noisy, talkative birds. Their distinctive black and white plumage enhances the already handsome appearance of a leghorn.