The Welsummer is named after the village of Welsum in Holland although the breed was originally developed in the area along the river Ysel to the north of Deventer, Holland at about the same time as the Barnevelders (1900-1913). The Dutch bred it from the partridge Cochin, partridge Wyandotte and partridge Leghorn, the Barnevelder and Rhode Island Red. It was first imported into this country in 1928 for its large brown egg. The Welsummer is a large, upright, active bird with a broad back, full breast and large full tail. They head has a single comb, medium wattles, almond shaped ear lobes and a strong, short beak. They have yellow legs which fade to pale yellow in summer and reddish bay eyes.
Welsummers lay lovely large eggs and the dark brown pigment can actually be rubbed off as it is added at the end of the egg laying sequence. They do go broody but not usually until late Spring but are not particularly good mothers. Chicks are strong and are easily sexed as females have much darker head and back markings than males. They lay fewer eggs during the winter. They are friendly, easily handled birds which love to free range and forage for food but can also be kept in runs quite happily. They are productive for 3 years of their 9 year lifespan.
They are a light, friendly, and intelligent breed of chickens, with rustic-red and orange color. 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.