Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter care for the Welsummers

During winter months chickens need a shelter that keeps them out of the wind and that is free of drafts. It also shouldn’t be damp. Manure contains a lot of water, and in the winter, when  the coop is closed up, this can make the air unhealthy and the hens prone to respiratory illness. I keep my coops shoveled out monthly and bedded with fresh hay that I grow out in my fields. Also, good ventilation is a must – it’s best to have vents high near the roof. The wind chill comes from the north so I try to keep the roosting area away from that cold wind. Remember also that grown chickens do not need heat lamps. The reason being that it’s not good for them to go from one extreme temperature to another. They need to huddle on the roost with each other to stay warm at night.  A healthy bird has enough body fat and feathers to keep it warm on its own. If a bird has adapted to a heater it will surely suffer when the heater is gone. I like to condition my birds to tolerate the weather extremes here in Texas naturally. Welsummers also tend to be cold-hardy anyways. If you have a rooster with a large comb be sure to slather on some vaseline if you know the temperature is going to drop. When your chickens know that you love and respect them, they will want to be with you as well as enjoying themselves on their own. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another Champion Large Fowl, Standard Cockeral, Welsummer Breed

Look at this happy cockeral, he just adores his owner
I am pleased to say that the baby chicks that I donated to the Fancy Feathers 4-H Poultry Club show this year gave this young 4-H lady the Champion Large Fowl at the  Comal County Fair in New Braunfels, Texas a few weeks ago. What a beautiful cockeral he is. It pleases me to help these kids out. Hopefully she will stick with this line of Welsummers and keep these birds up there on champion row.

Friday, May 20, 2011

3 Month old cockeral

16 week old cockeral
16 weeks old

I am growing out 9 DG Welsummer cockerals for show birds. Each one is in its own pen with a steady supply of food (20%) and fresh water with Red Cell. They range from 2 to 3 months old. These cockerals are from my DG line. These birds seem to all hatch out and grow fast and keep the same look as their father. I see no faults with them so far. They are lucky because they would make great BBQ chicken. As big and plump as these birds are, they are an excellent dual purpose bird. My hens lay speckled and dark brown eggs. When its really hot my Welsummer eggs tend to get a shade lighter, but these girls lay well in our Texas heat. Its 100 degrees or hotter daily now.
Dark speckled Welsummer egg - Hen # 1

Pullet #2 egg
pullet #1 egg
Pullet # 3 egg
Parents of these cockerals
Front row of diverse colored Welsummer eggs.
Large Speckled Welsummer Eggs

Large Darker Brown Welsummer eggs
Cockeral # 4 - 12 weeks old

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Updated pics of young cockerals

Young cockeral from DG line
3 more cockerals from DG line
These are the chicks that are pictured below about a month later. Look how fast they are growing. I was feeding them turkey starter for awhile which is 24% now they are on 20%.
I am growing out 9 cockerals that were selected out of 10. They currently are in a pen with other breeds. I am letting these 5 males grow out and will post pics monthly as they progress. They are from the DG line (a trio that I purchased from Don.) Don has already been focused on these birds for 12 years and out of all the Welsummers that I have seen I was partial to these. They had so many great qualities. I will keep you all posted.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fancy Feathers Poultry Show

 Continental Class Champion Welsummer Hen
The Fancy Feathers Poultry Show in New Braunfels, Texas was today and it was  alot of fun. This was an APA/ABA sanctioned show which also included a Backyard Show, Cluck-Off, Raffle, Silent Auction and Good Food. It also featured a Jr. Show, Youth Showmanship Class, Marans Meet, Araucana Meet, and a Marans Egg Show.APA/ABA/Junior Judge: Steve Jones did a great as Judge. He works well with the 4-H kids. The 4-H kids did a great job of showing their birds and also of helping anyone that needed a hand unloading their birds or with just about anything.There was a great silent auction and raffle with the 2 biggest prizes being an I-Pad and a Kindle. There were tables of raffle items, which included live birds and chicks.  I had a booth for The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy which has an interest in rare heritage breed poultry. They do a great job of promoting the rarer breeds and educating the public on heritage livestock of all types. We had a lot of their brochures, books and other literature on the table and it went fast. I had many younger persons and children at our booth with an interest in heritage breeds asking a lot of questions. There are still many upcoming poultry shows for 2011 if you want to show your birds or just go visit and see the birds and meet some very nice poultry lovers/breeders. This is a great hobby for adults and young kids. We need to keep the kids interested because they are the future. Lastly I would like to talk about the Welsummers that I showed today. I showed a rooster that was Reserve Continental Class, 1st and reserve of breed, a hen that was Continental Class champion, Best of Breed and 1st place (there were 6 rows of continentals) and a pullet that was first. My Welsummers originally came from a gentleman in Oklahoma named Mr. Don Gibson. He has spent many years perfecting this breed and has done a great job. He has other continental breeds such as Barnevelders, and Black and Blue Copper Marans.

Monday, February 21, 2011

One month old Welsummers

One month old cockeral #1
One month old cockeral #2
More Welsummer chicks
Wellie chick
My Welsummer chicks are growing and I'm hatching more every week. This is an on-line journal of their growth. I show my Welsummers in Texas.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

More Chick Pics -Sexing Welsummer Chicks

The two chicks facing to the front are males with lighter lines
The outer 2 females have the darker eyeliner near the corner of their eyes.
The 2 in the middle are males.

It is possible to sex a Welsummer at day-old because the chicks are marked like a partridge, with a stripe on the top of the head. The stripe is darker on the female so the difference can be seen by comparison. After four to six weeks there is no doubt, as the comb of the male becomes obvious first.