|Posted by Robin Paceley-Geiger on February 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM|
It has been a long fall and cold winter! I am overdue to write a newsletter and haven't found the time doing the fall issues. Now I have a bit of time to work on it as I go!
There are several writings from our Welsummer breeders and once I post them, feel free to read them at your time and share comments if you like.
Breeders: Please update me your status for the 2012 year, if you will be selling hatching eggs, chicks and started birds or matured birds, and whether or not you can ship them or not AND give a website link if you want people to take a look at your beautiful Welsummers. Some of the interested parties are letting me know some of the breeders are no longer breeding or simply "vanished" without a trace or anything to let me know of the changes.
I am hoping we will get more good breeders to be involved in the WCNA and similiar sites, particuarly the older ones that has been around for a LONG time. Many thanks to the "oldies", John Hall, Dr Bjorn Netland, Laurie Adams, Nina Cipriani, Erhard Weihs, and Marcel Eissens of Netherlands....Welcome and glad you joined the WCNA. Your experience, expertise and generously give out opinions and information about the Welsummers are invaluable!
I still need Breeder's Corner's information, how you got started and so forth. If you can submit it, I can use it for the next e-newsletter!
May this Spring will be a good one for all of us. There has been an overwhelming demand for good roosters so if you have an extra one or two to sell, and can ship, give me a shout out and I can post it in various chicken sites.
Due to some of our readers, people wanting pictures, I mean good show pictures of the SOP Welsummers. Unfortunately there is NO perfect Welsummers but we can submit pictures of our BEST shown Welsummers that has most of all the desirable traits in the SOP required by the APA. I do not have any good show Welsummers but if anyone can submit a photo or two I can see if I can post them under the SOP section on this WCNA website.
Thank you and may all of you have a successful year!
Robin Geiger, President
Dr Bjorn Netland, commenting about the Dutch Welsummers
I believe the Dutch did not develop the golden duckwing or the silver duckwing Welsummers; rather, these were developed in the UK and/or Germany. To my knowledge, the Dutch recognize but one color: the "regular" rusty-red/brown type that we have. I once had some of the golden duckwing bantams, which were nice, but gave them up. These birds came from German imports via Canada.
The German type is quite a bit different from the Dutch/UK type. The German birds are larger (somewhat reminiscent of RIRs but more rotund) with a much lower tail carriage than the Dutch/UK birds. German type Welsummers are common in Scandinavia and--I believe--France. There was quite some discussion after we had them recognized by the APA as to which type to go for; originally, we adopted the British type in the standard, but when people in Canada (German immigrants with German type birds) objected, the standard was changed in a sort of compromise: higher tail carriage than German birds but lower than the Dutch/Brits. This switch from our original type was not a wise move, in my opinion. The egg shell color of the British/Dutch lines was also much darker (and more uniform) than that of the German type (lighter color and a high incidence of dark spots or speckles). Therefore, I find it curious that people sometimes find the Welsummer eggs to be "too dark"--as the dark egg was what was originally desired.
I also find that the German birds have a smaller comb, which is especially noted in cock birds, and the hackle (and male saddle) color tends to be somewhat darker. The breast color in the German standard also requires a different marking for males.
What I have chosen is obvious: the UK/Dutch type and dark eggshell color, but watching egg size, pepper (stippling) [which sometimes tends to become to coarse and almost like lacing], and stubs (especially in males) along with white in the tail/flight feathers in males. The last problem is best dealt with by using two-year-old males that are still solid. I have also seen birds placed in champion row with a very poor back angle; rather than being horizontal, birds have a sloping back along the lines of the Minorcas or Andalusians, which should be a major fault. These are merely my own observations and opinions, and others may certain differ. Anyway, happy New Year to you all and good luck with this year's hatch.
Robin, I did NOT sell a lot of birds; in fact, I dealt with only 7 or 8 people. I regularly swapped with Lowell and Ron Nelson in Wisconsin (both superior poultry keepers and now deceased), and our original lines all came from the same flocks, 2 flocks originating in the UK (I was fortunate enough to secure two incredible cock birds from an Englishman in Oregon [he has requested that he remain anonymous] (who had very nice British stock, very nice type and wonderful eggs, and Lowell got one of the cock birds to get new blood into his flock). He raved about the offspring after using that bird, and my experience was similarly positive, as was Ron Nelson's (who received some of the F-1 birds from both Lowell and me). There is too much misinformation about the breed in this country, including facts about line characteristics etc. I have tried birds from Ideal, and they do not look like anything in the flocks we (Ron, Lowell, and I) had/have: much too dark, off balance, and poor layers of pitiful eggs), assuming that the 5 birds I got 2 years ago are representative of what they offer. Sandhill has birds from Ron Nelson (and I also believe, from Lowell's flock, though there should not be much difference between the two.
While I have not sold many Welsummers, I have given eggs to 4H kids for free, and I have no idea what they have done with them. Perhaps that is how my name has come up as a salesperson. Again, I am not selling birds or eggs indiscriminately; nor will I do that in the future.
Dr Bjorn Netland
Thanks to all that gave their opinions in the Breeder's Corner. You can see how people mutually give out opinions, suggestions and advices in a very cordial manner and respectfully to each other's opinion when we can read the wide variations of the Welsummers' presence that would affect the past, present and future of the breed.
Good job folks and keep them coming!