For personal household plots, the breed of chickens is not always chosen by productivity, for some, appearance is important. It is beautiful when birds with bright plumage walk around the yard, which do not need special care. It's even better when external beauty is combined with excellent performance. These requirements are met by the Welzumer breed of chickens. She has many positive qualities, which is why she is often grown in private backyards.
Features of the breed
The Welzumer breed of chickens belongs to the combined - meat and egg direction. This type is the result of a long work of breeders. The bird differs from others in its unusual, bright color, dense plumage and large body. There are no special signs, such as a feather cover on the paws or a special type of comb, but experienced poultry farmers can determine the velsumer by exterior indicators.
UWelsumer chicken breeds, exterior features are determined by certain indicators of tail color, crest type, body shape and more.
- Colour. Females and males differ in color. The male representatives of the breed have wings, tail and lower body black with a metallic greenish sheen. The feather on the back and neck is painted fiery red with a reddish tint. On the chest there is a mixture of different shades: red, black, brown, there may be gray spots. The upper body, neck, head are dark brown in color, the rest of the plumage is with faint black stripes and almost indistinguishable inclusions.
- Medium sized host.
- Comb is red, small, earrings of bright color.
- Paws, yellow beak.
- The body is rectangular, placed horizontally. Muscle mass is well developed.
- Orange eyes.
For representatives of the Welzumer breed of chickens, aggressiveness is characteristic. This behavior is due to the fact that there is a fighting breed in the pedigree - Malay. As a result of the work of breeders, the bird turned out to be not shy, quite friendly towards the owners. Despite this, roosters are aggressive towards those who encroach on their territory, family. Aggression towards dogs, cats and other animals that enter the territory of chickens is clearly manifested. The desire to protect the family helps to save the young from the attacks of other living creatures.
How the breed appeared
According to the description, Welzumer chickens were bred in Holland, in the village of Welzum. Atbreeding, they used a variety of birds: Rhode Island, Dorking, local partridges, Malay fighting birds. The latter are characterized by a strong physique, aggression. Most often, this breed is used to obtain meat crosses. From each breed of Welzumer they took the best. So, not only the character of roosters, but also a kind of plumage, body structure, got from the Malay fighting ones. From the Dorking - large eggs, and from the Islands - the color of the shell and egg production.
Finally, the breed of meat and egg chickens was formed at the beginning of the last century. Initially, Welsumer was distributed in Europe, later it became popular in central Russia. Given the frosty winters, the breed has shown itself to be excellent: it tolerates frosty winters well.
The Welzumer has a dwarf twin breed. This is an exact copy of large representatives, but gives smaller eggs, weighing about 40 grams.
Disadvantages and advantages
Producers and poultry farmers identify the following advantages and disadvantages of the Welsumer breed:
- early maturation of the bird;
- excellent chick survival;
- bird tolerates cold winters well and continues to lay eggs;
- unpretentiousness in care - even if you feed it with one grain, the bird does not lose its productivity.
Among the shortcomings, only the fact that the bird does not incubate eggs is distinguished. Because of this, you have to lay them in an incubator. Another disadvantage is that the roosters often fight among themselves.
It is not worth waiting for 300 eggs a year from meat and egg chickens. Welsumer chickens carry eggs that are quite large, weighing up to 70 grams and in quantity - about 180 pieces per year. The shell is colored light brown. The shape of the eggs is standard, oval. Taste qualities do not differ from products of other breeds. Chick survival rate – 92%.
Roosters weigh up to 3.5 kilos and hens 2.5 kilos.
When choosing chickens for home breeding, it is worth considering the Welzumer breed. Its representatives are unpretentious and feel great even at low temperatures. They keep the bird outdoors, providing it with walking. The main containment requirements are as follows:
- The optimum air temperature is considered to be at the floor content - about 16 degrees. If this is a replacement young growth of a month old, then the temperature should not be lower than 18 degrees, but not higher than 35.
- Chickens thrive in 65 percent humidity. Lower rates lead to drying of the mucous membranes of the respiratory system and eyes, and higher rates contribute to the development of fungi in the chicken coop. To prevent this from happening, supply and exhaust ventilation is equipped in the house.
- There should be two types of lighting in the house: artificial and natural. For an area of 5-6 square meters, one incandescent lamp with a power of 60 watts is enough. Lack of light leads to reduced egg production and weight gain.
- Velzumer spend a long time on the run. If it is not possible to createconditions for walking, then the bird is provided with fresh grass.
- There must be a rooster in the herd. The number of males is calculated for the number of chickens: 1 male for 10 females. If the herd is small, then one male is enough.
- Chickens should feel comfortable in the poultry house. Usually no more than three birds are placed per square meter.
There should be bedding in the chicken coop. For this, hay, straw, peat are used. When using sawdust, they are mixed with other types of bedding and changed more often. This is because this material quickly becomes wet.
Inside the barn there should be feeders, drinkers, nests for chickens. Inventory must be regularly cleaned, change the contents. Perches are also being built on which the bird rests and sleeps.
For comfort and safety, it is recommended to fence off the courtyard where the bird can roam freely. To do this, you can use a mesh or other material. The height of the fence is made at least one and a half meters, with a lower fence, chickens can fly over it. Grass should grow in the fenced area. The bird will peck at it, dig up roots, worms, insects. If this is not possible, then the chickens are given fresh grass, worms.
To protect from the scorching sun, part of the courtyard is covered. Under a canopy, the bird hides from the rain. As a material for a canopy, it is best to use slate. Under it is not as hot as under a metal canopy. Here they place a feeder with shell rock, ash, put a container with sand. The latter is necessary for cleaning feathers. For the summer you canequip nests under a canopy.
Attitude towards cold
Welzumer is a breed with high cold resistance. Chickens tolerate frost well, without reducing egg production. The bird walks around the yard even when the frost is -20 degrees, but not for long.
For wintering, chickens are insulated in a barn, flooring is made of straw and other warm materials. This will protect against frostbite of the paws and hypothermia.
How to feed
You can make feeders and drinkers for chickens with your own hands from improvised materials, or you can purchase ready-made factory designs. Drinkers should always have clean water.
Velzumer belongs to unpretentious breeds. In the summer period, birds rush well, eating grain and fresh grass. In winter, the diet should be balanced. Based on the norms of feeding, poultry farmers make up a diet, which includes the ingredients necessary for proper development and egg production. The menu include:
- up to three types of cereals – 70%;
- food of animal origin (meat and bone or fish meal) - 10%;
- root crops, green fodder – 15%;
- mineral additives (shell rock, chalk, etc.) – 5%.
The basis of the diet of chickens is grain. They are happy to eat corn, millet, barley, wheat, oats. Chickens can also be fed shellfish, small fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
When making do-it-yourself feeders and drinkers for chickens, they take into account the possibility of tracking feed consumption. In summer, the bird eats about 120 grams of the mixture, and in winter -about 160 grams.
Adults are fed twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. According to reviews, it is recommended to feed the Welzumer breed of chickens with germinated grain. With free range, food is given twice a day. Mixers are prepared before distribution. The amount of food should be such that after half an hour the feeders are empty. Minerals, vitamins and meat and bone meal must be added to the mixers. If the bird does not eat food in half an hour, then its amount is reduced, and the rest is disposed of.
Chickens from the first days of life are fed with boiled eggs with semolina, and from the third day fermented milk products, animal feed, vegetables, greens are gradually introduced into the diet. During this period, it is recommended to drink the chickens with drugs for diseases.
Chicks are fed 6 times a day for the first ten days. From the eleventh day, the number of feedings is reduced to four times.
Reproduction of the breed
Chickens are not prone to laying eggs. Due to this feature, replacement young animals are obtained only with artificial incubation.
Chickens start laying eggs at the age of six months. For incubation, eggs begin to be collected in early spring. To increase the percentage of hatchability, they must be properly stored. You should not allow eggs to lie in nests for chickens for a long time - they are collected at least once a day, but better - twice a day. Do not store eggs for a long time, as this leads to a decrease in the percentage of hatchability. It is recommended to take eggs from the nests while still warm. They are kept in a dry and cool room, at an air temperature of 12 degrees andhumidity 80%. Store incubation products horizontally, periodically turning over. Duration of storage - no longer than a week.
Eggs of the correct form without defects and damages are selected for incubation. Products must be fresh. The survival rate of chickens is quite high, about 92-95%.
Irregularly shaped eggs that are too large for incubation are not used.
For a bird to be he althy, it is necessary to provide it with good care, including the prevention of various diseases. Proper housing conditions, good food for adult chickens is one of the ways to prevent diseases. In addition, you must:
- The chicken coop should be dry and clean. It should be well ventilated and have two kinds of lighting.
- Before the chickens are settled, the barn is disinfected. It is best to use a solution of soda with slaked lime. They process walls, floors, ceilings. Inventory is disinfected with a solution of potassium permanganate. The cracks in the chicken coop are treated with an aqueous emulsion of karbofos to protect the bird from ticks, feather-eaters and other insects.
- The floors are covered with slaked lime at the rate of 0.5 kilograms of funds per square meter.
- After disinfection, the barn is ventilated.
- The floors are covered with fresh bedding of peat, straw or other materials.
As a preventive measure, chickens are regularly examined. When the state of plumage, crest, behavior changes, it is necessary to separate the bird from the rest of the herd and try to find the cause. Especially shouldalert loss of appetite. Welsumer is distinguished by strong immunity, but this does not mean that chickens do not get sick. They, like other breeds, need disease prevention. To do this, it is worth periodically soldering birds from diseases, parasites.
Welzumer is an excellent choice for those who want an unpretentious breed with fairly high egg production and ease of care. This breed is recommended for beginners and those who do not have enough time to care for a bird, but really want to have their own chickens.