Welbars are Welsummers with the gene for barring (from a cross to a barred rock many generations ago). They are a true autosexing breed in the same way as Legbars and Rhodebars. All of these were created by adding barring to an existing breed so that the male chicks will have a white head spot.
Their only drawback is that they are quite rare, but I am trying to correct that. They have existed in the UK since the 1940's, but were never common. As far as I know, our flock is one of only 2 or 3 in the entire US. We created these using the same genetic recipe as the original UK Welbars. The process is well documented, but takes at least 4 generations of careful crossing and selection of the resulting chicks.
My experience is only with this line of Welbars, but that and the reports I have gotten from friends who have some of their offspring, gives me reason to recommend these highly as backyard pets. They lay well for a dark egg layer (selecting for high egg production seems to lighten the egg color) and have excellent personalities. In addition, the roosters are large, imposing and fast moving, making them ideal “flock masters” for a group of hens. I have never experienced any aggression towards me, though they will attack any strange roos that they see as competition. I often raise groups of roos together and they get along fine if kept together.
I am very interested in getting Welbars well established in the poultry hobby. If you would like to try this line of Welbars, there are 2 sources, depending on where you are.
In Southeast PA (Philly area) you can buy from me directly. The fastest way to contact me is via email at one of these addresses:
If you don't like email, you can call me at (484) 4CHICKY (484-424-4259)
Or, you can reach me on Facebook, via the Welbars page there.
If you are too far to pick up chicks from me, you cannot get them directly from me, but Fowl Play Chickens has established a flock from my stock and they are now NPIP certified and can ship their chicks anywhere in the US.