Dark Egg Layers

I breed Welbars and Marans for dark eggs. Welbars produce more eggs, but the Copper Marans lay the absolute darkest eggs.

Welbars are color variants of the more common Welsummers. They are autosexing, unlike Partridge Welsummers. Some lines of the Partridge Welsummers are somewhat sexable at hatch, but the differences are subtle and in some individual chicks, too ambiguous to be certain of the sex of the chick. Welbars are very sexually dimorphic at hatch, they look like entirely different breeds!

Marans are charming birds. Roosters are very large and excellent “flock masters” because they are gentle giants around people and the hens, but are capable of staging a vicious attack on the smaller hawks. Hens are also large and fluffy and tend to be very docile.

Egg Color

I breed for the darkest eggs, but also balance that with high production. Some eggs have heavy speckling, as Welsummers are known for, but the darkest eggs have minimal speckling. In this picture are actual eggs from 5 breeds, in order left to right:
1) Welbars (silver and gold are the same egg colors)
2) Ameraucanas
3) Lavender Marans
4) Opal Legbars
5) Copper Marans (blue, black and splash are the same egg colors)
You can see that overall, the Marans are darker eggs than the Welbars, but the darkest Welbars are nicer than the lightest Marans. Remember than the Welbars lay considerably more eggs than the Marans, in a sense they are just spreading the “paint” across more eggs.

These eggs are shiny because they were sprayed with disinfectant prior to incubation.

Reference links to more Welbar information:

Nearly all the info about these birds comes from the UK, where they have been kept in small numbers since they were created there in the 1940’s.

http://jsh.bravesites.com/welbars UK site – Best site I’ve found describing the genetics of Welbars. Pictures are great, but the eggs mine lay are much darker than these.

https://www.rbst.org.uk/welbar Another UK site

http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/18E04A03.pdf This has a lot of great genetic and historical information about all autosexing breeds.

https://greenfirefarms.com/blog/jul-2016-newsletter.html Newsletter from Green Fire Farms about their import of Welbars. They ultimately failed to introduce these, I believe because they did not adequately understand the genetics of autosexing.

Being Welsummers at heart, you would expect them to lay dark colored eggs, and they do. Being autosexing, you would expect them to be 100% sexable at hatch, and they are.

They have existed in the UK since the 1940’s, but were never common. 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.

Color Variants

  • Gold Welbar – Gold Crele Welsummer
  • Silver Welbar – Silver Crele Welsummer
  • Isabel Welbar – Lavender Crele Welsummer – These are very new and still being developed. Availability is sporadic at best.