Welbars are Welsummers with the gene for barring (from a cross to a barred rock many generations ago). They are autosexing in the same way as Legbars and Rhodebars. All of these autosexing breeds were created by adding barring to an existing breed so that the male chicks will have a white head spot.
 
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.
 
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.

Greenfire Farms has announced that they have imported Welbars from the UK and will be selling chicks in fall of 2017. Rumored price is $79 per chick. But you can get them now and have laying pullets when others are just getting chicks.

We are calling these "Heltzel line Welbars" to distinguish them from the "Greenfire Farms line Welbars". Since they have released very little information abouth their birds, I don't know how they will compare. Because these are only F5 from an outcross to a Barred Rock, these are still showing some variability in color and comb size, and some have slightly crooked toes, but the newness of this line adds to the robustness of the birds since they don't suffer from any inbreeding depression.

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:
email: 4chicky@mail.com
phone: (484) 4CHICKY (424-4259)

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.
Welbar hen
Egg comparison (left to right)
Welbar
Welsummer
Copper Marans
Welbar chicks
Group of 8 males and 5 females
Can you identify the females?
Day old Welbar pair (female on left)
Welbar Cockerel