Wyandotte Chicken Breed

Above: Silver-Laced Wyandotte Hen

Wyandotte chickens are beautiful, ornamental chickens. Although nine colors are recognized by The American Poultry Association, Wyandottes primarily are sold in two of those colors (silver-laced and golden-laced)…

Wyandotte Chicken Breed History

Wyandotte chickens originated in the U.S. However, little is known about their breeding background and history. They where originally called ‘American Sebrights’. However, when they where accepted by the APA (American Poultry Association) in 1883, the name was changed to ‘Wyandotte’.

Above: Silver-Laced Wyandotte Hen (named Tweetie). The brown Chicken behind her is a Partridge Easter Egger Hen and the reddish one (left) is a Rhode Island Red Hen.

Physical Characteristics

Wyandottes are very eye-catching chickens. They make very beautiful ornamental chickens for the casual backyard chicken keeper. They also perform well as show chickens.

Weight

Wyandottes are fairly large, dual purpose chickens. Standard Wyandotte hens weigh 6-7 pounds. Standard Wyandotte roosters weigh 8-9 pounds. However, there is a bantam variation available (usually for order as they are not very common). Bantam Wyandotte hens weighs ~36 oz and bantam Wyandotte roosters weigh ~40 oz.

Above: Show quality black Wyandotte bantam hen (photographed by a friend of mine). Wyandotte bantams (like Orpington bantams) tend to look somewhat  like Cochins or Pekins without the foot-feathering.

Color

The first Wyandotte chickens where silver-laced. However, since the breed was created, many other color variations have been made. Color variations recognized by the American Poultry Association include: Buff, Partridge,  Black, White, Blue, Columbian and Silver Penciled, Golden-Laced and Silver-Laced. However there are many varieties that are not yet recognized by the American Poultry Association. Such varieties include: Red, Blue-laced Red, Buff-Laced, Chocolate, Barred/Cuckoo, Splash, Splash Blue-Laced, Mille Fleur (brown porcelain), Salmon, Blue Silver Penciled, Pyle, Blue Partridge, Buff  Columbian and Chocolate Partridge.

Other Physical Characteristics

Wyandottes have brightly colored, yellow legs and toes. They are clean-legged (no foot feathers). Wyandottes also have rose combs (a fairly flat looking comb type with many small points protruding upwards). The breed also has fluffy plumage that resembles the Orpington in some aspects. Like the Orpington, Wyandotte chickens are reputably poor fliers.

Productivity

Wyandotte chickens lay ~200 light brown colored eggs per year. However, since they are a dual purpose breed, standard (non-bantam) Wyandottes are generally large. Heritage strains are known to be fair meat chickens (similar to other breeds that have heritage versions like Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons).

Hardiness

Wyandottes are fairly hardy but not exceptionally so. For this reason, they do not excel in temperatures below 20F and above 90F.

Above: Silver-Laced Wyandotte Hen (foraging by a juniper bush)

Temperament

Wyandottes and very mellow, low key type chickens. They also  bear confinement well. However, the breed can be dominative/assertive. This means that they are often near the top of the pecking order.

Wyandottes can have a pleasant, eye catching appearance which is perfect if you are looking for an ornamental egg-layer. However, they also tend to be more vocal than most other breeds I am familiar with… Wyandottes will definitely give you a heads up if they think they are being shorthanded on the treats!

Note: Tweetie (the hen featured in the images above) is more darkly colored than most Silver-laced chickens. Chicken breeds that are not sold by a breeder, who breeds true to the standard, may vary quite a bit in appearance. Below is a more lightly colored silver-laced Wyandotte rooster for reference.

Picture below by http://ripperda – wyandotte haan, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10682244 

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