The Wyandotte Chicken Breed

Above: Silver-Laced Wyandotte Hen

Wyandottes 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 or golden-laced…

Wyandotte Chicken 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 do 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.

Color

The first Wyandotte chickens where silver-laced. However, since the breed was created, many other color variations have been made. Some of those color variations include: Buff, Black, White, Blue-Laced, Red, Brown, Columbian and Golden-Laced.

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 comb variation 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.

Hardiness

Wyandottes are fairly hardy but not exceptionally so. For this reason, they do not excel in temperatures below ~20F and above 90F without adequate shelter from the heat and cold.

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 usually near the top of the pecking order.

Wyandottes can have a pleasant, eye catching appearance if you are looking for more of an ornamental bird but they also tend to be more vocal than most other breeds I am familiar with… They 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 Wyandottes. Chicken breeds that are not sold by a breeder, who breeds true to the standard, often vary in appearance. Below is a more lightly colored 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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