If you are considering adding a versatile, beautiful, amusing chicken breed to your home? The Wyandotte chicken breed is a great show bird and a layer as well as a good for meat.
These birds have striking feather patterns and have a fluffy body that makes them withstand cold and survive even in areas with ruthless winters. While some chickens are known to be best for an old hand, the Wyandotte chicken is very beginner-friendly and gets along with kids just fine. The breed is known to be calm and peaceful.
Other than being a dual-purpose chicken breed, the Wyandotte is relatively common. So, if you want to add it to your flock, it is likely that you will find it in a hatchery.
So, when, and where did the Wyandotte chicken breed?
Table of Contents
Brief History of the Wyandotte Chicken Breed
The Wyandotte chicken breed history is nothing but amazing and it was created for egg-laying and meat purposes.
An American chicken breed, the Wyandotte was created in the 1870s and derives its name from the native Wyandot inhabitants of North America. This chicken breed was originally known as the American Sebright. The first type of Wyandotte chicken was the silver-laced variety that entered the American Standard of Perfection in 1883. It is this year that it was accepted as a breed.
While the origin of the Wyandotte chicken breed somehow remains a mystery, the dark Brahmas and spangled Hamburgs are said to have played an important role in its development. Other breeds included Cochins and Pekins. To this day, the silver-laced Wyandotte holds the crown for the most popular and prettiest variety.
These chickens come in a range of beautiful colors that will catch your attention, are great layers, and will keep your yard pest-free if allowed to range freely. That sounds amazing, right?
In this article, we have included everything you need to know about the Wyandotte chicken breed. From its appearance to personality, egg production, noise level, health issues, and feeding among others, our guide is very exhaustive.
A table for the Wyandotte Chicken Breed
|Good for Beginners?||Yes|
|Weight||Hen (lbs.), Rooster (9 lbs.)|
|Temperament||Docile & Gentle|
|Lifespan||5 to 12 years|
|Egg Production||3 to 4 weekly|
|Egg Color||Cream or Light Brown|
|Color Variety||Silver laced, Golden Laced, Partridge, Buff, Blue, among others|
|Good with kids||Yes|
|Are they Broody?||No|
|Price||$3 to $20 per chick|
Appearance: what does the Wyandotte look like?
The Wyandotte is a relatively large chicken that is compact and rounded. These birds have a lot of feathers in their body that keeps them warm even in the harshest winters. The Wyandotte, bred to survive the brutal winter in New York and Michigan, thus have a rose comb. It helped reduce the possibility of having frostbite.
These chickens have a short and broad head with a short beak and eyes that are reddish in color. The earlobes, wattles, and combs of the Wyandotte come in a deep, glorious red color. Expect their legs to be yellow in color and without feathers with four toes on each of their two feet.
Size & Weight: how big do Wyandotte chickens get?
As mentioned earlier, the Wyandotte is a large, fluffy bird. Wyandotte roosters are typically bigger and weigh between 8 and 9 lbs. while hens weigh 6 to 7 lbs.
The bantam variety tends to weigh anywhere between 3 and 3¾ lbs. on average.
Wyandotte Chicken Growth Rate
Someone asked us: how fast do Wyandotte chickens grow?
Wyandotte chickens are mature by the time they are 20 weeks old. At this age, the hens will start laying while the rooster is ready for meat. The Wyandotte chicken meat quality is known to be great.
Since these birds are a heritage breed, they tend to grow slowly. The Wyandotte chicken breed will take longer to get to the table weight compared to other chicken breeds.
Due to their slow growth rate, we would not recommend using the Wyandotte chicken for breeding purposes. But if you are looking for a dual-purpose chicken that is a beauty when roaming around your yard freely, this is it!
Check out the week-by-week growth chart of the Wyandotte chicken breed below:
|Age (weeks)||Wyandotte Pullets weight (Lbs.)|
Wyandotte Chicken Colors
There are several varieties of Wyandotte chickens with red, white, black, and blue being the standard variety.
The pioneer of the Wyandotte chicken breed, the Silver Laced Wyandotte, was developed in 1883 and other colors followed.
Wyandotte variety Breeding year
Gold Laced, White 1888
Buff, black, partridge 1893
Silver penciled 1902
The Silver Laced and Golden Laced Wyandottes are beyond a doubt the most popular colors in the Wyandotte chicken breed.
Below are some images of these amazing birds:
Another chicken color that is popular but not accepted as a Wyandotte breed is the Blue Laced Red.
Wyandotte Chicken Recognized Variety
The number of Wyandotte chicken recognized varieties differs from one country to another Here In the U.S., for instance, the American Poultry Association only accepts 9 standard varieties as well as 10 bantams.
The accepted Wyandotte chicken breed colors in the US include:
- Golden Laced
- Silver Laced
- Silver Penciled
The same colors are recognized for bantams plus the buff Columbian.
In the U.K., the Poultry Club of Great Britain lists 13 varieties of Wyandotte chicken while Europe’s Entente Européenne recognizes 30 types of Wyandottes.
Wyandotte Chicken Silver-Laced
Considered by many chicken enthusiasts as the American Treasure, the Silver Laced Wyandotte chicken is one of the prettiest chickens. Famous for its silver and white feather colors laced with black, this chicken is easy-going and independent but can get along with most flocks easily.
The Silver Laced Wyandotte chicken was the first variety to be bred with all the characteristics that people desired for egg and meat purposes, as well as being hardy. This bird was created by breeding the Dark Brahmas and Silver Spangled Hamburgs in the 1870s.
To this day, they remain the most popular variety of the Wyandotte chicken breed.
What is it like owning a Wyandotte chicken?
The Wyandotte chicken is the true definition of beauty regardless of the variety you choose. We love poultry and admire the splendor they bring to our compound as they range freely in the compound. Wyandottes are some of our best, in addition to Brahmas, Rhode Island Red, and Plymouth Rock chicken.
The Wyandotte is more an independent chicken breed that loves being in the company of its kind for the most part. When they are in the yard, they will get along with our other chicken breeds. If it is bullied, however, it will stand up and defend itself.
Wyandottes are active birds that will spend most of their time foraging in your yard. If you do not mind having your lawn ripped, these chickens will do a thorough job of pest control.
Personality: Wyandotte Chicken Disposition/Characteristics
Wyandotte chickens are not known to be aggressive birds at all. However, these chickens are famous for being calm and standoffish. As we mentioned earlier, the Wyandotte hangs around with its kind and will not mix with the rest of the chicken breeds. However, they can share the same yard and space.
And while these birds are calm, other chickens that tend to pick on them may face it rough as the Wyandotte has its group of bullies that will defend them.
So, are Wyandotte chicken friendly?
The Wyandotte is not the type of chicken that will want human companionship at all. In fact, it tends to avoid you at all costs and will only be interested in what you are doing. If you are looking for a chicken breed to cuddle and want to be besties, Wyandottes are not for you.
Of course, these birds will approach when you want to throw them treats, and allow you to pick them, but will not be lap chickens. All in all, the Wyandotte chicken is good with kids which makes it an excellent choice for novice chicken owners.
Typically, the Wyandotte chicken breed is considered a decent egg layer. These birds will not lay as many eggs as others like the Rhode Island Red, they are reliable layers.
That being said, Wyandottes will lay 3 to 4 eggs per week. If you multiply that by 52 weeks, the Wyandotte chicken will lay around 200 eggs per year.
|Eggs per week||3 to 4 eggs|
|Color||Brown or Cream|
Wyandotte Chicken Eggs
The Wyandotte chicken eggs come in a cream or brown color and are large in size.
These birds are known to be broody but will when they decide to and are excellent mothers that will protect their chicks at all costs.
Chatting with chickens is not a strange thing. And while some chicken breeds tend to be noisy, most of them chat gently throughout the day. When it comes to the Wyandotte, it will depend on what you refer to as too much noise.
In our case, we think that these birds are very chatty and can be noisier than average. However, it is unlikely that they will cause any trouble for the neighbors.
Facts about the Wyandotte Chicken
Here are a few facts about the popular Wyandotte chicken breed:
- The Wyandotte is named after the Wendat (currently Huron), an indigenous American tribe that lived in Ontario, Canada
- Wyandottes are exceptionally tolerant to extreme winters but not as good in the heat.
- This chicken breed is not a good flyer but loves to roam and may wander away, so they need to be confined. However, they need ample space both inside the coop and outside.
- While Wyandottes are friendly, they are independent and do not like to interact with other chicken breeds in the flock apart from their kind.
- Wyandottes are good brooders when they want to but make excellent mothers because of their protective nature.
Wyandotte Chicken Care Guide
To take good care of your Wyandotte chicken, you need to understand their health problems as well as their nutritional requirements.
Generally, Wyandottes is a healthy and solid chicken breed as it is physically and remarkably free of diseases.
When you buy your chicks from a hatchery, they should be vaccinated against some major diseases that affect these fowls. Typically, birds are predisposed to minor health issues such as worms, lice, and mites. Luckily, the diseases are not a big issue with regular vet checkups as well as the proper medication.
According to an article in the MERCK Manual on nutritional requirements of poultry, an ideal diet for your chicken should be complete and balanced with at least 38 dietary nutrients. The criteria used to determine the requirement for each nutrient include growth, feed efficiency, and egg production. Other factors are prevention of deficiency symptoms and poultry product quality.
Wyandotte chicks need to be fed high-quality poultry food that is rich in proteins to ensure they grow healthy and strong. Your chicks should also have access to soluble grit, the perfect size for chicks, served separately from their regular diet. The food should contain at least 20% protein. These chicks will do okay with a chick starter or grower mix.
These pretty birds start laying when they are around 16 to 20 weeks old. During this time, you can introduce layer feed gradually. Other than their regular regime, your Wyandotte should eat calcium in the form of oyster shells as well as insoluble grit. These two must be served separately in another container and not mixed with the feed.
Wyandottes tend to shed and when this happens, they should consume food with higher protein content, at least 20%. Keep protein this high until they have their feathers back.
As a rule of the thumb, make sure that your Wyandotte has access to clean, fresh drinking water throughout the day.
Coop Setup and Roaming
The Wyandotte is a large breed with a solid build and likes ranging freely as well as roosting comfortably. As such, they need adequate space both inside and outside.
Inside the coop
Typically, one chicken should have access to at least 4 square feet of space. But bearing in mind that they are an independent breed, more space is recommended. This allows the other birds in the homestead to have ample space too.
The coop setup should have at least 8 to 10 inches of resting space for each chicken although more is always better. When winter kicks in, Wyandottes like to cuddle up to keep warm. So, make sure the roosts are strong enough to hold their weight.
The Wyandotte loves free-ranging and should be given ample space to collect delicious little morsels from the garden. About 8 square feet is enough for each chicken. And while this is a good thing, they should not be allowed to roam too far as they might become prey. So, make sure that their roaming area is enclosed securely.
Unlike other chicken breeds such as the Bantams, Fayoumi, Lakenvelder, and Ameraucana, the Wyandotte does not fly high. As such, a 3-ft high fence is enough to confine them.
How long do Wyandotte Chicken live?
The Wyandotte chicken life expectancy is more than 5 years on average.
Wyandotte Chicken for Sale
Do you live in Australia, the US, NZ, and the UK and are looking for Wyandotte chicken for sale? There are dependable and responsible farms and hatcheries which you can buy chicks from. Expect to spend anywhere between $4.19 and $5.25 for a Wyandotte chick.
Should you keep this breed?
The Wyandotte chicken breed is a charming breed with striking and stunning colors that you will love to see roaming in your backyard.
You should keep the Wyandotte chicken breed…
- If you are looking for a hardy chicken breed that will withstand the freezing winters with less likelihood of getting frostbites.
- A versatile breed that is a decent layer and good for meat.
- A low-maintenance chicken breed with minimal care needs.
- A calm and quiet breed for your backyard.
You should not consider the Wyandotte chicken breed if you...
- Are looking for an excellent egg layer.
- An all-time brooding chicken breed
- A chicken that loves cuddling
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