You are spoiled for choice when it comes to the vast array of options for your backyard chicken flock. There are perfect chicken breeds for whatever your priority – great egg layers, pretty egg layers, great all-rounders, and friendly feathery family members.
Today we’re focusing on a gorgeous chicken breed – the Wyandotte Chicken.
What are Wyandotte Chickens
Wyandotte chickens are magnificent birds that come in a variety of colours. A very pretty and showy bird, they are considered by many to be the “movie star” of the poultry world.
Appearance: They are hardy birds with robust body size. They are well-suited to colder climates, and they have a rose comb and stunning diverse plumage that is the result of many years of careful crossbreeding.
- Shape – classically rounded, this is a larger, heavy breed and has a deep, full breast with a broad frame. The head is broad.
- Feathering – laced effect
- Colouring – thirty known colour combinations
- Legs – long, strong, shapely, and bare, with yellow feet
- Comb, Face, Earlobes and Wattle – deep red with the comb in a rose shape close to the head
- Beak – darkish horn colour
- Eyes – orange
- Skin – yellow
- Gait – stately, showy and confident!
Where Did the Wyandotte Chicken Originate.
Bred in the USA, these birds are members of the “American Class” of chickens. This breed was the first American to be bred specifically as a dual-purpose (eggs plus meat) bird.
They originated in New York State in the 1870s, and their name is in honour of the Wyandotte Native American Nation, though there is no historical association of the bird with this tribe.
The original bird was the Silver Laced Wyandotte and was accepted as Standard in 1883. First named the American Sebright Cochin, it was bred from the Dark Brahma and the Silver Spangled Hamburg. The breed was then further developed through crossbreeding with other chicken breeds including Barred Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds among many others.
Characteristics of the Wyandotte Chicken
- These are outstanding dual-purpose birds. They are great as both egg layers and meat producers and do very well in cold winter regions.
- While individual birds may occasionally be aggressive, these chickens generally have a friendly, calm and docile temperament. They can, however, have strong personalities and may seem aloof at times. They tend to be high in the pecking order due to their dominant streak.
- Roosters tend to be gentle and while showy, they will care for the hens in the flock.
- The lifespan of the Wyandotte chicken is average at between six and twelve years for most birds.
- These adaptable birds are not only great foragers which prefer to free-range, but they are also tolerant of being confined, making them an ideal backyard chicken.
- These birds love to have a chat and can be noisy.
- The hens will generally have a strong instinct to brood, though this can be very variable. They will strenuously protect their chicks.
Different varieties of Wyandotte
There is a very wide array of Wyandotte varieties. These include:
- Silver Laced (Silver Spangled Hamburg x Dark Brahma)
- Colombian (White Wyandotte x Barred Plymouth Rock)
- Gold Laced (Silver Laced Wyandotte x Gold Spangled Hamburg x Partridge Cochin)
- Buff Laced (Silver Laced Wyandotte x Buff Cochin)
- Blue Laced Red
- Mille Fleur
- …and many more
Wyandottes are good egg layers, even during winter, and a healthy, happy bird will produce approximately 200 eggs per year. Their eggs are medium in size and light and creamy brown to a rich brown.
Reasons to Choose Wyandotte Chickens for your Backyard Chicken Coop
Not only are Wyandottes great layers and stunning to look at, but they are also great companions for your backyard.
- They are robustly healthy
- Reliable layers year-round of beautiful eggs
- They are great mothers
- They forage very well so require less feeding
- They are happy to free-range over a smaller area than some other breeds
- They handle cold weather very well thanks to their loosely packed feathers and rose comb
- They are a stunningly beautiful bird
- They’re friendly and good for beginner chicken owners
- Generally self-sufficient compared with other breeds
As one of the world’s most popular chicken breeds, you can’t go past spectacular Wyandottes for your backyard flock!