The Wyandotte is an American chicken breed that is reared by homesteaders and backyard flock keepers for its yellow-skinned meat and brown eggs. Bred to be dual purpose, the Wyandotte chicken breed was to solve a particular issue. Back then, there existed no breed that could produce meat and eggs well.
The chicken breeds that existed then were either good for eggs or meat. Wyandotte chicken breed solved this issue, by laying many eggs and at the same time growing heavy quickly, making it good as a meat chicken.
Another issue that the wyandotte chicken breed solved was the need for a hardy chicken that could survive and produce in the harsh American winters. The Wyandotte will tolerate low temperatures and lay throughout winter.
On the looks side, the wyandotte has not been left behind. It is one of the prettiest chicken breeds in the world, with contrasting and striking plumage that makes it stand out in any chicken flock.
The Wyandotte is available in several colors, but the Silver laced wyandotte is the most common and was the color of the initial wyandotte breed.
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History of the Wyandotte Chicken Breed
Originally named American Sebright or Sebright cochin, the wyandotte chicken breed was developed in the 1870s by Fred Houdlette, John Ray, H. M. Doubleday, and L. Whittaker. It was later name wyandotte after the indigenous Wyandot people of America.
The initial birds used in the cross are not known but experts widely agree that the silver spangled Hamburgs and dark Brahmas were some of the chicken breeds used in the original cross. The wyandotte gets it’s plumage color form the dark Brahma and it’s rose comb form the spangled Hamburgs.
The original wyandotte was the silver laced wyandotte and is still the most common wyandotte chicken breed to date. Over time, variants of the wyandotte chicken breed have been developed.
Variants of the Wyandotte Chicken Breed
- Silver Laced Wyandotte Chicken Breed – the original wyandotte breed.
- Gold laced wyandotte chicken breed – a cross of silver laced wyandotte hens, gold spangled. Hamburg cockerels and Cochin cockerels.
- Buff wyandotte chicken breed – a cross of silver laced wyandotte and buff cochin.
- White Wyandotte chicken breed – a mutation of silver laced wyandotte.
- Black Wyandotte chicken Breed – a mutation of both the silver-laced Wyandotte and the gold-laced Wyandotte.
- Partridge Wyandotte Chicken Breed – a cross of gold-laced Wyandotte with cornish (Indian game), partridge Cochin, gold-penciled Hamburgers.
- Columbian Wyandotte Chicken Breed – a cross of white Wyandottes with barred Plymouth Rock chicken.
- Bantam Wyandotte – Originally developed in England as an ornamental bird.
Wyandotte chicken Characteristics
The Wyandotte is a medium weight fowl that can withstand rugged conditions. It has clean long yellow legs.
The feathers are broad and loosely fitted, with a high concentration around the vent area, making the area fluffy. The feathers are arranged in a pattern that makes it look like lace, giving them their unique attractive look and making it a choice bird among ornamental chicken fanciers.
It has rose-colored combs and wattles that do not freeze in winter as compared to other single comb chicken.
Wyandotte Chicken Breed Profile
- Purpose: Meat and eggs
- Wyandotte Chicken Egg Color (Egg Shell Color): Brown
- Egg size: Large
- Egg Productivity: 180-260 eggs
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Wyandotte Chicken Breed Standard Weight
- Hen: 6 ½ lbs
- Rooster: 8 ½ lbs
- Pullet: 5 ½ lbs
- Cockerel: 7 ½ lbs
- Temperament / Behaviour: Friendly, Playful. Good Mothers. Good Foragers. Domineering when kept with other chicken breeds.
- Size: Medium to large
- Broodiness: Gets Broody and sits on eggs
- Comb: Pink colored.
- Climatic Tolerance: Hardy. Handles both hot and cold climates well.
- Varieties: Colombian, Patridge, white, black, gold-laced, Bantam, Buff, silver laced.
- Color Description: Different colors depending on the variety. Feathers are arranged in a pattern that looks like lace. Rose-colored comb, ears, and wattle
- Conservation Status: Recovering
- Country of Origin: United States of America
Advantages of Wyandotte Chicken
- Good Layer – The wyandotte is a good layer, producing between 160 to 260 eggs per year.
- Tolerates cold – The wyandotte can tolerate extremely low temperatures
- Friendly – The wyandotte is friendly and gentle, making it ideal as a pet and as a backyard bird.
- Great Maternal Instincts – The wyandotte has gets broody and sits on eggs. It has good motherly instinct, therefore giving good care to its chicks.
- Beautiful – The feather arrangements make the wyandotte attractive and are a good show bird.
- Good Forager and Scavenger – The wyandotte is a good forager/scavenger making it good for free-ranging and can be raised on pasture.
Disadvantages of the Wyandotte Chicken
- The wyandotte can be noisy sometimes. Check your zoning laws to see if they allow for noisy chicken.
- The wyandotte produces single combed offsprings some of the time. These single combed offsprings should not be used for breeding