Wyandotte chickens are an American chicken breed with a medium-sized body that’s relatively wide. They are a dual-purpose breed, suited for meat and egg production, and a very beginner-friendly chicken breed. This, combined with their beautiful colors and feather pattern, makes them a joy to have in a backyard!
Let’s discuss all there is to know about these feathered friends.
The Wyandotte chicken is rather large, medium in height, but quite broad and rounded. The hens weigh around 6,5 pounds (2,9kg), and roosters are tipping the scale at roughly 8 pounds (3,6kg). There is also a Bantam version available. All Wyandottes have a nice, full, and rounded breast, which makes them great meat chickens next to their excellent egg laying capabilities.
Their legs are clean and yellow-skinned. Wattles, earlobes, and face are red. Wyandottes typically have a rose comb on their rather broad skull.
Wyandottes come in various colors or patterns. In the US, nine colors are recognized in ‘The Standard’ of the American Poultry Association. In Europe, thirty colors are listed. So whatever color or pattern you prefer, the Wyandotte probably has one that matches your taste. The first breeder Wyandotte was silver laced. This means all other colors or pattern varieties originate from the silver-laced Wyandotte.
Common color patterns on the Wyandotte chicken are golden laced, silver penciled, black, partridge and buff.
Because the Wyandotte is a reasonably large chicken, it can not fly or jump very high. They’ll jump up to the roosting bar but won’t make it over high fences. This makes them docile, as they won’t escape as quickly as ‘flighty’ breeds such as Marans. So they won’t bother your neighbors with a surprise visit, which is an advantage when living in a suburban neighborhood.
The Wyandotte Bantams made it into the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association since 1933. They are listed with the same nine color patterns as the large fowl, but there is also a buff Columbian variation. The American Bantam Association, on the other hand, lists 18 variations.
Many clubs worldwide, like the Wyandotte Bantam Club of America and the Scottish Wyandotte Bantam Club, are breeding these strains. Some variants like the Columbian are getting more and more popular.
The roosters tip the scale at 26-30 ounces, whereas the hens weigh about 25 ounces. That’s much less than the large fowl. They are miniature versions and like all Bantams, consume less food and need less space.
Wyandottes are quite hardy chickens that thrive well in cold environments. They’ve been bread especially to stand cold American winters as their small rose comb and fluffy body helps them stand the cold.
On the other hand, Wyandottes don’t like tropical temperatures. So when dealing with a heat wave, always make sure to keep them cool. Wyandottes are not the best breed to be kept in a Mediterrane or southern climate because of their body structure and comb size. They’ll quickly overheat and suffer heat stress.
Wyandottes make great pet chickens. They are kind and gentle to humans and children. When getting some work done in the garden, your Wyandotte loves to keep you company. Because of their size, they need enough space inside the chicken run or let them free range. They won’t wander off too far and will find their way back home when dusk comes.
As friendly as they are to humans, as dominant they can be to other birds. They do have a temperament! Wyandottes are mostly high in the pecking order as they are assertive chickens. You can keep Wyandottes with other chicken breeds without any problems, but try and choose other friendly but assertive breeds to join them, like Rhode Island Reds or Barred Rocks. Wyandottes are not likely to be aggressive, but the roosters are not known to be the most friendly creatures as they take their job protecting the flock very seriously.
A Wyandotte chicken is a perfect dual-purpose breed. The hens lay around four large brown eggs per week, that’s more than 200 eggs per year. As they are cold hardy chickens, the Wyandotte keeps on laying during winter, although the egg production can decrease during this time of year. The only time Wyandottes stop laying eggs is during molting.
Wyandotte hens make excellent mothers. They tend to go broody quite easily, which is something to keep in mind when you’re not planning to hatch eggs. Broodiness can weaken a hen and makes them stop egg production.
The Wyandotte finds its origin in the 1870s in the US. This chicken was bred especially to survive cold American winters and to create a dual-purpose breed, where the hens are kept for eggs and the roosters for meat. The first type was a silver laced Wyandotte referred to as the American Sebright. Afterward, they renamed this breed ‘Wyandotte’, for the ‘Wyandot’ tribe, a Native American tribe in North America. The Wyandotte breed was admitted into the APA Standard in 1883.
The origin of the silver laced Wyandotte is uncertain, but it’s believed to be developed from the Dark Brahma and Spangled Hamburgs. After introducing the Silver Laced Wyandotte, many other varieties were bred.