The Wyandotte chickens are one of the best breeds for small backyard chicken flocks. They are gorgeous, tame, hardy, and good layers of light brown eggs. The Wyandotte breed was developed from the Hamburg and Dark Brahma chickens. The breed was named to honor the Wyandot Tribe of Native Americans who lived in the Great Lake area. This breed was developed in the 1870’s but has no historical relation to the tribe.
Like the Cornish Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Jersey Giants, and a few other breeds, Wyandotte’s are true classic American chickens that were developed during the golden age of poultry in the late 1800’s. Unlike most of the other breeds in America, Wyandotte’s have rose combs. This makes them somewhat more resistant to frostbite than breeds with single combs. They excel in cold climates and often wander outside on wintry days when other breeds stay in the coop.
Wyandotte’s come in many color variations. Some sources list as many as 14 different color variations Silver Laced, Golden Laced, Black, Blue, Buff, Columbian, Silver Penciled, and White are the best-known colors. Silver Laced Wyandotte’s are the most familiar type and are a true classic American chicken. Of all the dual-purpose chicken breeds, Silver and Golden Laced Wyandotte’s may be the most attractive. Wyandotte roosters average about 8 ½ pounds and hens about 5 ½ pounds. They are curvy, solid birds and meaty enough for a tasty meal. The Wyandotte hens are good layers. Expect about four light-brown eggs a week, or around 200 a year. That’s not quite as many as Rhode Island Reds, or brown egg hybrids lay, but it’s better than many other classic breeds.
Wyandotte’s are gentle quiet birds that aren’t flighty. Although they love being outside, where they scratch for worms, bugs, and seeds, they rarely try to fly over a fence. Hens occasionally go broody and are good mothers. They Wyandotte’s can be a bit vocal and once they start, it can turn into their favorite past time. Their vocal-ness is the only less desired quality of this chicken. The Wyandotte’s have a strong but docile chicken personality and are great for both the first-time chicken owner and the chicken enthusiast. They will also incubate eggs from other breeds and are good sitters when broody.
People who keep chickens in backyard flocks can choose from dozens of breeds but, the Wyandotte’s may be the very best at combining an interesting history, with a beautiful bird that is easy to care for and an outstanding producer of meat and eggs.
This article was provided by Hoover’s Hatchery.