Wyandotte Chicken {The Most Beautiful Dual-Purpose Heritage Breed?}

The Wyandotte chicken is not just a useful dual-purpose heritage breed, but it is one of the most beautiful and striking productive varieties of chickens you can add to your flock. Providing ample meat and 200+ eggs annually, this calm chicken breed is a worthy variety for your homestead or backyard flock. I’m including plenty of pictures and I’m sure you are going to fall in love.

2 wyandotte hens and 1 rooster standing on pasture

Wyandotte Quick Facts

  • Primary use: Dual-Purpose (Meat & Egg-laying)
  • Size (Roosters): 8 – 9 lbs
  • Size (Hens): 6 – 8 lbs
  • Egg production (Annual): 210
  • Egg size: Large
  • Egg colour: Brown
  • Origin: USA

Top Reasons To Choose The Wyandotte For Your Flock

  • Large, beautiful chicken with some of the most interesting colors and feather patterns out of any breed
  • Excellent egg producers, often producing approximately 210 eggs annually
  • Dual-purpose and utilized for both their quality meat and eggs
  • Resilient and strong; lifespan is 5 to 8 years or more
  • American Heritage bird
  • Hardy, healthy

Overall, Wyandotte chickens are a great, hardy breed and make a good addition to most flocks.

However, they do tend to stick to their own kind socially.

a golden brown and black laced wyandotte hen on pasture

History and Origins

The Wyandotte was created to be America’s first dual-purpose chicken.

The original name of the breed was American Sebright, but this quickly changed once the APA recognized this breed in 1883. From that point on, they were called the Wyandotte chicken.

The name Wyandotte is derived from the Wyandot Indigenous People of North America. The Wyandot/Wendat/Wyandotte people were said to be kind and helpful to the European settlers throughout several states and Ontario, and naming this breed after them was a way to honor their actions.

There are many varieties of Wyandotte chickens, including the Silver Laced Wyandotte and the Golden Laced Wyandotte.

Both were bred for the first time in the 1860s, but the Silver Laced was created in New York, and Gold Laced was created in Wisconsin by combining a Silver Laced with a different breed of chicken (Gold Spangled Hamburg and Partridge Cochin).

The Four Recognized Colors are red, blue, black, and white.

Other types of Wyandotte include:

  • White Wyandotte
  • Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
  • Partridge Wyandotte
  • Red Wyandotte
  • Buff Laced Wyandotte
  • Black Wyandotte
  • Silver Penciled Wyandotte
  • Blue Wyandotte

Toward the end of the 19th century, the Wyandotte made its appearance in Britain, where it received a positive reaction!

The Wyandotte very quickly became America’s popular breed and sought after in Britain too.

It did experience a decline and near obscurity when industrial farming became prevalent.

Still, farmers and chicken enthusiasts strongly desired these birds, brought them back from obscurity, and their breed remains pretty popular today.

a blue red laced wyandotte hen isolated on a white background

Appearance

The Wyandotte is a large chicken with a broad breast and solid stature.

Hens weigh, on average, 6 to 8 lbs, and roosters up to 8.5 lbs.

Wyandotte chickens boast a rose comb atop their large head and have yellow, short legs to support their stocky frame.

They do not have feathers on their legs.

No matter what variety of Wyandotte you own, their comb, earlobes, and wattles are red, and they will have a deep-yellow beak; their eyes tend to be a striking orange.

Different varieties of Wyandotte are achieved by mixing breeds, and there are many varieties out there, as we mentioned, including, Silver Laced, Gold Laced, White, and Partridge Wyandotte are all popular varieties of these birds you might come across.

a double laced black and white wyandotte hen on pasture

Personality & Temperament

The Wyandotte chicken is known as being friendly and docile, making them great additions to many kinds of flocks.

Although it is said they pair best with other Wyandotte or chicken breeds with similar temperaments.

They do not mesh well with chickens who exhibit bolder, more aggressive tendencies. They will only show aggression if provoked; if another breed threatens or bullies them, they will sometimes react, which can cause emotional upset among your flock.

Other times, if surrounded by other breeds with different temperaments, they will simply opt to ignore them entirely.

Wyandotte chickens typically enjoy human interaction, but they will not seek it often. Your chicken will likely enjoy any attention you provide them but will happily carry on with their routine afterward and not prompt you to tend to them.

Wyandottes enjoy free-ranging and love to snack on bugs as they calmly patrol their allotted outdoor spaces.

While they can indeed happily roam a pasture freely, they are also known to do well in confined spaces if need be.

Their thick feathers mean that they will require shade and hydration in warmer climates; otherwise, they may show signs of feeling unwell and become irritable.

Overall, they are friendly, calm, and well-mannered birds.

4 baby wyandotte chicks close up under the body of their mother hen

Large Brown Eggs

The Wyandotte chicken lays large, beautiful brown eggs about four times each week, meaning they lay up to 210 eggs annually.

Generally, the Wyandotte breed is considered productive, although they do not produce as many eggs – or produce eggs as quickly – as other breeds, especially when compared to commercial hybrids.

Hens start egg production at about 18 weeks of age.

Even though they are large in stature, the Wyandotte is known to be a broody breed and are excellent mothers overall.

See Also:

21 Best Chicken Breeds For Egg Laying

Meat

The Wyandotte is a very good meat chicken too.

They are large birds with yellow skin and will be ready for slaughter at 3-4 months of age.

As they are a heritage breed, it takes them longer to get to weight, but with heritage breeds, the taste can be worth it.

We’ve raised (or raise) heritage Orpingtons and Bresse for meat.

This year I also added the Red Ranger as a (technically dual-purpose too) faster-growing meat bird that takes 12 weeks to reach processing weight.

a silvery blue wyandotte hen isolated on a white background

Cold Hardy

The Wyandotte chicken breed is a heavyset, heavily-feathered bird, so it is quite cold hardy!

These chickens were first bred in Michigan and New York, meaning they were created with the intent to survive and thrive in colder winters.

Make sure your Wyandotte has somewhere warm to escape to once they’ve had enough cold weather, and be sure to check their comb and skin for frostbite if you believe they’ve spent too much time in harsh conditions.

In general, though, your Wyandotte hen should do well roaming outdoors, even during winter.

And when it comes to frostbite, the best cure is prevention.

We utilize the Deep Litter Method because it is one of the best (if not the best) methods of coop management.

See Also:

10 Steps To Winterize Your Chicken Coop

Feeding Free-Range Chickens In Winter

How Cold Is Too Cold For Chickens?

The Deep Litter System For Coop Management

Free Range

The Wyandotte can enjoy time spent in confinement, but in general, they are a breed that loves to free-range whenever possible.

They will scrounge for seeds, insects, and other food while they roam steadily for hours.

These birds are seldom ‘in a rush’ and enjoy seeking food at their own pace when free-ranging, but they will happily approach a human offering snacks.

See Also:

How To Safely Free-Range Chickens

25 REAL Ways To Cut Down on Chicken Feed Costs

How & Why To Ferment Your Chicken Feed

a single wyandotte day-old chick on a table

Where To Find Chicks

I’m a big fan of finding smaller, reputable, breeders that are passionate about their breed of choice.

Your local online chicken groups are great resources for recommendations and reviews.

Care & Feeding of Baby Chicks

Taking care of chicks is easy.

You may even try incubating and hatching your own chicks, a fascinating process that I’m somewhat addicted to.

I have several articles that go over this topic in great detail: Incubate & Hatch EggsChick Care & Feeding, and When Can Chicks Go Outside?

a black and white hen sitting on a wooden chair outside in the grass

Final Thoughts

The Wyandotte is a popular American heritage breed that was once close to being endangered due to the industrialization of farming but is nevertheless a common breed that continues to thrive today.

They are used for a dual purpose. Many people desire their large brown eggs and yellow-skinned meat.

These large brown egg layers are available in a variety of colors and are, in general, friendly and docile chicken breeds that enjoy free-ranging, even in colder temperatures.

The Wyandotte begins to produce eggs at 18 weeks of age and lays about 210 eggs annually; they are broody and known to be good mothers.

Overall, this happy, easy-going breed does best with its own kind and will fit in great in many homesteads or backyard settings.

a flock of chickens on green pasture.

The Ultimate Guide to Homestead & Backyard Chicken Keeping 

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