Wyandotte chickens are an extremely popular backyard breed of chicken and for good reason. The name “Wyandotte” comes from a Native American Tribe who lived primarily in upstate New York and Ontario, Canada.
The Plumage and History of Wyandotte Chickens
Not only do these birds come in a wide variety of beautiful plumage variations, but they’re one of the best dual-purpose breeds available to small-scale farmers. The true origin of the Wyandotte breed isn’t confirmed, but many think they came from a cross between Dark Brahmas and Spangled Hamburgs. Silver Laced Wyandottes were the first to make it into the American Standard of Perfection in the year 1883. Since then, many plumage patterns have arisen out of various crossings with other breeds. These variations include: the Partridge Wyandottte, Columbian Wyandottes, Black Laced Wyandottes, Buff Laced Wyandottes and many more.
Wyandottes are pretty big birds, but their overall body size is rather compact despite their average weight. Males weigh usually around 8.5 pounds with hens averaging out at about 6.5 pounds. They are clean-legged birds who sport a beautiful rose comb on top of their heads. They have yellow skin, shanks, and ear-lobes, with a red face and wattles.
With their larger size yet adequate laying ability of light brown eggs (~200 a year), Wyandottes are one of the more versatile and efficient breeds for backyard farming. Their hardy, larger bodies also allow them to still lay effectively into the colder winter months. To go along with their larger bodies, these birds mature rather fast, meaning they don’t cost a lot of money to raise for their meat. If you’re looking for a docile and friendly breed to provide you with plenty of eggs as well as substantial meat, this breed is one of the best options available. Their typically docile and friendly nature make them a go-to choice for novice and first time bird raisers. With the extravagant and wide ranging plumage patterns, some owners also raise Wyandottes as exhibition birds!
They’re Not Shy…
These birds are also a bit gregarious, which is why some owners love them and some don’t. If you live in a compact neighborhood with close neighbors, you should maybe speak with your neighbors before introducing a flock of Wyandottes. They will also be great mothers and can effectively forage to either supplement their diet, protect your garden, or both! Sometimes they can be a little too eager to go broody, which can cause problems for you, especially if you’re trying to maintain a laying flock. It’s always good to know ways to break a broody hen, should you need to do so. Another great aspect of this breed is their adaptability. While like most breeds Wyandotte chickens prefer some room to roam, they are more adaptable to confined spaces that other breeds of the same size.
The Wyandotte breed was actually quite recently considered endangered until 2016 when they graduated from the Livestock Conservancy’s priority list. A major contributor to this are the conservation breeders and raisers who shop with us at eFowl. Despite their recent “pomp and circumstance,” it’s never too late to jump on board the conservation train and keep the breed flourishing the way it should by raising your very own flock of Wyandotte chickens