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    Wyandotte Chicken Breed Guide


    Breed type

    Dual-purpose (egg and meat)


    Egg color

    Cream, brown


    Pen or free-range?

    Pen


    Temperament

    Mostly calm and friendly, sometimes broody while nesting

    Wyandotte quick facts

    Lifespan: 6-12 years

    Weight: Females (hens): 6-7 lbs.; Males (roosters): 8-9 lbs.

    Appearance: Silver-laced, golden-laced and other varieties with different feather patterns

    Egg Production: 150-200 eggs/year (3-4 eggs/week)

    Good for Beginners: Yes

    Shop all chickens >

    Wyandotte chickens are popular birds that offer dual-purpose utility. They’re great egg layers, and many people use them for meat. These chickens are also visually appealing, adding beauty to a backyard flock. Learn more about Wyandotte chickens from Tractor Supply. 

    History of Wyandotte Chickens

    Wyandotte chickens were first bred in the 1870s in New York State. They were originally called American Sebrights. The name changed to Wyandotte – the name of a Native American tribe in parts of upstate New York and Ontario, Canada – when the silver-laced variety of the chicken breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1883. 

    The purpose of Wyandotte chickens was to create a bird good for egg-laying and eating. It’s thought that Wyandottes were developed by crossbreeding several breeds, such as Cochin, Brahma and Hamburg. The first type was the silver-laced Wyandotte, followed by the golden-laced variety. In addition to the silver-laced and golden-laced, APA recognizes several other Wyandotte varieties, including the sliver-penciled, black, blue, buff, white, partridge and Columbian. Others, such as the blue-laced red, chocolate and lavender, are not yet recognized by APA.  

    Temperament and Good-to-Knows

    A Wyandotte’s temperament is part of why it’s so popular. Here are a few things that every potential owner should know:

    A Wyandotte’s Personality 

    Their docile and friendly nature makes them great for backyards. These birds enjoy interacting with people and are known for tolerating children well, so young families may consider adding them to their flock. They’re also quiet, which is ideal if you have neighbors close by. You can train these intelligent birds to follow simple commands, and they respond to positive reinforcement. This allows for a more engaging experience with your flock. 

    In addition to people, Wyandottes do well in a mixed flock. They’re often social and like to forage. These birds can be territorial, particularly when nesting, but are usually non-aggressive. Wyandotte roosters can be more aggressive, but not outside what’s ordinary for roosters of many breeds. Overall, Wyandotte roosters are calmer around people and easier to manage than some other breeds.

    Temperament as Mothers 

    Wyandottes make great mothers. When their eggs hatch, hens ensure their hatchlings are well-fed and teach them how to forage. They stay close to their hatchlings to keep them safe from other birds and breeds in the flock. 

    As mentioned, Wyandotte hens can become broodier during nesting while protecting their young. Broodiness varies from hen to hen, with some being more aggressive and others slightly more temperamental. 

    Adaptability for Different Climates 

    Wyandotte chickens are highly adaptable and can thrive in various climates. These birds feature dense feathering for warmth in colder areas, plus a rose comb, which is less prone to frostbite than a traditional single comb. In warm climates, heavy body weight and a muscular physique make Wyandottes less susceptible to heat stress than other, lightweight breeds.

    Visual and Egg Characteristics

    Part of Wyandotte chickens’ appeal is their appearance. They bring beauty to your flock with their striking plumage. 

    Physical Characteristics of Wyandottes

    A prominent feature of Wyandottes is their rose combs, which are flat with small, rounded points. Rose combs are smaller on hens. They have bright red faces, wattles and ear lobes, and the necks and hackles on roosters are full and flowing. Wyandottes have clean, feathered yellow legs and four toes on each. 

    Silver-laced Wyandottes are the most popular, and these chickens feature white feathers and black edging. Besides laced, other feather designs include penciled and solid. 

    A heavy body makes Wyandotte ideal for dual utility. The hens weigh six to seven pounds, while the roosters weigh eight to nine pounds.  

    Wyandotte Egg Production 

    Wyandotte hens typically start laying eggs when their four to six months old. They lay around 150 to 200 eggs a year, or three to four a week. These eggs have a cream-to-brown color. 

    From spring to fall, hens may lay about one egg per day. Wyandottes tend to lay better in the winter than other breeds, but egg production still decreases during these months. You may consider adding artificial lighting to the coop during winter to increase egg production.  

    Several factors impact Wyandotte egg production. A well-balanced diet is essential, and you might consider a high protein feed or layering feed with 16 to 18% protein. 

    Health and Care

    Health issues are possible with any poultry breed, and Wyandotte chickens are no exception. Proper care and management can mitigate or prevent these issues and boost the health and wellness of your flock. Tips include: 

    • Checking for signs of illness or injury: Tiredness, loss of appetite and changes in appearance/egg production may all suggest an unhealthy chicken. Swollen or discolored wattles and coughing/wheezing also indicate the chicken is sick or hurt. Seek guidance and care from a veterinarian when necessary. 
    • Monitoring body weight: Weight changes might suggest underlying health issues in your chickens. You want to examine your birds’ appetite and water intake, energy levels and differences in droppings to spot abnormalities.
    • Monitoring socialization: Although Wyandottes are typically friendly, always observe interactions between poultry breeds when adding new birds to the flock. Introduce them gradually and supervise first encounters. This helps prevent aggression.  
    • Adequate shelter: Wyandottes need coops or pens that can protect them from predators and the elements. Coops should have at least 10 inches of roosting space per chicken, plus one nesting box for every four to five hens. Proper ventilation helps control humidity and ensure airflow. Consider additional poultry containment parts and security, such as coop latches, to prevent predators from accessing chickens. 
    • Optimized environment: A clean, stress-free environment allows for better egg production and chicken health. It can lower the risk of parasites like lice or mites harming chickens. Provide your flock with clean feeders and waterers and replace bedding in coops and nesting boxes. You might also consider dust baths, which can help maintain plumage and remove external parasites from affecting birds. 
    • Vaccinations: Vaccinating your poultry is also recommended to ensure a healthier flock. Consult a veterinarian about vaccinations.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Wyandottes 

     Are Wyandottes good for beginners?

    Wyandotte chickens are friendly, docile birds that tend to mix well with other breeds. They’re also quiet compared to some other breeds. In all, they’re an ideal choice for small, backyard flocks. 

    What do people use Wyandottes for? 

    Wyandottes are dual-purpose birds. They lay about 150 to 200 eggs per year and can be used for meat. 

    What are the different Wyandotte varieties? 

    Silver-laced and golden-laced were the first Wyandotte varieties, and the silver-laced Wyandotte was standardized by the American Poultry Association in 1883. Others include Columbian, partridge silver-penciled, black, blue, white and buff, all standardized by APA. Some varieties, like the blue-laced red, are not recognized by APA.   

    Where can I purchase Wyandotte chickens?

    Turn to Tractor Supply for Wyandotte chickens. With over 85 years of experience, Tractor Supply is a trusted resource for live chickens.  

    For answers to more questions about Wyandottes and their egg production, explore Tractor Supply’s chicken egg FAQs and other resources in The Coop.

    Find What Your Flock Needs at Tractor Supply 

    Wyandotte chickens can add the utility and beauty your flock needs. If you need help with your flock, trust America’s largest rural lifestyle retailer — Tractor Supply. From live birds to tips for coop management, Tractor Supply provides what you need For Life Out Here. Shop Wyandotte chickens online or visit your local Tractor Supply store.