Wyandotte Chickens: Buyer’s Guide

Wyandotte Chickens: Buyer’s Guide

If you want a truly beautiful hen in your flock, you can’t go wrong with a Wyandotte chicken. With their intricately laced feathers and easy-going personalities, they’re the perfect addition to any backyard flock.

 

We have a few of these hens in our coop, and they not only are fun to look at, they lay large brown eggs. We’ve even hatched a few chicks – and even the barnyard mixes (aka mutts) had the delicate laced pattern on their feathers.

 

In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about Wyandotte chickens, including:

  • How to feed them
  • The different varieties
  • What their personalities are like
  • Where to buy them

 

Buckle up and get ready to be WOWED by the Wyandotte!

 

Wyandotte Chicken Personalities

Are Wyandotte Chickens Friendly?

Yes! This chicken breed is very friendly and loves to interact with humans. It’s always best to spend time with your flock when they’re chicks so they learn to recognize you as their friend – as they grow into adults, they’ll enjoy spending time with you more.

 

The roosters aren’t aggressive, and the hens don’t “go broody” – and they’re always cheerful! All in all, they make great pets! You can learn more about how to raise friendly chickens here.


In a flock, they get along with other chickens. Wyandotte chickens are bred to be friendly and docile so they typically aren’t bullies and will easily fit into most backyard flocks without drama.

 

Are Wyandottes Aggressive?

Not normally. When the roosters are about 1 year old, they occasionally can become a bit aggressive as they “feel their oats” and the hormones kick in. However, like most roosters, they’ll mellow out after the first year. The hens are always friendly, and since they don’t “go broody,” you can expect them to not undergo any personality changes during breeding season (spring and summer).

 

All About Wyandotte Chicken Eggs

Wyandotte chicken egg color: Light brown or cream

 

Wyandottes make great layers, and you’ll enjoy about 280 brown eggs a year. If you add plenty of shavings and herbs to her nesting box – and offer high protein treats and calcium – your flock will bless you with breakfast about 4 times a week! If you notice your Wyandotte laying egg shells that are weak (meaning, they break easily), offer her more oyster shells to increase her calcium intake.

 

How Big Are Wyandotte Eggs?

Wyandottes are medium-sized chickens (about the size of a Buff Orpington, but smaller than a Jersey Giant), but they lay nice, large eggs. Unlike bantams, you can expect a Wyandotte’s egg to be the same size as a grocery store egg – but since you can feed your chickens a healthy diet, her eggs will probably be better than store-bought!

 

What Color Eggs Do Silver Laced Wyandotte Chickens Lay?

Silver Laced Wyandotte egg color: Light brown or cream colored.

 

Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens lay large, light brown eggs. Some would call the color of her eggs a “cream” or “latte” color – either way, they’re large enough to make a nice omelette AND they look beautiful! (Note that the golden laced wyandotte egg color is the same – a light brown or cream color).

 

Are Columbian Wyandotte Good Egg Layers?

Like all other Wyandotte chickens, the Columbian variety is a great layer of light brown eggs.

 

How Long Do Wyandotte Chickens Lay Eggs?

Wyandotte chickens will likely give you eggs until she’s 3 years old. Most hens lay consistently from 9 months old until about 3 years old. After 3 years, she might still produce eggs, but it’ll probably be less frequently. However, there are some champion layers who will consistently give you eggs their whole life. To keep your hen in good shape, it’s best to feed her a diet of 16% protein layer feed and also offer high protein treats and lots of calcium.

 

How Old Are Wyandottes When They Start Laying?

The Wyandotte chicken usually starts laying eggs at 6 months old. The exception is if they turn 6 months in the dead of winter – then she might not start laying until the following spring. Most chickens need about 14 hours of light per day to start laying – without it, they don’t produce the necessary hormones. You might be able to prompt laying by adding a light to their coop and giving them some extra light before nightfall.

 

Do Wyandotte Chickens Go Broody?

Like any other chicken breed, it’ll depend on the individual chicken. On the whole, Wyandottes don’t go broody (meaning the hen wants to hatch eggs for chicks). Instead, they prefer to spend their time looking for bugs and other goodies in the dirt. If you want chicks from your hens, it’s probably best to incubate them. You can see the list of incubators we recommend here.

 

Wyandotte Chickens Breed Standard of Perfection

 

What do Wyandotte Chickens Look Like?

According to the Laced Wyandotte Club, this breed should sport these characteristics:

 

  • Personality: Graceful and docile
  • Back: Broad, ending in a full tail
  • Beak: Stout and well curved
  • Comb: Rose comb, should be red
  • Legs: Clean legs with 4 toes

 

While the exact color will depend on the variety, the laced versions have beautiful dual colored feathers – a main color (such as silver or gold), edged with black. Many people refer to the Golden Laced Wyandotte as a “black and gold chicken,” which is an accurate description.

 

The solid color Wyandottes (such as blue) will be a solid color.

 

They’re clean-legged birds, meaning they don’t have feathers on their legs. This breed also has rose combs, which give them a clean silhouette and graceful appearance.

 

Are Wyandotte Chickens Big?

While not the largest chicken breed, Wyandottes are fairly substantial with roosters weighing in at around 8 to 9 lbs and the hen at 6 to 7 lbs. This breed also comes in a bantam variety, which will be smaller – about 4 pounds. Although they’re smaller, bantams tend to be better for children, and are usually more willing to be held and cuddled.

 

What Colors Do Wyandotte Chickens Come In?

Wyandotte chicken colors include:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue Laced Red
  • Blue partridge
  • Buff
  • Buff Laced
  • Columbian
  • Gold Laced
  • Partridge
  • Red
  • Silver Laced
  • Silver Pencilled
  • White

 

The Gold Laced and Silver Laced varieties are the most popular Wyandotte chickens. Recognized varieties include:

  • Silver Laced
  • Blue
  • Golden Laced
  • Black
  • Buff
  • White
  • Columbian
  • Partridge
  • Silver Penciled

 

Are Wyandottes Cold Hardy?

Yes, they are! Because of their full, fluffy feathers, Wyandotte chickens do well in cold weather. This is because they can “fluff” their feathers, which provides a buffer between them and the cold. However, you need to make sure you feed your flock a solid diet based around a 16% protein layer feed. They will also need a draft-free home that lets them stay warm and out of the elements.

 

Can Wyandotte Chickens Fly?

Wyandottes are moderate fliers, meaning they can fly up to a roosting bar, but aren’t likely to fly over tall fences. The hens especially prefer to stick close to their coops (and the roosters will stay wherever their hens are).

 

Are Wyandotte Chickens Noisy?

The roosters can be quite talkative, but the hens tend to be quiet and docile. You’ll probably notice your roosters being particularly noisy if there’s predators around, or if it’s spring and they want to breed. The hens are fairly low-key, and won’t bully each other too much – so you’re less likely to hear squawking out of them.

 

Different Wyandotte Varieties

What Does “Silver Laced” Or “Golden Laced” Mean?

“Silver Laced” and “Golden Laced” refers to the type of feathers on a Wyandotte – meaning, the feather is a solid color (such as gold) and edged in black. The effect makes the chicken’s feathers look like lace.

 

Silver Laced Wyandottes originated from crossing dark Brahmas with Silver Spangled Hamburgs – which gave them the fuller, large bodies and the silver laced feathers (you can see similar lacing on Sebright chickens). Silver laced Wyandotte roosters weigh about 6 pounds, while the hens weigh slightly less.

 

You can see similar lacing on the Partridge Wyandotte, although the Partridge feathers are much more intricate.

 

Golden Laced Wyandotte chickens were created by crossing silver-laced Wyandotte hens with gold-spangled Hamburg and partridge Cochin roosters, although the most influence can be seen from the contribution from the gold-spangled Hamburg roosters. You can read more about chicken genetics here.

 

What’s A Blue Laced Wyandotte?

Blue Laced Wyandotte chickens have that “gasp” factor because their feathers are so beautiful and unusual. Unlike the Silver Laced and Golden Laced varieties, the Blue Laced Wyandottes sport buff-colored feathers edged in blue instead of black.

 

The blue gene which gives the chickens their coloring is an incomplete dominant gene – so only some will have the blue lacing. In other words, this version of the Wyandotte chicken doesn’t breed true so you can get blue, black, or even a splash Wyandotte chicken.

 

However, when you do get the blue lacing alongside the buff, the contrasting colors gives the chicken an other-worldly rainbow appearance.

 

Although not a recognized breed by the American Standard of Perfection, they do have a “Certificate of Development,” meaning they’re on their way to becoming recognized.

 

What’s A Buff Laced Wyandotte?

The buff laced Wyandotte chicken has beautiful red feathers that appear edged in white. They’re the opposite of Golden Laced Wyandotte feathers! According to sources, the buff color comes from crossing two Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chickens.

 

Like the Blue Laced Wyandotte, the color of their feathers can differ from chicken to chicken, with some having a deeper buff color, and others having a lighter coloring that looks similar to Salmon Faverolles.

 

You might also notice that the heads vary from hen to hen, with some having white or cream colored head feathers, and others sporting the buff color to their comb.

 

Do Wyandotte Chickens Come In Bantam Varieties?

Yes! Wyandotte chicken bantams are easily sourced at most hatcheries. You can find Silver Laced, Black, Partridge, Columbians, and Golden Laced bantams. Like their full size counterparts, they lay brown eggs, although they don’t lay as frequently (3 times a week or so) and their eggs are smaller. However, they tend to be even friendlier than full sized Wyandottes, which makes up for it! Not all hatcheries carry all types of Wyandotte bantams, so it’s best to call and make sure your favorite seller hatches them.

 

What to Feed A Wyandotte Chicken

Like most chickens, Wyandottes need a particular diet to help them grow from day olds into healthy layers, and then to lay great eggs for you. Here’s what to feed your Wyandotte at every stage of her life:

 

Chicks

Chicks should have a high protein (at least 18% protein) chick starter. They need a lot of nutrients to grow correctly, and most commercial chick starters have everything they need.

 

You can also feed your Wyandotte chicks treats such as dried shrimps or black soldier fly larvae.

 

In the first week of their lives, I’ve started feeding my chicks both of these treats – they’re irresistible, and I sleep better at night knowing they’ve got food in their bellies. Sometimes, due to shipping or general stress from being in a new place, they can skip dinner, which is bad news for a baby chick. The tasty treats are hard to resist, and even the most stressed chick usually sneaks some bites.

 

You should also provide water 24 hours a day in a mason jar waterer, or another waterer that are made for chicks. You can check out waterers here.

 

Layers

As previously said, layers should have a diet of layer feed which includes at least 16% protein. It’s best to not rely on free ranging for 100% of your flock’s diet. Chickens tend to become flighty when they have to forage, and they might hide their eggs. You also can’t be sure all your hens are getting a square meal.

 

You can use an automatic feeder or simply a bowl – both work well. If you want an automatic feeder, you can read more about them here.

 

For Better Eggs

While a good layer feed should be top priority, you can also feed your flock:

  • Calendula for golden yolks
  • Garlic for overall health
  • Oyster shells for extra thick eggshells
  • Apple cider vinegar for gut pH balance (which also means healthier eggs. You can read more about apple cider vinegar here).
  • Lemon Balm for overall wellness
  • High protein goodies like Black Soldier Fly Larvae

 

Waterers

Your waterer should hold enough water for your entire flock – if it doesn’t, you might want to consider more than one. It doesn’t matter whether your waterer is automatic, although it does make things easier.

 

The material also doesn’t matter, although in the winter, a stainless steel one will freeze faster.

 

You can read about waterers here and if you want to build an automatic one yourself, I have a DIY waterer tutorial here.

 

The Best Coop For A Wyandotte Chicken

While most any shelter will work as a home for your flock, Wyandotte chickens tend to be on the smaller side (especially if you have bantams), and like all chickens, their defenses are limited. So, it’s important to make sure they have a safe coop to sleep in each night.

 

In particular, your coop should:

 

For your coop to be safe for chicks, it must be 100% predator proof (even rats will attack chicks) so that no predator can get into the living area. An automatic coop door is a good idea.

 

Bear in mind that chicks don’t roost until they’re at least 8 weeks old (and sometimes, it takes longer), so they’ll spend their nights sleeping on the ground. There’s a possibility a predator could easy eat them, or they might get trampled by the other chickens. Having a separate area for your chicks is a good idea.

 

Nesting Boxes For Wyandotte Chickens

Your Wyandottes will also need a nesting box or two. It’s best to have 1 box for every 5 hens. You can make them or buy commercial ones – both are perfectly fine. Just make sure it’s easy to clean, and you can remove shavings or other bedding without difficulty. You can read more about nesting boxes here to get a good idea of what’ll work best for your coop. Be sure to clean it weekly, and remove all eggs daily.

 

How to Protect Wyandotte Chickens from Predators

To protect your Wyandottes from predators, your first line of defense is your coop. It should be predator proof, and it’s best to also have a run (instead of free ranging). You can learn about the different types of chicken wire here. Hardware cloth is the safest, but it’s also the most expensive – in some cases, chicken wire might be a better option (it’s what we use.)

 

You can also use motion sensors to trigger lights around your coop. Since most predators like raccoons don’t like sudden light, it can deter them.

 

One predator to watch out for are domestic dogs. While they won’t hurt your chickens because they’re hungry, they might hunt them for sport. To keep your chickens safe, make sure their coop and run is dog proof. If dogs keep bothering your chickens, you might want to put a fence around your property.

 

The Best Hatcheries To Buy Wyandotte Chickens

Most major hatcheries will have Wyandotte chickens for sale (both full sized and bantams). Here’s some we have experience with:

  • Cackle
  • Meyer
  • Murray mcMurray
  • Ideal

 

Most Wyandottes seem to cost under $5 per chick, which is a reasonable price. You can learn more about what chickens cost here.

 

Are Wyandotte chickens for you? Leave a comment below!

Wondering Why Chickens Can’t Fly?

Wondering Why Chickens Can’t Fly?

On Facebook, I see people asking why chickens can’t fly, so I thought it would be a good topic for an article.

 

Can chickens fly? While it seems like chickens can’t fly, our feathered friends DO have the CAPABILITY to get some airlift – they’re just not that good at it. In fact, the longest recorded flight lasted 13 seconds, while the furthest distance recorded was 301.5 ft.

 

So, it’s not that chickens can’t fly…..they just suck at it. Here’s a deeper explanation.

 

Wondering why chickens can't fly? Here's what you need to know!

 

Why Chickens Can’t Fly Very Well

Can chickens fly? While some chickens fly better than others, as a whole, chickens are not good at flying because of ancestry and selective breeding by humans.

 

Modern chickens are the noble descendants of the grey or red jungle fowl found in the wild in around Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos. Their ancestors did a pretty good job of flying, particularly if there was a predator involved.

 

However, since modern chickens have become a companion to humans, the need to fly for survival has been largely bred out – mostly for food purposes – and their wings have become vestigial.

 

The reasons why chickens can’t fly is because chickens adapted to spend time on the ground since their food is located on the ground (doesn’t do them much good to stick to the air if they’ll never catch a meal, right?). Their feet too are adapted for walking as opposed to perching.

 

Certain species also have been bred to be poor fliers (think Silkies or Frizzles) largely because they’re ornamental breeds – so things like wingspan or other factors that allow a bird to fly were less important breed features than, say, unique feathering.

 

Silkies have fluffy feathers similar to down, for example, which makes it nearly impossible for them to fly. Read more about the best types of chickens that make great pets.

 

So, how high can chickens fly? Well, with enough determination, some chickens can fly over an 8 foot fence, although not all will be successful.


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Can Any Chickens Fly? Here’s the Chicken Breeds That Can Fly

Now, there are certain chicken breeds that can fly better than others, such as Wyandottes and Orpingtons. They’re good for at least one foot off the ground for a short while, particularly if the neighbor’s dog has decided to visit. Read more about raising chickens with neighbors.

 

However, because they’re heavy and not really built to fly, they’ll get some lift off, but their wings cannot give them the lift power needed for them to fly for very long.

 

Heavier breeds survive a dog attack because they’re fast runners (chickens can run faster than people – about 14 miles per hour. That’s why when we want to catch them, we don’t have a prayer in hell until nightfall). If you’re a beginner at chicken raising, check out this post for the best chicken breeds for beginners.

 

Lighter breeds such as Leghorns, Ancona, and Araucanas to some extent, are better fliers – you might notice that they’ll roost up in the trees during the night, while heavier breeds struggle to roost even a few feet up.

 

If they’re safe from predators, you might wonder why chickens fly at all – it’s not needed for survival, and they’ll find all the treats they need on the ground. Read more about how to keep your chickens safe from predators.

 

Well, as you know, chickens are full of curiosity, and they’ll fly largely to explore their surroundings and to interact with their flock mates. Who doesn’t have a hen loves to discover new things, especially if it’s food related? Ours go nuts when their chicken tractor is moved to new grass!

 

Can Roosters Fly?

Like hens, it’s not that these chickens can’t fly – in fact, roosters are marginally better at it than hens. However, the need has been largely bred out of them, and roosters no longer need the ability to fly in order to stay safe from predators.

 

I hope this answered your questions about why chickens can’t fly!

So can chickens fly? Yes and no. I hope this information helped explain why most chickens can’t fly. Feel free to ask me more questions about why chickens can’t fly or any other information you need about raising chickens!

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