The Wyandotte Chicken: Appearance, Temperament and Egg Laying

Posted by Christy Caplan
Wyandotte Chickens

The Wyandotte chicken is an active breed that lays large eggs. We have four and they are hardy birds and do just fine during the winter months which is a quality that chicken keepers love about these big hens.

This breed was named for the Wyandotte Indian Nation to honor the help and aid they had given to the first white settlers of the area.

Backyard Chicken Coops confirms that this breed was first established in 1883.

"Having admired the perfect plumage of the British Sebright chicken, American breeders set out to create a practical, but no less pretty, version to suit the new world. Popularity was slow-growing, but eventually, Wyandotte chickens became main players on the dual purpose scene, providing meat and eggs for a fast-moving America." 

They are stunning birds to look at!

Reasons to love them

Here are five reasons they're great backyard birds:

  • They're great foragers and really active chickens. Most of our breeds are active but these birds are always outside free-ranging rain or shine!
  • They lay large, beautiful eggs. Wyandottes are great egg layers, gifting their lucky keeper with 200 or more eggs per year.
  • These chickens are cold hardy and even here in Southwest Washington where it rains all winter, these birds seem fine with the wind, rain and cold.
  • They're available in a huge variety of colors and chicken keepers love having the colors in their flock.

History

Morning Chores has a very helpful "About Section" that goes into detail on the history of this chicken breed. These hens have a cool history.

"Wyandottes were bred in America around 1870 by four people and the breed was named after a native American tribe by the name of Wyandot.

Silver Laced Wyandottes were the first color variation of the breed, but other color varieties have been bred and accepted into theAmerican Standard of Perfection. These colors are black, blue, buff, Columbian, golden laced, partridge, silver laced and silver penciled. The laced varieties are the most commonly known and usually the favorite."

We have both golden- and silver-laced varieties, both of which are stunning.

Qualities

They are heavy birds and the roos weigh around 8-9 pounds, while the hens will weigh in around 6-7 pounds. They're also a dual-purpose bird that can be used for eggs and meat. 

Experts at Wyandotte-Nation tell us about the four top qualities, all of which I completely agree with!

  • Egg Laying -- Wyandottes are good layers of light to rich brown eggs and are good winter layers.
  • Hardy -- The rose comb, plumage and good body size of the Wyandotte make it well suited to cold climates.
  • Temperament - Wyandottes are generally docile and friendly, but some individuals can be aggressive.
  • Adaptability - Wyandottes tolerate confinement well, and they are also good foragers, which makes them well suited for free-ranging.

The one caveat is I have a few friendly Wyandottes but they're also fairly flighty. With that in mind, I was given these birds after they were two-years-old so I didn't have the advantage of handling them as chicks.

Egg production

Wyandottes are great egg layers, gifting their lucky keeper with 200 or more eggs per year. They're typically light to a rich brown egg. 

The Wyandotte hen is a favorite of many chicken keepers. I mentioned this dual-purpose breed loves to free-range, and their eggs are a healthy size. We love the brown egg color they lay, too. With the four I have in my flock, I recommend this breed for colder climates and for flocks where you need some "leaders," as my Wyandotte hens are at the top of the pecking order and help keep the peace when the roosters aren't doing their job.

I've never had one go broody, and they are a breed of chicken that fits in nicely with my Easter Eggers, Orpingtons, Polish and Rhode Island Red.

Know someone who would like to add this chicken breed to their flock? Tell us in the comments below! 

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The Wyandotte Chicken: Appearance, Temperament and Egg Laying