Wyandotte chickens are very popular in the US where they originate. These chickens are truly unique but not lap birds like your pet chickens are. The blue laced Wyandotte is one of the varieties that you will love.
Exceptional cold hardiness and their ability to lay during the winter when other breeds are on a break is makes many backyarders opt to have these cute chooks.
In this article, I am going to break down more about this fluffy chicken breed to help you know whether it is the right breed for your coop.
History of the blue laced Wyandotte
The Wyandotte chicken breed was developed in the 1800s by four chicken lovers in the US. At the time, farmers required a bird that could offer much meat and eggs as well.
There was a high demand for meat and eggs and the chickens they had could not offer much to meet their needs. This was prompted surge in population and more people had a taste for white meat.
It is the Wendat tribe that these chickens are named after. This tribe lived in New York and some parts of Ontario in Canada and the few remnants that remain today are known as Huron.
Blue laced Wyandotte chickens are as a result of crossing the Wyandotte breed with other chickens. This has also led to the development of other strains like the Columbian Wyandotte, Silver laced and the golden laced wyandotte.
These chickens are very popular in the US. Here, they are kept for both meat and eggs as dual purpose chicken breed
Although they are popular, the blue laced Wyandotte chickens are yet to be recognized by the APA even after other strains being recognized.
The APA recognized strains are:
- Gold laced
- Silver laced
Features of the blue laced Wyandotte chicken
The blue laced Wyandotte chickens are dense feathered birds. They have a thick plumage that exaggerates their size making them appear huge.
These fancy chickens are very beautiful and would add their unique color in your backyard. They have beautiful pigeon blue and dark brick red feathers with a blue lacing.
Comparing the beauty with these chickens, the Swedish flower hen would be the closest comparison. The body is round and appears to have a U shape.
The face, wattles, earlobes and the comb are red in color. These chickens have a rose comb that lies close to the head.
Their legs are short and strong with a yellow color and have no feathers on them. On each foot there are four toes that are well spaced giving the bird maximum stability.
They have short and strong beaks which are yellow in color. Eye color is mostly bay but in some strains it may vary.
Blue laced Wyandotte roosters have long wattles, earlobes and tail feathers than the hens. In ladies, the tail feathers are short and in some hens they are not well seen but are not rumpless like the Ameraucana hens.
A mature blue laced Wyandotte hen weighs 6.5lbs while a rooster weighs 8.5lbs. There are bantams that weigh 30oz for the roosters while hens weigh 26oz.
Temperament and Hardiness
Blue laced Wyandotte chickens are cool and calm. These birds are docile and will make good pets if you want some. However, Wyandotte chickens are not cuddly, but this may vary with individual birds.
Some people say that by training them to become cuddly when young they will get used to it. They are not the quiet type but are not very noisy like Hamburg’s.
Roosters can sometimes be very aggressive especially during the mating season. Do not trust them with kids because you may never know when they are moody.
These chickens will do very well in cold climate like the Orloff chickens do. Their fluffy plumage keeps them warm and can withstand winter well.
Although they will survive and do well in cold regions, these birds will not make it in the tropics because they are likely to suffer from heat stress.
During summer, provide enough shading areas and plenty of drinking water to help them keep their bodies cool. In addition to that, give them enough dirt bath to help cool when it is too hot.
Their rose combs give them an advantage because they don’t suffer from frost bite like other breeds. In winter I don’t have a problem letting them go out.
Egg laying and Uses
Blue laced Wyandotte hens are eggcellent chickens that will keep your egg tray packed. In a year they lay a bunch of 200 to 240 large brown eggs. The egg color may vary depending with the strain. They will continue laying even during winter.
An average egg will weigh 60g on an egg scale at the beginning of the laying stage. However, egg weight increases to about 70g in weight as the birds get old to increase in the heterogeneity of the same.
The hens are fairly broody and will take good care of their chicks. If you do not want broody hens, you can ask from the local hatchery whether they have non broody strains.
These chickens will accept the eggs of others so do not worry if you do not have an egg incubator they will hatch them. Chicks for sale are available in reputable hatcheries like McMurray and others that breed these birds for sale
Blue laced Wyandotte chicks are slow to feather and so do they mature late. Wyandotte chicken pullets will take about 6 to 7 months before they lay and the same time for meat cockerels to attain the desirable market weight.
These chickens are good for both meat and eggs. They can offer much meat enough for a family if you can wait for them to mature.
Mature roosters weigh 8.5lbs while mature hens weigh 6.5lbs.
Are blue laced Wyandotte chickens good at free ranging?
Yes! Blue laced Wyandotte chicken breed will do very well when free ranged and in confinement too. They love to roam out searching for tasty grubs and insects on their own.
However, these chickens will require you to check on them often or have someone herd them. They are not predator savvy like other chicken breeds and opportunists like possums and wolves might prey on them.
Using mobile tractor cages can help as they will be moved in new areas in the safety of these mobile coops. Ensure the fence is flash with the ground to conceal any entrance that chicken predators may use.
Blue laced Wyandotte chicken will do well when mixed with other chicken breeds. These chickens are not the kind to be intimidated because they rank almost at the top of the pecking order.
I have 4 blue laced hens and 2 violet laced lavender Wyandotte pullets and they live very comfortably with my yellow chickens.
For the pullets I introduced them into to the coop at night for the fear of bullying by the hens but that never happened. However, I would advice you have some isolation pens just in case the unexpected happens.
I am considering adding a few nesting boxes for the sake of the lavender Wyandotte pullets because the blue laced don’t allow others in their laying places.
Blue Laced Wyandotte Chicken Lifespan
These birds are members of the jungle fowl family and have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. However, their lifespan can exceed depending on the quality of care they receive.
Some will die right after hatching while others will be allowed to live long enough to put up meat weight. Laying hens may not live for long because they are likely to suffer from egg binding due to laying many eggs.
Roosters live long if they are meant for breeding or as pets. However, a well balanced diet, good living conditions and lack of any health problems are reasons that may give these chickens a long life.
Why choose the blue laced Wyandotte chickens?
Blue laced Wyandotte chickens are cold hardy and will be the perfect chicken breed for people living in areas where temperatures plummet.
They are a good dual purpose chicken breed meaning they are able to offer much meat and eggs. They are calm and gentle making good pets that are not cuddly.
These chickens will do well both in confinement and range taking away all the notorious insects and collecting any fallen seeds.
Apart from adding a fancy color to your backyard, your vegetable garden will be enriched with their nitrogen rich manure.
If you intend to hatch chicken eggs without an incubator, these chickens will hatch the chicks for you. They make good moms and will raise the baby chicks well if you want.
These chickens are cold hardy and will do well in cool climates. However, their thick coats will make them suffer when it is hot.
Chicken lice and mites will take advantage of the thick feathers and use the plumage as shelter. They suck blood and damage the feathers if not controlled.
Birds infested with these parasites will look emaciated, they have poor yields and if the condition persists it can lead to death.
Small amounts of diatomaceous earth mixed with dust bathing sand can help control the. Diatomaceous earth can also be dusted on roost bars and on beddings. They are a favorite hiding for the parasites.
This powder works by dehydrating body oils and moisture from lice and mites to death. There are also other chemicals available in the agrovet that can be used. (Use chemicals recommended by a qualified vet).
Blue laced Wyandotte chickens develop thick feathers around the butt. These feathers will prevent a successful mating and require to be trimmed often.
Also, the dense feathers in the butts will allow chicken poop to stick on. If this happens, the sticky poop will dry and block the excretion of droppings.
Check the birds and remove the sticky poop to prevent pasted butts.
Wyandotte’s have internal parasites like the common chicken worms. The vet will help you identify the right drugs to administered.
Wyandotte chickens are a good breed. They are hardy and will tolerate confinement and ranging as well. On top of that you will get eggs and meat not to forget pets.
For me this breed is a thumb up. Do you have blue laced Wyandotte chickens?
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