Golden laced Wyandotte chicken breed is a good option for you considering adding new flock members to your backyard.
They are easy to raise and are cold hardy living in extreme low temperatures like their close cousins the Lavender Orpington chickens.
If you want a chicken breed that will take care of the grubs, insects and small weeds in your backyard, they are the type. These birds will not only eat insects but they will also utilize all the chicken scrap like those left over chunks of cheese as well as celery stems.
Golden laced Wyandotte background
The development of the golden laced Wyandotte chickens was spear headed by four chicken avid men in the 1880s. These four guys were: John Ray, H. M. Doubleday, Fred Houdlette and L. Whittaker.
Development of the Wyandotte chicken breed was triggered by farmers who wanted a dual purpose bird that could offer much meat and eggs to feed the growing population.
It is not very clear the actual breeds that were crossed to achieve the golden laced Wyandotte chicken. The feathers and body size suggest that the specked Hamburg and the dark Brahma chicken breed were used.
The name Wyandotte was derived from a native tribe called the Wandatte that was native to New York and Canada.
In the year 1888, the golden Wyandotte chickens became recognized by the American Poultry Association. This was just a few years after their sisters the silver laced Wyandotte were recognized.
There are also bantam varieties of this breed and are recognized by the APA.
Features of the Golden laced Wyandotte chickens
The golden laced Wyandotte are large birds with dense feathers covering the body well. This feature makes them cold hardy because they can withstand extremely low temperatures.
Their feathers are well packed but do not grow towards the body like in game birds. They have a rose comb that gives them an advantage against frost bites.
The feathers are golden with a black tip. Combs, wattles and earlobes should be red in color. Golden laced Wyandotte chicks are hatched black with whitish downy feathers on the crop extending to the under belly.
They may also have a mixture of black and lush golden color with the legs being pink. The baby chicks for sale are available in hatcheries like Hoovers and cost between $ 4 to 5 per chick.
These chickens have a horn beak and bay eyes. In some strains, the eye color may vary. The legs, feet and shanks are yellow.
On each foot there are four well-spaced toes and they do not have feathers. Their large bodies are covered in yellow skin and these birds have deep flesh with more meat to bone ratio.
Because they are huge and heavy, the golden laced Wyandotte chickens are not likely to fly with ease.
Temperament and Hardiness
These birds are calm but not very quiet like other chickens. They have a docile nature and ranks almost top on the pecking order.
Golden laced Wyandotte will not allow you to sit them on the lap and cuddle but will give you company and follow you around.
They pose no threat to children and will love it when treats like grapes and mango are tossed to them. The golden laced roosters do not have an aggressive reputation but this may depend with individual birds.
These chickens have a thick plumage that makes them cold hardy. They can withstand extreme low temperatures like the Orloff chickens do.
However, these chickens are likely to suffer from heat stress during summer and hot seasons. They also tend to drink a lot and spend most of the time indoors utilizing every bit of shade they get.
During summer, provide them with plenty of drinking water to cool their bodies and shade.
The golden laced Wyandotte chicken breed is kept as a dual purpose breed for both meat and eggs. They are faithful layers of 200 medium to large sized light brown eggs in a year.
At the age of 18 to 20 weeks, the golden laced Wyandotte pullets are mature and will begin to lay their first egg. These teenage hens are seen visiting the nesting boxes often as they explore for better laying spots.
Golden laced Wyandotte hens are not the kind that gets broody easily. If you want their chicks, fire up your egg incubator. And if you do not want to hatch eggs with and incubator, Red Hampshire chickens and Yokohama chickens will hatch and raise the chicks for you.
Another use of these chickens is meat. They have large frames and weigh pretty much to offer enough meat for a family.
Mature roosters weigh 8.5lbs while hens weigh 6lbs.
These chickens will do well when left to roan and supplement their diet with tasty grubs and insects. They love large spaces to roam and explore the outside.
Take caution! Maybe there are foxes, possums and other predators that may sneak and steal your birds. With someone to herd them these predators are kept at bay.
Integrating these birds with predator savvy chickens can help reduce the risk. Although trying to mix them with other breeds may pose a challenge because they love to spend much of their time with their kind.
Golden laced wyandotte chickens have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. This period can either shorten or lengthen depending on the quality of care they receive.
How long chickens can live will also be determined by the purpose they are raised for. Those meant for meat will live for a few months until they attain the right market weight.
Laying hens will be allowed to live until they can no longer lay as desired while those kept as pets may live until they die of old age or succumb to illness.
These hardy chickens are not prone to disease attack. The dense plumage may be a good bleeding ground for lice and mites that may lay their eggs and use it as a habitat.
These notorious ecto parasites will cause damage to the feathers as well as drink blood. This may in the long run lead to death and poor production.
Using small amounts of diatomaceous earth powder can help control them. Dust it at the base of the feathers or add little of it in their dust bathing sand. Diatomaceous earth works by dehydrating body oils and moisture from these parasites to death.
Another health issue may be as a result of internal parasites like round worms. They live inside the body of your chicken where they feed and multiply.
The best way to eliminate them is by administering the recommended drugs by a qualified vet. Although these chickens seem very healthy, don’t forget to watch out for new disease outbreaks among them.
So, why the Golden laced wyandotte chickens?
The reason I would recommend these chickens to you as a beginner is their hardiness. They are able to tolerate adverse cold weather and have rose combs that cannot suffer from frost bite.
They are reputable egg layers and can offer substantive amount of meat. So for you who want a dual purpose chicken breed, this here is an excellent option.
Golden laced wyandotte chickens are not the kind that will face harassment and bullying from other breeds. This means they are able to defend themselves because they rank almost on top of the pecking order.
They can be free ranged as well as raised in confine and do well. So do you want some fancy chickens that will add color to your barnyard?
The golden laced wyandotte chickens area unique breed. They are a dual purpose breed that can be kept for both meat and eggs.
Do you have these chickens? Share your views on the comment section.