Silver Laced Wyandotte: Laying Eggs, Temperament, and Additional Information


The need for a chicken breed that was good as a “all-rounder”—that is, for both eggs and table fare—led to the development of the Silver Laced Wyandotte: Laying Eggs, Temperament, and Additional Information.
Wyandottes lay good-quality, light- to dark-brown eggs, with an annual average of 200 eggs.
Of the Wyandotte breed, the Silver Laced Wyandotte was the first and possibly the most beautiful hue. Of course, other colors emerged subsequently.

This page covers the temperament, egg production, history, and—most importantly—whether or not this hen is the appropriate one for you.

The Background of the Silver-Crowned Wyandottes

One of the most venerable, popular, and well-known breeds in America is the Wyandotte. It is unique in that it is the first chicken “made” in America with a dual function.

While there were numerous breeds of early Americans that produced both meat and eggs, no particular variety excelled at either.
There were various varieties of chickens available because they had brought all of the chickens from Britain and Europe, but none of them had been specially designed to meet the demands of the homesteaders and early settlers.

The bird that was to become the Wyandotte was once known as Mooney, Sebright Cochin, or American Sebright.

These birds were widespread across the United States following the Civil War and had been recorded as early as 1873. Nevertheless, I haven’t been able to uncover much, if any, information regarding this “proto” bird.

To further complicate matters, the Sebright, as it is known in England, is unrelated to and a bantam, not a full-sized bird.

Wyandottes with Silver Laces: Their Origins

The inventors of their day were H.M. Doubleday, J. Ray, L. Whittaker, and F. Houdlette.

Their goal was to produce a bird that could serve as a low-cost source of eggs and meat for the typical American household.

They tried to perfect the Mooney bird individually in upstate New York and Michigan.

Early examples had both single and rose comb variants, but the rose comb was the preferred “standard” when the breed was accepted into the Standard of Perfection in 1883.

While the precise ancestry of the Silver Laced Wyandotte is unknown, genetic material from silver-spangled Hamburgs and dark Brahmas is probably a factor.

Breda and Polish poultry were potential additions to the genetic pool as well.
The Wyandotte bird’s name was a tribute to the Wyandot Indian tribe, who had originally been friendly and helpful to the immigrants in upstate New York and Ontario, Canada.

Fred Houdlette made the suggestion in remembrance of his father’s boat, which was also given the tribe’s name.

Wyandotte farming was abandoned as being too unproductive as chicken production turned “industrialized” in the middle of the 20th century.

It did not put on enough meat quickly enough to be profitable, nor did it produce enough eggs in adequate quantities.

The Wyandotte breed in the United States became endangered as a result of a sharp fall in population over time.

The ALBC categorized the Silver Laced Wyandotte as a “priority” breed until 2016, at which point they decided to remove it since the breed’s numbers had sufficiently increased to merit an upgrade.

This breed is one more that the nearly overnight ascent of the “industrial” hen threatens.

Thank goodness, this stunning bird won over thousands of backyard keepers who gave it another opportunity.

Unfortunately, the white Wyandotte, its sister bird, has not experienced the same spike in popularity and is still considered critically endangered.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Standard and Appearance

The American Poultry Association recognizes ten bantam types and nine large chicken varieties in total.

The first Wyandotte variety to be included in the American Standard was the Silver Laced Wyandotte, which happened in 1883.

The following Wyandotte varieties were allowed:

  • 1883 – silver laced
  • 1888 – gold-laced, white
  • 1893 – buff, partridge, black
  • 1902 – silver penciled
  • 1905 – Colombian
  • 1977 – blue

The birds have a fluffy, rounded shape. The hen’s plumpness keeps her warm throughout the chilly winter months.

The hen weighs 6.5 pounds, and the rooster weighs 8.5 pounds, making them a medium-weight bird.

Silver Laced Wyandotte

The bird’s neck is short but well-arched, giving it a somewhat “curvy” appearance. This descends to a short but wide back on a bird of middling length.
The silhouette takes on a small “U” curve as the saddle rises. The figure is well-proportioned, deep and wide, and nearly sensuous.

Deeply set eyes with a reddish-bay tint.

Skin, beaks, toes, and legs are all yellow. The legs are broad for ideal balance and are short and robust. Every foot has four appendages.

The face, earlobes, comb, and wattles should all be a vivid red color. The bird has a rose-colored comb, which is quite helpful in chilly, wintry weather. Compared to a more prominent comb, it can withstand frost and freezing considerably better.

These birds have been known to have narrow backs, small chicks, and poor hatches, among other issues.

The latter two issues both play a major role in the White Wyandotte’s scarcity.

There are noticeable variations in color tones between the birds in the US and the UK.

Way of Being and Egg Laying

Wyandottes have a pleasant disposition, yet some may come across as distant because to their strong personalities.

Though this varies greatly from bird to bird, they are generally gregarious but not particularly “cuddly” birds and can be fairly vocal.

They are frequently at the top of the food chain or close to it since they are typically rather dominating among other birds. Although they don’t seem to harass other birds, wyandottes are confident and don’t get harassed too often.
They are decent egg layers, laying 200 or more pale to dark brown eggs on average a year.

They are excellent mothers and have a tendency to be broody, which many people find annoying because they are unable or unwilling to have further children.

Additionally, the desire to be broody greatly reduces the amount of eggs produced. They are utilized by many to hatch eggs from breeds that aren’t good mothers or broodies.

Silver Laced Wyandotte

They do well in captivity, but when given the freedom to roam around, they become excellent foragers.

The Wyandotte is suited for cooler climes such as the upper Mid-West states, Canada, and Northern New England because of its abundance of beautiful feathers. It can withstand warmer temperatures, but it does require plenty of cool water and easy access to shade.

Being rose-combed, the bird is best suited for colder areas since the comb lies considerably closer to the head, preventing frostbite.

There are occasionally Wyandottes with a single comb, but the APA does not accept these individuals, so breeding should not be done with them.

Depending on the bird line, the average lifespan appears to vary from 6 to 12 years.

They are not susceptible to any uncommon chicken illnesses. Lice and mites can be an issue if they are not routinely checked on because of their thick, dense feathering.

An occasional trim may be required to maintain neat and tidy feathers because excessive fluff at the back end can result in some poopy ones. You might need to clip the feathers if there are issues with mating in order to aid in fertilization.

Are You a Good Fit for The Silver Laced Wyandotte?

In the mid-West states in particular, Wyandottes excel in 4H projects and the show ring.

Popular exhibition birds in Australia, Europe, and the UK are the Wyandottes!
The Wyandotte is a calm, patient bird that is often easy to handle and cooperative.

This is crucial in the 4H arena since the birds are typically reared by young people, which makes them perfect for “beginning” birds.

For the show ring, birds need to have a “bomb proof” attitude. They have to put up with spending the day in a cage with exotic birds.

They must be able to withstand the pressure of being picked up, nudged, and scrutinized; I’m not sure I could do it, but Wyandottes seem to take it all in stride!

They are certainly very attractive to look at and fairly peaceful for a backyard hen. They are suitable for a family with children, as we have already indicated, and they get along well with kids.

If you’re searching for a reliable, placid breed that lays well, this is the one for you.
Although the Silver Laced Wyandotte is a skilled forager, they are vulnerable to predator attacks due to their aloofness.

Rather of watching out for predators, the Wyandotte is frequently more preoccupied with the grubs and treats they are foraging for.

Although Wyandottes are good free-range hens, it may be a good idea to keep your hens with a rooster so that someone is keeping an eye out for potential aerial predators.

Furthermore, although their unique coloring can serve as a deterrent to predators, it is typically insufficient to completely shield them from harm.

A Word on Bantam Varieties: The wyandotte’s bantam variation is fairly identical to the standard breed, just like most breeds. Climate tolerance and temperaments are also the same.

It is important to remember, though, that most bantams, regardless of breed, are typically a little less sociable and flightier than standard counterparts. As usual, individual birds within the species have different temperaments.

In brief

Consider including a few of these lovely birds in your mixed flock. They are stunning “eye candy” hens that require little care.

The Silver Laced Wyandotte is a serious contender if you’re just getting started and want a lovely and productive flock that people will be sure to admire.

Although they might not lay as many eggs as the sex connections, 200 eggs a year is still not a concerning number for a small family.

For you, the fact that they lay all winter long might be the deciding factor, since many other breeds reduce or cease production during the hardest months.

Are there any Silver Laced Wyandottes that you currently own? Tell us about your encounter with them in the space provided for comments below.

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