When you look at chickens, one thing is clear. Wyandotte chickens are striking in appearance and temperament. But like all animals, there are a few Wyandotte chickens pros and cons that you should know. These pros and cons let you see how the chicken will integrate into your flock. It also helps you decide if a chicken will live up to your needs. You don’t want to get stuck with a chicken bred for meat if you only raise for eggs. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Wyandottes.
What Are Wyandotte Chickens?
Before we begin, let’s look a little into the heritage of the Wyandotte chicken. You can tell a lot about a chicken breed by where they come from and their breeding purpose. Wyandottes are a heritage breed that originated right here in the USA.
The first Wyandotte was the silver lace in the early 1800s. They get their names from the Wyandot Native American tribe and are America’s first dual-purpose chicken. Bred to perfection, everyone will love having a few Wyandottes in their flock.
Pros Of Wyandotte Chickens
The easy part of evaluating chickens is to see all the benefits. This first part of Wyandotte chickens: pros and cons will talk about why people love Wyandotte chickens. Let’s take a look at what owners are saying.
How Many Eggs Does A Wyandotte Chicken Lay?
The first and foremost reason everyone loves the Wyandotte chicken is for their bountiful eggs. So are Wyandotte chickens good layers? You bet they are! How many eggs do Wyandottes lay per week? You can expect your Wyandotte to lay about four eggs a week and average 200 or more a year. So if you raise chickens for lots of eggs, then having a few Wyandotte chickens up your sleeve will do the trick.
Many people love having a variety of breeds for their egg color. So what color egg does the Wyandotte chicken lay? You will get a lovely light brown to a cream-colored egg from your Wyandotte. Your customers will love the color variety. And some customers associate the brown to cream coloring with being farm fresh and more nutritious. But you don’t have to tell them that this is a myth.
The Laying Years
At what age do Wyandottes start laying? Your pullets should start laying their first eggs around five months old. But that’s only half of it. How long do Wyandotte chickens lay eggs is the bigger question. Wyandottes lay strong for four years, with a steady drop-off until they stop at eight years old. So you will be enjoying your eggs for a long time.
Not everyone raises chickens for eggs. Some prefer to raise a few for meat as well. If this sounds like you, the Wyandottes are still the perfect choice. Roosters get as large as 8-9 pounds and hens 6-7 pounds. This is the perfect size for a table bird.
Another outstanding characteristic of these chickens is that they are cold-hardy. These chickens withstand cold temperatures and brutal winters. All you have to do is provide a draft-free coop and watch for frostbite. But they don’t need heaters or any special care in the winter. And they don’t even slow down their egg production, which is what everyone wants.
We all love a friendly bird that gets along with everyone. Wyandottes are generally docile birds as long as everyone stays civil. The Wyandotte isn’t an aggressive breed, but they aren’t pushovers either. If you have a mixed flock, they will be towards the head of the pecking order. But if your other chickens are too docile, they may get beat up.
In the quiet suburbs, nothing is more distressing than having chickens screaming all day. It will give you anxiety and annoy the neighbors. So for small flock owners, we recommend Wyandotte chickens. These chickens are known for their quiet disposition. They might even be the quietest chicken breeds so that you can rest easy.
Wyandotte chickens prefer to spend their days foraging for food. They will find something to eat no matter where they are. And that’s what makes them so perfect. You won’t spend tons of money on food. Your Wyandottes will fend for themselves most of the time. Just remember to make up for it in winter when the pickings are slim.
Wyandotte hens make excellent mothers. They sit on their eggs with no problem and dote over their young. So if you are a breeder, this is terrific news. You won’t have to incubate your eggs and have a brooder set up for your chicks. Having your hens sit on your eggs saves you time, money, and space.
Oh, The Colors!
Wyandotte chickens come in so many beautiful colors. Currently, there are 15 distinct Wyandotte colors, and each one more gorgeous than the last. The American Poultry Association only recognizes about nine of these colors. And in Europe, there are as many as 30 color variants. But it’s not just about the color of these girls. Some of them make better mothers, and others are there for the eggs. In any case, we think that you need one of every hen because they are that addicting.
And finally, these chickens are known for their sturdy health. There are no genetic health problems that you have to worry about. As long as you take good care of your flock, you won’t have any issues. Keep the coop clean and perform daily checks, and you won’t have a worry in the world. As long as you keep your flock healthy, your Wyandottes will live a long time. It’s not uncommon for Wyandottes to live as long as 12 years, but 10 is the most common. That’s a big pro if you are a new chicken owner.
Cons Of Wyandotte Chickens
Now it’s time to talk about some downsides of the Wyandotte. There aren’t many cons. You might not even think these are a big deal, and you can probably look past a lot of them. But you should consider each one just the same.
One of the biggest cons that people have about Wyandotte hens is that they are flighty. They aren’t known for their aggression towards people, but they are a little shy. Unless you tame them from an early age, they won’t like attention or handling. You might even find that they are impossible to catch and run from you when you come into the run.
Another downside to the Wyandotte hen is that they tend to be a broody bunch. In springtime, you might find that your Wyandottes all go broody often. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you breed any chickens, you can stick some fertilized eggs under them, and they will hatch them. But if you only want eggs, this could cause some problems. Broody hens experience a drop in egg production which could cut into your profits.
Wyandottes might survive winter with no problems. But hot and humid summers could be worse. Wyandottes don’t tolerate the heat well and can succumb to heat exhaustion. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have Wyandottes in warmer climates. Lots of shade, cool water, and coop ventilation is a must for these fluffy chickens. If you do all of this, your flock will do just fine.
As stated in the pros, these chickens are generally docile birds. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t stand up for themselves. Wyandotte chickens will stick up for themselves and secure a place in the pecking order. If another hen stands up to bully them, your Wyandotte will put them in their place. Many people mistake this for aggression, but your Wyandottes won’t seek out trouble.
Don’t Like Small Spaces
Wyandotte chickens are fantastic foragers and active little hens. Many owners love this about their chickens. But if you find it hard to keep your hens locked up, you might have problems with Wyandottes. They don’t do well in small spaces and prefer to free-range most of the time. If they don’t have enough room to forage and run, you might find that they are a noisy bunch.
Wyandotte roosters take their job seriously. They protect and keep the flock in line. Unfortunately, that also means that roosters can be a bit aggressive towards people. If you and your roosters don’t have a symbiotic respectful relationship, the outcome can be disastrous. And you definitely shouldn’t keep them in close contact with children.
And our last point on the Wyandotte chickens pros and cons is their self-preservation abilities. These chickens can’t fly well, and that becomes a problem with predators. With their striking colors and inability to fly high, they are at risk of predators at all times. So it’s best to keep them close to the coop and within your earshot at all times.
Are Wyandottes For You?
After reading all of the Wyandotte chickens: pros and cons, what do you think? Are Wyandottes the right chicken for you? We believe these chickens are the best things to happen to the backyard flock. You will love the eggs and entertainment this chicken TV will give you.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!