The Complete Silver Laced Wyandotte Care Guide

The Silver Laced Wyandotte is an American treasure.

This is a dazzlingly beautiful chicken that is best known for the color of their feathers.

She is best described as easy going, independent and they can fit into most flocks easily. Better yet they produce a decent amount of eggs each year too!

Overall Wyandottes make excellent hens for homesteading.

If you want to learn more about the Silver Laced Wyandotte and why she is worthy of a place in your flock then keep reading…

Silver Laced Wyandotte

Silver Laced Wyandotte Overview

The Silver Laced Wyandotte is one of the prettiest chickens around.

They have beautiful silver and white feathers that are delicately laced with black. However these chickens are so much more than just eye candy.

Wyandottes are a hardy dual purpose breed. This means not only do they perform well in egg laying but they also make a respectable table fowl too.

They are best described as vigorous, calm and self-sufficient.

There are over 9 varieties of Wyandottes, however the Silver Laced was the first of the Wyandottes to appear and was closely followed by the Gold Laced variety.

The name Wyandotte came about as a tribute to the Wendat or Wyandotte Indian people who had befriended and assisted the white settlers of the area when they first arrived.

Although they had an extinction scare back in the mid 1900s, these days the Wyandotte is thriving and is well suited to backyard life as a quiet, hard-working and beautiful chicken.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Chicken
Beginner Friendly: Yes.
Lifespan: 5+ years.
Weight: Hen (6-8.5lb).
Color: Black and White.
Egg Production: 4 per week.
Egg Color: Cream or light brown.
Known For Broodiness: No.
Good With Children: Ok.
Cost of Chicken: $5 chick.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Beautiful silver and white feathering.
  • Very hardy breed.
  • Dual purpose.
  • Calm and gentle personality.
  • Great egg layer.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hot climates.
  • Keep to their own kind.
  • Not known for being broody.

Appearance

Silver Wyandotte

The Wyandotte is a large bodied bird.

From the side view they almost look plump!

The Silver Laced Wyandotte is a compact and robust chicken that is quite wide.

A Wyandotte’s head is broad and crowned with a rose comb. Comb, wattles and ear lobes are red. The beak is stout, well curved and horn colored and their eyes are reddish bay.

Their feathers are slightly tight and in the silver laced bird the feathers are black edged giving the appearance of lacing. The Wyandotte is a yellow skinned bird, their shanks are yellow and should be clean of feahters with four toes to each foot.

The male hackles and sickles will be noticeably different.

However sometimes a rooster will be born with hen feathering – this means he will have feathers that are the color and shape of the hen bird.

Size and Weight

They are considered a large standard bird.

Ladies tend to way around 6.5lb and Roosters come in at 8.5lb.

There is a bantam sized Wyandotte too that weighs 3–3¾lb.

Color Varieties

Whilst there are nine recognized Wyandotte varieties the Silver Laced should have silver and white feathers only.

What Is It Like To Own A Silver Wyandotte?

Silver Laced Wyandottes

Often described as dependable, easy going and cold hardy, this bird was bred with the northern winters in mind. They seem to shrug off the cold well and with their rose comb rarely get frostbite.

You will most commonly find these chickens grouped together with their own kind – that are somewhat indifferent to other chickens.

They do enjoy foraging and the exercise of patrolling the yard helps to keep them fit and active.

This is a placid and steady bird that is not known for flightiness and will rarely fly.

Personality

Overall the Silver Laced Wyandotte has a calm and steady demeanor rarely getting excited or flustered about anything.

As they keep their own breed this gives the appearance of being aloof. However they just like to stick with their own kind. This does not mean they are aggressive, in fact even the roosters are known for being gentle and non-aggressive.

However they do not tolerate any nonsense from other birds and will put them firmly in their place.

This assertiveness places them mid to upper levels in the pecking order.

They are not cuddly or a lap chicken by any means, but they do enjoy some human company and threats.

Silver Wyandottes Chickens

Egg Production

This breed is well know to lay lots of cream or light brown eggs – expect around 4 each week.

Silver Wyandottes will start laying anytime after 18 weeks or so.

As for broodiness they are seldom broody, however some strains can be broody (it is luck of the draw).

If your hen does go broody she will make a good mother.

Egg Production
Eggs Per Week: 4 Eggs.
Color: Cream or light brown.
Size: Large.

Noise Levels

Wyandottes are a quiet bird.

Apart from the expected egg announcements and the rooster calls they are not known for making much of an uproar.

This makes them an ideal bird if you live in an urban setting and have nearby neighbors that may complain.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Chicken Care Guide

Silver Laced Wyandotte Chickens

Health Issues

In general all Wyandottes are hearty and strong chickens.

They shake off the cold and rarely appear under the weather. And if allowed to forage they can be very self-sufficient.

One thing you need to pay attention to is heat exhaustion. Because their feathers are very dense they can become overheated in the hot summer months.

You need to offer lots of shade and cool water.

Also because of this feathering the usual array of parasites such as mites, lice and worms can be troublesome.

Regular checks and medication will keep these problems away.

Silver Laced Wyandottes also happen to have a very fluffy butts so it can get quite dirty back there.

Occasionally you may need to trim the feathers to keep them clean. Also if you are breeding your chickens this fluffiness can sometimes cause fertilization problems, so trimming those feathers can help.

Feeding

Once these chickens start laying they will thrive on a quality 16% layer ration.

You can also offer them oyster shell in a separate dish and insoluble grit too if they are confined.

Throughout the molting season you can increase the protein content of their feed to 20%.

Silver Wyandottes can tolerate either free feeding or scheduled feeding times. Just pick one and stick to it.

Flock Of Silver Laced Wyandottes

Coop Setup

A general rule for a standard sized chicken is to give them 4 square feet each of coop space.

As the Wyandotte is slightly on the larger size this is the minimum recommended size for inside the coop. If you are able to provide a little more room then you should – this is a blessing especially with such large fluffy birds.

For roosting space the standard 8 inches will be enough but if you can give them a little more room so much the better.

In the summer months they will spread out to keep cooler but in winter they will likely all cram together to share the warmth.

Standard sized nesting boxes (12×12 inch) will be just right for these large fluffy ladies.

This size will help stop nest sharing.

Run and Roaming

Wyandottes are known for being very good foragers and love to roam.

So if you can let them free range they will find lots of goodies to supplement their feed with.

Roaming gives them plenty of exercise and fresh air is very healthy for them. If you are concerned about predators then electric fencing can keep them safe from ground predators and poultry netting can keep them safe from hawks and owls.

If you can’t let them free range they will tolerate being in a run/pen.

Make sure to give each chicken 8 square feet.

Do not skimp on the space as with all creatures, overcrowding and boredom can lead to antisocial behaviors.

Again though if you can allow them to free range they will love you for it.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Breed History

A Silver Laced Wyandotte

As a relatively new breed their history is know very well.

This is the quintessential American breed formed from the vision of four individuals who wanted a better dual purpose bird than those already seen on American soil.

These four men set to work to create a more streamlined bird.

Before the Wyandotte, American chickens all had various good traits (good layers, meat birds and hardy) but none of them had it all.

So in the 1870s, Mr Doubleday, Mr John Ray, Mr L Whittaker and Mr Fred Houdlette started to work to create an American dual purpose breed.

They originally worked with the now long gone Mooney bird and other breeds. Although the exact recipe is unknown we do know that Dark Brahmas and silver spangled Hamburgs were very likely contributors to the Silver Laced Wyandotte.

Early prototypes were both single and rose combed however the since they were accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1883 only rose combs were allowed.

The Wyandotte was met with rave reviews and took the poultry world by storm – a true American first.

Even in the UK they were delighted with this new chicken and they enjoyed many years of success as a top performer.

However change was coming and will the outbreak of the second World War the poultry industry became mechanized.

Newer breeds of chicken that could lay in excess of 200 eggs per year were created and the Wyandotte slowly fell into almost obscurity.

There were a few flocks in the hands of enthusiasts and this state of affairs persisted until as recently as 2016.

However recently they have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity as a backyard bird.

Summary

Overall the Silver Laced Wyandotte is a solid and sensible choice for family farms and backyards.

They produces plenty of eggs, are low maintenance and can forage for themselves!

Wyandottes have long been a favorite bird in the northern US states because it is so cold hardy.

Their rose comb and dense feathering keep them toasty warm during our long and sometimes brutal winters.

Over the years other varieties of Wyandotte have emerged, but whichever color you choose from they will make a wonderful addition to your flock…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and are interested in backyard chicken health and care. Her work has been shared on HuffPost, Mother Nature Network, Community Chickens, Mother Earth News and many more outlets. Today Chris keeps 11 chickens including 4 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Silkies. She is our backyard chicken expert at Chickens And More, and shares her knowledge on raising healthy, happy chickens with our readers. You can contact Chris at chris@chickensandmore.com

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