Silver Laced Wyandotte: Breed Profile, Facts & Pictures

Pair of Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens on greenery

If you’re thinking about adding some chickens to your backyard, the Silver Laced Wyandotte should definitely be on your list. With their remarkable silver and black feathers, these birds will surely beautify your coop.

But they’re more than just pretty looks; Silver Laced Wyandottes are also known for their friendly personalities and adaptability. They’re easy to care for, get along well with others, and lay lots of eggs.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Silver Laced Wyandotte, covering everything from their history to their care needs. So, read on, and let’s get to know these beautiful birds a bit better.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Quick Facts

Origin:United States
Breed Purpose:Dual-purpose (meat and eggs)
Weight:Roosters: 8–9 lbs (3.6–4 kg);
Hens: 6–7 lbs (2.7–3.1 kg)
Temperament:Calm, gentle, friendly
Color Varieties:Silver to white, with black lacing
Egg Production:200–240 eggs per year
Egg Color:Light brown, cream
Egg Size:Medium
Cold Tolerance:High
Heat Tolerance:Moderate
Lifespan:6–12 years
Unique Features:Black-laced feathers
Beginner Friendly:Yes

What Is a Silver Laced Wyandotte Chicken?

Silver Laced Wyandotte chicken standing on grass

The Silver Laced Wyandotte is the original Wyandotte variety, best known for its eye-catching silver feathers with black lacing. This hardy, dual-purpose breed excels in egg production and is highly regarded as a show bird due to its stunning appearance.

With their calm and friendly temperament, Silver Laced Wyandottes are often favored by backyard chicken keepers and small-scale farmers alike.

They’re known to be quite hardy and adaptable to various climates, making them suitable for different environments.

They also have a reputation for continuing to lay eggs even during the colder winter months, a trait not all chicken breeds share.

All in all, Silver Laced Wyandottes are like the whole package, combining beauty, productivity, and a pleasant temperament.

Breed Origin and History

Back in the 1870s, the Silver Laced Wyandotte chicken emerged as one of America’s oldest breeds. At that time, most chicken breeds were specialized either for meat or eggs, but not both.

The Silver Laced Wyandotte filled this gap by becoming the first American chicken breed created for both purposes, establishing it as a true dual-purpose breed.

The breed’s exact lineage remains unclear, but it’s believed to have been developed from a mix of other chicken breeds, including the Dark Brahma and Spangled Hamburgs.

As the original color variety of the Wyandotte breed, the Silver Laced Wyandotte set the standard for what would become a diverse breed with several color variations.

By 1883, it was officially recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) Standard of Perfection, cementing its place in the poultry world.

Physical Characteristics

Silver Laced Wyandotte hen standing on soil

The most notable feature of Silver Laced Wyandottes is their stunning plumage: each feather is a bright silver-white, edged with a contrasting black, which creates a beautiful laced effect that gives the breed its name.

These chickens have a round body shape, covered in smooth feathers that fit closely to their bodies, giving them a solid and sturdy appearance.

In addition to their distinctive plumage, Silver Laced Wyandottes have red rose combs and wattles. They also feature yellow legs, dark golden beaks, and reddish-brown eyes to complete their remarkable appearance.

If you’d like to see what Silver Laced Wyandottes look like from chicks to adults, check out the video below:

Silver Laced Wyandotte Chickens Growth Day by Day | Chicken Growth Time Lapse | Chicken Time Lapse

Size and Weight

Silver Laced Wyandottes are medium-sized birds, with hens typically weighing between 6 and 7 pounds and roosters weighing slightly more, ranging from 8 to 9 pounds.

These chickens have a compact and muscular build, giving them a solid and robust appearance.

Their size makes them easy to handle and suitable for various types of poultry farming, from backyard flocks to small-scale commercial operations.

Temperament and Noise Levels

Silver Laced Wyandotte rooster with hens on grass

Known for their friendly and calm nature, Silver Laced Wyandottes enjoy human company and are gentle enough to be around children.

While they don’t typically seek out petting, they’ll stay close to their owners at times, showing a curious and sociable side. They’re laid-back, do their own thing, and get along with just about any flock.

Even though they can be a bit bossy with other chickens, they’re not bullies and usually find their place within the pecking order without causing trouble.

In terms of noise levels, Silver Laced Wyandottes are relatively quiet. They’ll engage in the usual chicken chatter, but they’re not overly loud or disruptive.

They tend to have a steady demeanor, rarely getting flustered or excited, which contributes to a peaceful backyard or farm environment.

Egg Production and Broodiness

Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens start laying eggs when they’re about 18 to 22 weeks old. The eggs themselves are typically cream to light brown and medium in size.

These chickens are pretty good at it as well, producing around 200 to 240 eggs each year. Plus, their egg production remains consistent throughout the year, even in colder weather.

Regarding broodiness, I’ve noticed that Silver Laced Wyandottes exhibit moderate tendencies.

Every now and then, one of my Silver Laced Wyandotte hens will decide it’s time to try hatching some eggs, but it’s not something that happens all the time.

It’s actually quite manageable compared to other breeds I’ve had, where broodiness can really disrupt egg production.

Lifespan and Health Issues

Silver Laced Wyandotte rooster perched on tree branch

Silver Laced Wyandottes can live up to 6 to 12 years when given proper care. This care includes not only providing them with a healthy diet but also protecting them from any health issues that may arise.

Here are some common health issues to watch out for:

  • Chicken Mites: Chicken mites can cause irritation and feather loss. If left untreated, they can also lead to more serious health issues. Regular coop cleaning and providing a designated dust bath to your Silver Laced Wyandottes can help prevent infestations.
  • Sour Crop: Sour crop occurs when a chicken’s crop becomes filled with undigested food or becomes infected with yeast, causing it to swell. Keeping the coop clean and regularly deworming your Silver Laced Wyandottes can help prevent this condition.
  • Egg Binding: When a hen is eggbound, it means an egg is stuck in its oviduct. Common causes of egg binding in Silver Laced Wyandottes include a lack of calcium in their diet and insufficient exercise.
  • Bumblefoot: This painful infection on the foot is often caused by a cut or scratch that becomes infected. Preventing bumblefoot involves keeping your Silver Laced Wyandottes’ living areas free from sharp objects and treating any wounds promptly.

Understanding these health issues and taking steps to prevent them can help your Silver Laced Wyandottes lead a long and productive life.

Pro Tip: Adding diatomaceous earth to your Silver Laced Wyandottes’ dust baths can be a game-changer in preventing chicken mites. Just sprinkle a bit into their regular dusting spots for an extra layer of protection against mites.

Silver Laced Wyandotte Care Guide

Taking care of Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens means paying attention to their specific needs to keep them healthy and happy.

From their diet and living space to managing the coop’s temperature and lighting, understanding these essentials will help you provide the best care for your flock.

Feeding and Nutrition

Raising Silver Laced Wyandottes starts with proper nutrition from day one. At first, you’ll want to give them a starter feed that’s packed with 20% to 24% protein.

This high-protein diet is crucial for their early development, supporting muscle and feather growth.

As they grow, you’ll need to transition them to a grower feed, which has a slightly lower protein content of 16% to 18%, to match their changing dietary needs.

Once they start laying eggs, it’s time for another switch — this time to layer feed. This feed is formulated to support egg production with an appropriate balance of calcium and other nutrients.

Incorporating treats, such as mealworms, vegetables, or small amounts of fruits, can also help add variety to their diet, but remember to keep it to just 10% of what they eat.

Housing and Shelter

When building a coop for your Silver Laced Wyandottes, aim for at least 4 square feet per bird to ensure they have enough space to move around and rest.

As for nesting boxes, a box size of about 12x12x18 inches should work well for these chickens. This dimension offers them plenty of room to comfortably lay their eggs.

Furthermore, each chicken should have about 8 to 10 inches of roosting space, and the roosts should be positioned higher than the nesting boxes to encourage sleeping off the ground, which is a natural behavior for chickens.

In addition to the coop, don’t forget about the chicken run. Silver Laced Wyandottes will benefit from having outdoor space to explore and forage. A general rule is to provide at least 10 square feet of run space per chicken.

Temperature and Lighting

Silver Laced Wyandottes are quite hardy and can adapt to various climates. However, as chicks, they require a warmer environment.

The temperature should start at about 95°F for the first week and decrease by 5°F each week until they are ready to handle the coop’s ambient temperature.

When it comes to adult Wyandottes, I’ve found that even though they have thick feathers that keep them warm, making sure their home is free from drafts and a bit heated when it gets really cold makes a big difference.

Last winter, I added a heated waterer to their coop, and it was a game-changer. It kept their water from freezing, and I noticed they seemed a lot happier and healthier, even on the coldest days.

Lighting is also important for them. They need about 14 to 16 hours of natural light each day to keep up their egg-laying. During shorter winter days, you can use artificial light to help maintain egg production.

How Much Does a Silver Laced Wyandotte Cost?

Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens on wooden porch

The price of Silver Laced Wyandottes can vary depending on where you buy them and the quantity and sex of the chicks. For straight-run chicks, which are not sexed, prices hover around $3 to $5 each.

If you’re looking for a specific gender, male chicks typically cost around $2 to $4 each, while females are a bit pricier at about $4 to $6 each.

You can find Silver Laced Wyandottes at various places, including online poultry farms, local hatcheries, and sometimes at farm supply stores like Tractor Supply Co.

Websites like Meyer Hatchery, Townline Hatchery, McMurray Hatchery, Myers Poultry, and Hoover’s Hatchery are good starting points for online purchases. They often list the current prices and availability of their stock.

Pro Tip: When ordering Silver Laced Wyandottes online, always check the hatchery’s live bird arrival guarantee policy.

Reputable sellers typically offer a guarantee or replacement for any chicks lost during shipping. This policy is crucial for protecting your investment and ensuring that you receive the healthy birds you paid for.

Breeding and Raising Silver Laced Wyandotte Chicks

Breeding and raising Silver Laced Wyandotte chicks is pretty straightforward if you start with the right birds.

Pick ones that look healthy—bright eyes, good body size, and that classic silver-laced pattern on their feathers. These are the ones that’ll give you strong little chicks.

After you’ve got your fertilized eggs, it’s time to incubate them. Keep them at a steady temperature of about 99.5°F with a humidity level of around 55% to 60%, increasing to 65% in the last few days before hatching.

For the first few weeks after they hatch, keep them in a brooder with a heat lamp to maintain proper temperature. Provide them with starter feed and fresh water at all times.

At around the age of 6 to 8 weeks, you can begin to acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Start slow, letting them out for short bits at a time in a safe spot.

As they get used to being outside and start feeling more at home, you can increase their time outside until they are fully integrated into the flock.

Fun Fact: Did you know that day-old chicks can survive without food or water for about 24 to 72 hours after hatching? This is because they are still absorbing nutrients from the yolk they consumed before hatching.

However, after this initial period, it’s time to provide them with their first food source.

Frequently Asked Questions

Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens foraging in shaded ground

Are Silver Laced Wyandotte Chickens Cuddly?

Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens are somewhat more approachable than some other breeds, but they’re not really the cuddly type.

While they enjoy human interaction, they typically don’t seek out cuddles or being held too often.

Are Silver Laced Wyandottes Good Backyard Chickens?

If you’re thinking about adding chickens to your backyard, you can’t go wrong with Silver Laced Wyandottes. They’re tough birds that do well in all sorts of weather, and they’re super friendly, too.

Moreover, they’re reliable egg layers, providing a steady supply of eggs. Plus, they’re real lookers with their fancy feathers. They’re perfect for both newbies and chicken pros.

What Color Eggs Do Silver Laced Wyandottes Lay?

Silver Laced Wyandottes are known for laying eggs that are a lovely shade of cream or light brown. Not only are their eggs nice to look at, but you can also count on these chickens to keep them coming regularly.

So, what are your thoughts on Silver Laced Wyandottes? Have you had any experiences with this breed? Share your stories and questions in the comments below!

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