When one thinks of fancy chickens, Silver Lace Wyandottes often come to mind. With the striking black and white plumage forming a lace pattern, it’s hard to not love these ladies. These lovely ladies and gents are uniquely American, dating back to the 1800s with admission into the Poultry Standard of Perfection in the 1890s. As an American breed, Wyandottes have become synonymous with the backyard chicken movement in the United States. Widely available at most farm and feed stores, Wyandottes are the poster chick for the American backyard flock. They say that beauty is only skin deep, not for these ladies. After keeping these fancy ladies (and gents) for several years, I have compiled 5 reasons to be head over heels for Silver Lace Wyandottes.
(1) Beauty :
Let’s start with the obvious, these girls are stunning. In a flock by themselves or in mixed flocks, these ladies steal the show. The black/white lace pattern of their plumage is striking against the background of a freshly cut green lawn. If you want to add a bit of high class to your flock, you can’t go wrong with Silver Lace Wyandottes.
Visitors to my farm, often inquire about my Silver Lace Wyandottes. As a breed, they are showstoppers and often the subject of discussion. Visitors cannot get over the beauty this breed brings to the backyard setting. I am often asked for fertile eggs so they too can have a flock of these stunning ladies.
(2) Gentile, Docile and Enduring Disposition:
If you are looking for a breed that is docile and friendly, Silver Lace Wyandottes are a great fit. When I step into the chicken yard, my Silver Lace ladies are often first to greet me. They are excited at my presence, whether I bring treats or come empty-handed. They love attention and enjoy handling and petting. If you are in the market for a lap chicken, Silver Lace Wyandottes are the breed for you.
Silver Lace Wyandottes as a breed are very curious. They always have to get into and investigate anything that I am doing, whether it be planting crops, cleaning coops, or yard care. They are my supervisors, always wanting in on what I am doing. They are very sweet, offer plenty of “hen-help”, and want nothing more than the full attention of their keeper.
Silver Lace Wyandotte roosters are well-behaved and friendly. Smaug, our resident Wyandotte rooster is a gentleman. He takes good care of his ladies and is friendly toward his humans. He is as close to a cuddle bug as a rooster can get. I have 13 roosters of various breeds, all are very well-behaved, but Smaug gets the prize. At 12 pounds, Smaug is a gentle giant and the cornerstone of the Kuntry Klucker Farm.
(3) Dependabel Egg Layers
Wyandottes are excellent layers of X-large dark brown eggs. The Australorp, also known for being an excellent layer is only outclassed by the Wyandottes in terms of egg size. While the Australorp gets the prize for the most eggs laid in a year (364 is the world record), Wyandottes are larger, proving that quality is better than quantity. In the photos above, I have placed a Silver Lace Wyandotte egg next to an Australorp egg. While the Australorp egg is dark brown and large, the Wyandotte egg (sitting to the left) is slightly darker and noticeably larger. When I first started getting eggs from my Wyandottes, judging by the size, I figured them to be double-yoker. However, this is not the case. Wyandotte eggs are very large and a beautiful dark brown. These are by far the largest eggs I have ever received from my backyard flock. With eggs this size, I plan to keep Silver Lace Wyandottes in my flock for years to come.
(4) Made in America:
If you are looking to buy American, Silver Lace Wyandottes are it. While most beloved backyard chicken breeds have origins in another part of the world, Wyandottes are born and bred in America. Uniquely an American breed, Wyandottes were first developed in the 1800s, properly named after the indigenous Wyandotte people of North America.
Silver Lace Wyandottes are a Heritage Breed. One of my principal passions within the backyard chicken movement is the conservation of Heritage Breeds. In 2015, Silver Lace Wyandottes were listed as “endangered” by the Livestock Conservancy. As of 2020, they were listed as “recovering”. Today they are no longer endangered and removed from the list.
It is through our efforts as backyard chicken enthusiasts that these beautiful birds are thriving. Without backyard chicken keepers, breeds like the Silver Lace Wyandottes and others would easily slip into extinction. While keeping backyard chickens is an exciting hobby, its roots run much deeper. As a backyard chicken keeper, you are also acting as a conservationist. All of us play this important role, whether we are aware of it or not.
(5) All Weather Breed:
Unlike other breeds such as the Silkie or Polish, Wyandottes can tolerate many different climates. They come factory installed with this superpower which has made them one of the most enduring breeds in the United States. Due to their rose comb, Wyandottes tolerate cold climates without suffering issues of frostbite as other larger comb breeds often encounter. Although heavily bodied, Wyandotte perform well in hotter climates.
For Example, here in East Tennessee, mother nature throws it all at us. In the winter we experience ice and snowstorms. In the spring we experience strong/severe storms, many with torrential rains and the threat of tornados. The summer is hot and humid, summer highs easily top 90-100F. Through it all, my Silver Lace Wyandotte ladies don’t seem to mind what the wild weather here does, they just keep on keeping on. In an area that encounters many different kinds of weather, this is an attribute that a keeper should look for in the breeds they choose.
This ease-of-care breed has quickly risen to the top of my favorites list. If you are looking for a breed that is easy to care for, Silver Lace Wyandottes are a breed to consider. If you want a colorful flock, Wyandotte chickens come in a variety of colors (Golden Lace, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian, and Blue/Red Lace).
I hope this post has been a helpful breed profile for those interested in keeping Wyandotte chickens. If you have any questions I did not cover, please post in the comment section, or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~