You may already know something about other blue chicken breeds or maybe own a few Wyandotte chickens. However, you probably are unfamiliar with this little gem of a bird known as the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. There is a lot that meets the eye when you see this stunning birds, but they have far more uses than looking pretty. Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chickens are excellent for raising, egg-laying, and meat production. But are they right for you? Let’s find out.
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Breed History
The original Wyandotte chicken was bred during the 1870s by a gathering of men: Fred Houdette, John Ray, H.M. Doubleday, and L. Whittaker. They wanted to make a breed with silver-laced feathers. Although these birds are native to the state of New York, the name stems from the Huron Nation — Wyandot — of the American Native Americans. The first generation of Wyandotte chickens were a combination of dark Brahmas and silver-spangled Hamburg chickens.
Within the next few years, the Wyandotte was an officially recognized breed and was soon introduced to England. Due to their popularity, breeders started experimenting with the Wyandotte breed to see if they could come up with new color combinations. Interestingly, there are 30 recognized colors in Europe, but only 8 of those varieties are accepted in the US:
- Silver-Laced, recognized 1883
- Gold-Laced, 1888
- Black, recognized 1893
- Partridge, 1893
- Buff, 1893
- Silver-Penciled, 1902
- Columbian, recognized 1905
- Blue, 1977
You will notice the Blue-Laced is not among the recognized US colors. However, it is an accepted variant in the UK. Part of the reason the Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte is not an official breed color is because there is some disagreement as to when the variant first appeared. Evidence suggests it was developed in the 1800s, but there is no clue to the origin.
Since the 1900s, when the Wyandotte breed saw a lag in growth, the introduction of fascinating colors has once again put them on the map. The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte happens to be one of the most popular colors of this particular breed.
Breed Standard of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
Again, while the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is currently not an accepted color, it is still very much a Wyandotte. This is an interesting breed, because special attention must be paid to the genetics of the bird in order to get its blue-gray lacing. If you wish to bring home a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte or two, it is recommended that you visit a reputable breeder. They will have the most consistent results and also a standard.
Wyandottes are large birds, weighing in at 6.5 pounds for hens and 8.5 pounds for roosters.
It is agreed in the chicken breeding community that the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a stocky dual purpose bird. It has the classic body of the Wyandotte: a U-shaped body; red wattles, earlobes, comb, and face; and yellow beak and legs. For coloring, it has to be just right. The red base is a luscious mahogany, which is formed by yellow-red pheomelanin and other red-enhancing DNA.
Interesting, since Blue Wyandottes do not breed true, the blue lacing must come from a chicken with the lacing gene, such as an Andalusian chicken with a blue gene. Furthermore, the breeder needs a black chicken to develop the blue lacing gene.
Temperament and Personality
Generally, the Wyandotte breed is known for their friendliness and openness. However, these are not the kind of chickens who are going to perch on your lap and ask for pets. They are not the best companions. That does not mean there are not outliers who will want to be handled, petted, and doted upon. You should just not expect any extra gregariousness from this breed.
Remember, chickens have a broad range of personality traits, including the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. In fact, you can expect a variety in your Wyandottes, because they may not all have the same parentage. Some may be more sociable, while others want to be left alone.
One thing that does not change among any Wyandotte chickens, however, is their intolerance of bullying. Regardless of their personality, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte are not going to bully or be bullied. Because of that, they may not be the best addition to flocks that already have an established pecking order.
Since these chickens prefer going their own way and doing their own thing, they will not conform to the social ladder of a mixed flock.
Furthermore, while they will tolerate confinement in a run well, these chickens do better when they have room to roam. Their foraging skills are top notch, and they also remain vigilant while wandering.
Normally, Wyandotte chickens are peaceful and won’t be exceedingly talkative. Again, the amount of noise a chicken makes depends on its personality. You may stumble upon a chatty Wyandotte once in a while. The roosters tend to be more chatty than the ladies, and they are prone to crowing a little in the morning.
Egg Production and Broodiness
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte was originally bred to produce a ton of eggs. That said, there is a chance you end up with an infertile hen. Infertility seems to plague the Wyandotte breed, due to the rose comb gene. Although the rose comb gene provides attributes like fluffy plumage, it is also tied to lower birth rates. Fortunately, the impact is more often imparted on roosters than hens.
Your fertile Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are going to produce around 200 eggs a year. That’s around 3-4 eggs a week. The eggs are large, brown, and sometimes speckled with white or chocolate brown.
Even if you end up with a few infertile Wyandotte hens, don’t worry. These birds are renowned for their fostering abilities. All you have to do is place an egg under them, and they will take to their motherly duties without a single question. This makes Blue Laced Red Wyandottes a valuable addition to any flock.
Health Issues With Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte has some health issues that you need to pay close attention to if you want to get the most out of your flock. For instance, this breed of chicken has an increased chance of infertility, which could be a hindrance for those seeking optimized egg production. Here are some other issues to keep in mind:
Since Wyandottes in general have thick feathers, they need to be regularly checked for pests. Aside from that, they are healthy chickens that do not require too much additional work. Do keep their rear feathers trimmed, since this helps keep your Wyandottes cleaner and may even help with mating.
Wyandotte chickens have dense plumage that attracts mites, which can cause anemia. Signs that your chickens may have mites include over-pecking and preening of their feathers, as well as premature molting. Your chickens may also look discolored and pale.
Lice, like mites, are also a common parasite that plagues chickens — not just the Wyandotte. Check your chicken’s feathers for any signs of lice (you will be able to see the bugs) and separate the ones that are infested. Lice can be easily transmitted from chicken to chicken, so you want to treat the ones that do have these pests quickly and efficiently.
Caring for Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chickens
These chickens are beautiful and lay plenty of eggs. In order to keep them in tip top condition, though, you are going to want to know how to care for them the right way. Here are some caring tips for this chicken breed:
Give Them Plenty of Space
While Wyandotte chickens are not going to freak out if they don’t get to roam, they do like plenty of space. Lively from the moment they hatch, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chickens are going to want to roam around and explore. Ensure that you provide them with a safe space where they can socialize with other animals, peck at insects, forage, scratch, and more. By doing so, you also make your chickens more content — which gets you more eggs and meat.
Space should also be plentiful in the coop. A small flock of Wyandottes need at least 8 square feet of space to be happy. Ideally, give each chicken about 10-12 inches of personal room on the roosts. Your Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chickens will make use of that space in the warmer but will snuggle closer together on the colder days.
For a nesting box, 12 inches by 12 inches will suffice. The hens only need enough room to adjust themselves on their eggs.
Feed Your Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Correctly
Since this is a larger breed, you are going to want to give your Blue Laced Red Wyandotte high quality meals. In the beginning, give your Wyandotte chicks food that is about 20% protein per serving. As the chicks age, decrease the protein amount to about 16% for layered feed. You can also give the females some oyster shells for calcium, which ensures they can begin forming eggs right away.
Wyandotte chickens do love foraging, so you don’t have to worry about providing too much food for them. They will rid your yard of pests and save you some money on feed while they are at it. Still, you want to ensure that chickens above 6 pounds are getting at least 3 pounds of chicken feed weekly.
Plenty of Shade on Hot Days
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte are prized for their resilience in colder climates. That is thanks to their dense feathers. However, this chicken breed also does well in warmer climates, though they will need time to adapt. In order to keep these chickens from overheating, provide them an area with plenty of shade and access to fresh water. They are going to want to lay low during hotter days.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a marvelous bird with bright plumage. You could say that this bird is a feat of ingenuity! Plus, they are excellent birds for backyard flocks, as they are carefree and low maintenance. You can also count on plenty of eggs and meat. Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are a highly recommended breed that deserves a spot on the roost of your chicken coop.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.