Wyandotte chickens are dual-purpose backyard birds, meaning they are used as dinner table birds and layers.
These birdies are known for their unique color varieties and easy-going personality.
Wyandotte chickens make good meat birds due to their body mass, weight, and curvy shape. They are considered dual-purpose meat and egg birds, so it is wise to keep them as layers before slaughtering them.
There are several perks to raising Wyandotte chickens, whether you keep them as broilers or layers.
Keep reading to learn all about Wyandotte hens and discover our tips for raising these sweethearts.
Are Wyandotte Chickens Considered Broilers?
Whether you raise broilers, layers, or both, Wyandotte chickens make an excellent addition to your coop.
Being dual-purpose birds, they work best as a combination of the two.
If you have the resources, we recommend you raise your Wyandotte hens as layers for as long as possible before butchering them.
There are multiple reasons for this:
- Growth rate
- Laying ability
First of all, unlike many of the most popular meat birds, Wyandottes don’t grow at an especially rapid rate.
Raising birds solely for meat is usually to fatten them up and butcher them in as short a time frame as possible.
This way, you get the best return on investment.
Broilers are generally raised for about eight weeks, weighing around five pounds, giving or taking, and being butchered.
Comparatively, Wyandotte pullets only weigh a little over one pound on average by the time they turn eight weeks.
Wyandotte hens start laying at 18-20 weeks of age.
Further Reading: Wyandotte chicken egg-laying age
As they mature, they will grow to lay 4-5 eggs per week or 200-250 eggs yearly, making them wonderful layers.
Their egg production is comparable to the Buff Orpington or Barred Rock.
Their eggs tend to be large in size and brown in color.
An especially exciting fact about Wyandottes is they are hardy birds who lay even in cold weather!
Give them plenty of shade in the summer, and they will also lay during extremely hot weather.
This means raising great layers in a variety of climates.
Growing up, my mother celebrated every hen she bought who would lay consistently despite our cold climate.
Their climate tolerance and high egg production combined have made these girls a popular breed of chicken.
Wyandotte birds are a joy to have around!
They are calm and friendly enough to keep around small children, which is exciting news for many backyard chicken keepers.
Simply put, the Wyandotte is such a sweet chicken breed!
Instead of butchering them as soon as they are of industry size (4-6 pounds), we suggest keeping them around longer.
Raise them as a chicken for eggs and then as a cull hen when they slow down on laying with age.
Further Reading: Wyandotte chickens and how they grow
Benefits of Raising Wyandotte Hens
Aside from their winning personalities and merit as dual-purpose chickens, Wyandotte hens have even more to offer by way of their beauty.
Did you know there are nine different Wyandotte color patterns?
Their color variation includes signatures like the Black and Buff Wyandotte.
But many reputable breeders also sell attractive color pattern choices like the Golden Laced and Silver Laced Wyandotte.
The differences in color tones are a large part of Wyandotte’s appeal to backyard chicken owners.
But aside from their beautiful feather patterns, another trait many farmers love about these girls is their rose comb.
While many popular layers have single combs, the Wyandotte has a beautiful rose comb.
These calm and beautiful birds add something unique to every backyard coop they enter.
Silver Laced Wyandottes are exceedingly popular, and it’s no wonder why!
Not only are they one of the most beautiful breeds of backyard chickens, but they lay frequently and continue through the winter months.
Their capacity to be used as meat birds only adds to their high value.
Wyandotte Roosters for Meat
The Wyandotte rooster is usually very friendly, much like their female counterparts.
Some chicken owners report friendlier Wyandotte roosters than hens!
They are no less beautiful than the hens, either.
Their dense feathering comes in the same color varieties, from Silver Laced to Buff.
These beauties are an excellent choice for families who want to raise roosters for meat or show.
They are larger than the hens, as is always the case with roosters.
If you raise them for meat, cockerels will reach butchering size from baby chicks more quickly than pullets.
Even cockerels, though, take much longer to gain weight than birds who have been bred specifically as broilers.
The meat from Wyandotte roosters and hens alike is said to be tender.
You just have to be willing to wait a few extra months before butchering time.
Raising a Wyandotte Chicken for Meat
If you raise hens, your Wyandottes will inevitably be laying before they reach butchering size.
However, if you want them to grow as fast as possible, consider giving them broiler feed.
Broiler feed tends to be higher in protein than many other starter and layer feeds.
This helps with the speedy growth rate.
Don’t expect your Wyandotte chicken to fatten up at nearly the same pace as a chick who was bred to be a broiler, though.
It would be unnatural for them to grow much more quickly than they do on average.
Raising baby chicks in colder climates sometimes stunt their growth as well.
If you live in a colder climate, consider buying in late spring or early summer.
This season is the best time to contact breeders anyway.
But warmer weather is optimal for raising chicks as well.
The Wyandotte’s dense feathering helps them in the winter months.
But as babies, they are not so well off.
The abundant shade will be important as they start to grow in all those feathers, though.
An overheated chicken isn’t the most productive, either.
Read next: When to cull Wyandotte chickens?
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