Wyandotte chickens have been a popular breed for a long time. However, the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte has recently gained a lot of attention due to its distinct color.
Although they are known for their beautiful feathers, these chickens have much more to offer than just their appearance. They are excellent egg layers and meat producers, making them a practical breed to raise.
Here we’ll explore everything about these chickens and learn how to properly care for them. By the end, you’ll know everything there is to know about the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte. Let’s get started!
History of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
The Wyandotte was bred by a group of people who envisioned the perfect chicken, one that was cold-resistant and could supply eggs and meat. At the time, most chickens were only good for one or the other, so a dual-purpose hen was necessary.
The first Wyandotte varieties were the Silver Laced and Gold Laced. However, the origin story of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a bit more complex.
Initially, it was believed that the Blue Laced Red was bred in Germany during the late 1800s. However, written records suggest that this variety was bred in the US, then later exported to the UK and potentially other European countries.
Although they were originally bred in different locations, the Blue Laced Red chickens were rediscovered in recent times.
Despite being limited to a small group of breeders, their popularity recently surged, possibly because of their unique color combination as well as being excellent egg producers.
These birds are not easy to come by due to their striking appearance, featuring deep red and mahogany feathers. As they don’t breed true, it’s best to purchase them from specialized breeders. However, they can be expensive, costing at least $30 for chicks and potentially more for females.
The Appearance of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
Wyandottes are big, round chicken breeds with red wattles and a little red comb. They have lightly colored yellow legs, while their beaks are a bit darker. Although their legs appear short, these chickens can readily support their weight.
These chickens have dense under feathers that have a grayish-blue shade. These feathers run from the chicken’s underbelly all the way to its tail.
The feathers on the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte’s back are a lovely chestnut/red shade. While the feathers on the belly have a similar shade, they also have thin blue/gray streaks on them. Additionally, the underlayer feathers of these chickens are blue/gray in color.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are only a single variant of this breed. However, the colors of other Wyandottes include gold laced, silver laced, black, buff, partridge, and blue.
Personality and Temperament
Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are generally friendly chickens, but they are not cuddly and should not be treated as pets. While they tend to have calm personalities, they are not known for being overly friendly.
The temperament of each Blue Laced Red Wyandotte can vary greatly. Some are more sociable, while others are aloof, quiet, or noisy. Despite their varying personalities, Wyandottes are not pushovers and will not tolerate bullying behavior. They are not aggressive themselves but will fiercely protect their flock.
An advantage of breeding Wyandottes is that their hens are accepting of any egg placed under them for hatching. They do not get restless easily but do enjoy the opportunity to roam and forage.
While Wyandotte roosters are known for alerting their flock to danger, they are not aggressive overall. However, each rooster has a unique temperament and personality. If one is too aggressive, it can be used for meat instead.
Overall, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are traditionally tolerant chickens. They are not unfriendly, making them a valuable addition to any coop or flock. These chickens also have excellent foraging abilities and egg-laying fostering skills, making them worth the effort of exact breeding.
These chickens are an interesting combination of different chicken breeds. To produce the exact effect of this breed, you need to pay close attention to the breeding process.
However, the APA still needs to recognize the breed as official. Since that is the case, there is no actual breed standard for the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.
With that, reputable breeders agree that these chickens should have the shape of a Wyandotte. Specifically, their bodies are wide and U-shaped, and they have yellow legs and beaks. There should also be a red comb, face, wattles, and earlobes, the latter being closer to the head.
Generally, getting the right coloring for these chickens can be complex. Their base red coating needs to come from a chicken featuring a mahogany-red shade. These should also be bred from a mix of red-optimizing genes, plus yellow-red pheomelanin.
As for the blue lacing, it is slightly more complex since two Blue Wyandottes cannot breed true blue. Instead, chickens with the Andalusan blue gene and lacing gene must be bred with a black chicken. This will bring about the true blue lacing required to breed a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.
Eggs and Broodiness
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte eggs can vary in color, from light tan to deep brown. Their size, they usually range from medium to large. The color of eggs laid by hens depends on the strain of chicken they belong to.
In terms of egg production, these chickens are great layers, with an average of four eggs per week throughout the year. This results in approximately 200 large brown eggs annually.
Wyandottes typically reach the point of laying between 16 to 20 weeks, although usually later. They are not well-known for being broody and breeding them can be difficult due to fertility issues.
However, once they become broody, they are good egg sitters and will happily incubate any eggs given to them.
Quick Tips for Raising a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
If you are planning to raise a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, here are some details and quick tips to keep in mind.
- Feeding – When it comes to feeding, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are like all chickens. They always need pellets and clean water. However, they are omnivores, so ensure that they also have access to insects, vegetables, and fruit.
- Diet – When it comes to raising healthy laying hens, provide them with a diet that contains crushed oyster shells. This helps encourage egg production and flint grit for digestion. A six-pound hen eats around three pounds of feed per week.
- Treats – For treats, you can give your Blue Laced Red Wyandotte some oats and scratch-cracked corn. However, keep in mind that these do not provide their nutritional needs, so give these in moderation.
- Coup – Blue Laced Red Wyandottes should have an enclosed chicken coop or hen house with perches and chicken nesting boxes. It should also be safe and secure from predators.
- Stimulation – If your chickens cannot be free-range, be sure to keep things interesting for them. Provide toys, treats, and fresh grass. If possible, occasionally transfer them to different areas on your property.
- Space – Since Wyandottes are large and fluffy, they will need more coop space. Be sure they have at least 8 sq ft. or more if there are other chickens with them.
- Climate – Since Wyandottes were bred in cold areas, they cannot tolerate very hot summers. Pay attention to them when it gets hot or choose a different breed if you are living in hot regions.
- Grooming – Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are known for their distinct beauty. You will need to keep up with their grooming by keeping their rear trimmed. This will also facilitate mating.
- Flock – These chickens have a mellow temperament, so avoid joining them with aggressive breeds. In a mixed flock, these chickens are likely to end up getting bullied and may not get their fair share of food and water.
Common Health Issues
As we mentioned earlier, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are not broody and have an increased likelihood of infertility.
Along with that, this specific breed has other issues that you should pay attention to. Due to their dense feathering, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes need to be checked regularly for parasite infestations such as the following:
- Mites – Mites are one of the common parasites among chickens that causes anemia. Over-preening, over-pecking, and abnormal molting are some of the signs of a mite infestation. Pay attention to discoloration in your chicken, since this could also be another sign that your chicken is dealing with mites.
- Lice – Lice is a common issue among a lot of chicken breeds and not particularly the Wyandotte. There is a higher chance for them to catch lice from birds and humans than their fellow chickens. However, if you have newly introduced chickens with lice, there is a risk of transmitting these to nearby chickens. To prevent lice, the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte will need regular treatment.
Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are friendly and can do well with other Wyandotte chickens. They can also be in a mixed flock with other mild-mannered chickens that are less aggressive. If you’re a beginner in caring for chickens, the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a good choice.
This chicken breed is a great addition to your backyard hobby farm. They are excellent layers that can supply you with a reliable number of brown eggs. You can also raise them for meat once they have reduced their egg-laying production.