The Golden Laced Wyandotte is known for one major characteristic: this breed owns the bragging rights of being the first chicken specifically developed to be a great provider of both meat and eggs. Because of this, the Golden Laced Wyandotte is known as a “dual purpose” breed.
History of Golden Laced Wyandottes
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is actually a rare breed these days, and this is most likely due to the fact that these chickens “fell out of favor” when industrial poultry production took over the market.
However, there are many backyard breeders who love the Golden Laced Wyandotte, and they tout the breed as a perfect addition to their free range flocks.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is related to the Wyandotte breed, a chicken that was noted as a “great utility bird,” meaning that not only did the chicken lay (eggs) well, but it was also a breed that was suited for providing meat.
The original developers of the Wyandotte breed: H.M. Doubleday, L. Whittaker, J. Ray, and F. Houdlette) were poultry experts, and they named the new breed they developed after a local Native American tribe.
When these men developed the Wyandotte, chickens that lay well usually proved to produce tough meat; conversely, chickens that provided better meat often did not produce eggs very well. The Wyandotte was created from many breeds, and no one knows exactly which breeds won out because no records were kept to document such.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is actually a cross between the Silver Laced Wyandotte and an unknown chicken breed.
According to developer Joseph McKeen, who is credited with creating the breed in 1880, the Silver Laced Wyandotte was crossed with a “Winnebago,” a chicken described as a “black-red patterned fowl.” In 1888, McKeen’s breed was accepted to the APA (American Poultry Association).
Although the breed is not used for industrial purposes, the Golden Laced Wyandotte is a popular bird among backyard fowl enthusiasts.
Golden Laced Wyandotte Breed Standard
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is a plump and somewhat short bird. The chicken sports a small head with a rose comb, which makes the breed especially suited for colder regions. The eyes are described as “bay red,” and the beak is a yellow color.
The small head is supported by a short neck; however, the neck looks somewhat longer than it actually is because of its elegant-looking arch.
The short back of the Golden Laced Wyandotte is wide; the tail of this proud chick is high and “perky.” The legs of the Wyandotte are yellow, and they are spaced so that the chicken appears “sturdy.”The ears, wattles, face and the comb of the Golden Laced Wyandotte are all red.
Again, the Golden Laced Wyandotte typically sports a rose comb that is red in color, but, on occasion, the Wyandotte will be born with a single comb.
(This is simply a gamble one takes when breeding chickens; it is not a sign of any abnormalities in the chicken, but these chickens are not recommended for breeding purposes.)
Feathering of the Golden Laced Wyandotte is significant; they not only possess dense feathers, but they also have “under-fluff.” The feathers appear golden in color, but there is a black “lacing” to the edges of each feather.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte was not accepted into the APA until 1888, and today there are several varieties of the Wyandotte chicken breed that are deemed acceptable by APA standards. They are as follows: Silver Laced; Gold Laced (White); Buff, Partridge, and Black; Silver Penciled; Colombian; and Blue.
Most Golden Laced Wyandottes weigh between 6 and 8.5 pounds. In the bantam weight class, males typically weigh about 26 ounces and females weigh about 24 ounces.
Personality and Temperament
Surprisingly enough, the Golden Laced Wyandotte is a strong-willed and independent bird! Described by experts as possessing a “strong” personality, the Golden Laced Wyandotte will not tolerate being “picked on” by other chickens, nor will they allow other chickens to peck them or establish any dominance hierarchy.
If you mix a Golden Laced Wyandotte with other chickens in a backyard flock, don’t expect them to follow a “pecking order” – they will likely come out on top.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is reported as “docile” when it comes to their owners, but most of their relationships with humans are described as “aloof” or standoffish.
Most owners report that they are somewhat “talkative” and can even be friends with the humans they are around a good bit. Strangers, however, will find the Golden Laced Wyandotte to practically dismiss their presence.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte tends to prefer other Wyandotte varieties; they do not care for other breeds of bird, although they are not known to be domineering over other breeds. Wyandottes tend to stick together, and they will ignore other breeds of backyard fowl.
Golden Laced Wyandotte Egg Laying
Wyandotte hens – of any variety – are known to be good “moms.” This means that they love to set on eggs, even those that are not their own!
They are great at producing eggs, too. The Golden Laced Wyandotte will lay eggs considered medium in size and light brown in color.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte chicken is considered a good “mom” as far as chicken hens are concerned, but those who wish to keep Golden Laced Wyandottes often complain that they are quite “broody”.
They do not like to give up their eggs for consumption. Keep in mind, however, that some owners say this is a trait that is most common among certain strains of Wyandotte, and your chicken might not necessarily possess this characteristic.
Wyandotte hens lay up to 200 eggs per year. This equals about four eggs per week. Owners describe the Golden Laced Wyandotte as dependable when it comes to egg production.
Golden Laced Wyandotte chickens tend to lay all year long, not just during the summer or warmer months. If you have a hen of another breed that won’t set on her eggs, the Golden Laced Wyandotte will happily provide incubator services.
Health Issues and Care
The Golden Laced Wyandotte is invariably a strong and healthy bird. They are also quite docile, so working around them is not a problem, either. The Golden Laced Wyandotte typically only suffers from one health issue, and it is one that is common to all chicken: parasites.
Lice can burrow down into the dense feathers of the Golden Laced Wyandotte, but this can be easily treated. Most owners are simply cautioned to watch for the presence of lice and treat accordingly.
Other parasites that the Golden Laced Wyandotte chicken may experience are the same parasites any other chicken might contend with: fleas, ticks, flies, mites, bedbugs, and the aforementioned lice. Look for your chicken to experience excessive itching, broken or missing feathers, reduced egg production, and more-than-normal preening.
Although the Golden Laced Wyandotte may experience these common health hindrances, they are easily treated issues. Failure to address these issues might mean anemia or even death for your Wyandotte chicken, so observe them often for the presence of parasites and treat them accordingly.
Tips for Raising the Golden Wyandotte Chicken
First, you should remember that the Wyandotte chicken breed tends to only play well with other Wyandottes. However, this does not mean that you can’t assimilate the Golden Laced Wyandotte chicken in with other breeds.
Just keep in mind that they tend to be dominant over other breeds of chicken, even if they are raised with other varieties of chicken.
Next, if you want to keep the Wyandotte chicken in a coop primarily, you will see the Golden Laced Wyandotte is a good choice for this lifestyle. However, like all other chicken breeds, the Golden Laced Wyandotte does enjoy being able to get out and forage. They particularly enjoy seeking out bugs and seeds.
With this in mind, you will want to build a safe chicken coop for the Golden Laced Wyandotte that allows them to roost at night and set on their eggs in a safe place but allows for them to go out foraging during the day.
Third, the Wyandotte is better suited to colder climates than other chickens. This means that they can live almost anywhere in North America. Again, they tend to fall subject to lice, so keep a check for these pests in the dense feathers of the Golden Laced Wyandotte.
The Golden Laced Wyandotte chicken variety is a beautiful bird that is considered “eye candy” in the poultry world. The gold in their feathers often “sparkles” in the sun, and their build is so beautiful that many young people choose this chicken breed for a 4H project.
The only drawback to this beautiful bird is the fact that they tend to be rather standoffish with humans, although some owners deny this characteristic. Regardless of any aloofness, this breed of chicken makes for good layers, and, if you want chicks, the Golden Laced Wyandotte chicken will make a great mom.