The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a color variety of the Wyandotte chicken and a favorite for the backyard coop.
They are a striking combination of mahogany, silver, and white, and are considered a rare color chicken. These birds are also cold hardy, friendly, and great winter egg layers.
Their distinct blue lacing has captured the hearts of many poultry breeders and keepers alike from the US to the UK; however, they are not APA recognized.
If you’re thinking about introducing Blue Laced Red Wyandottes to your coop, we describe their temperament, egg production, health, and overall care in more detail…
The Wyandotte breed was developed in the North-Eastern states of America in the 1870s. Because of their American heritage, they were named after the Wyandot or Huron Nation, the native Americans of the North.
DID YOU KNOW?
In the 19th century, Wyandottes were first known as American Sebrights or the Sebright Cochin but their name was changed to honor the Wyandot indigenous people.
The Silver Laced variety was the first color to be produced by four men namely, Fred Houdlette, H.M. Doubleday, John Ray, and L. Whittaker.
The origins of the Wyandotte breed included the crossing of Dark Brahmas and Silver Spangled Hamburgs and became an officially recognized breed in America in 1883.
Interestingly, the name Wyandotte also came from a ship named “The Wyandotte” that belonged to one of the founding members of this chicken breed.
By the late 1880s, Silver Wyandottes captured the attention of British poultry hobbyists who were impressed by the black and silver coloring and fine lacing in these chickens.
The stock imported to the UK led to the experimentation of the breed and the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte was produced.
Sadly, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are not accepted by the American Poultry Association (APA) because they are described as a new color variety that was only developed in the mid to late 19th century.
In the United States, there are eight color varieties that are accepted but unfortunately, the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is not one of them. Because the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is described as a new color, it has not undergone further breeding and selection as required by the APA for acceptance.
They are accepted by the Laced Wyandotte Club in the UK and by a few American Wyandotte fancier clubs. The purpose of these clubs is to establish a breed standard in the hopes of future APA acceptance.
Accepted Color Varieties
Wyandotte chicken colors that are accepted in the USA include Silver Laced, Black, Buff, Columbian, Gold Laced, Partridge, and Silver Penciled.
In the UK, accepted colors include Black, Blue, Columbian, Red, Silver Laced, Gold Laced, Blue Laced, and White.
Upon the rise of the industrial poultry sector in the 1940s, chicken breeds such as Rhode Island Reds that could mature quickly for both egg and meat production replaced the Wyandotte and many breeders lost interest in fancy-looking chickens which led to dwindling numbers of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.
If we fast track to the 21st century, the growth in backyard chicken keeping has contributed to the revival of this breed. Today’s poultry fanciers admire these gorgeous birds for their defined feather lacing and extraordinary coloring.
Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are broad-backed birds with U-like body shape and short stout legs. They must have dense feathering and their legs and beak should be yellow. The comb, wattles, and ear lobes should be deep red and the rose comb set close to the head.
Their eyes are reddish bay and should be deep set giving them a wide-eyed and alert appearance.
The most distinct feature of this chicken breed is its blue lacing and rich red plumage. The lacing is the narrow contrasting band that lines the edge of each feather and results from the bird’s genetics.
Dedicated breeders spent years refining the lacing on their own birds resulting in a clearly defined pattern and a truly beautiful chicken!
The roosters must weigh 8.5 lbs and the hens should weigh 6.5 lbs.
Wyandottes are fluffy-looking chickens but underneath all that fluff they have a significant amount of muscle and fat creating a heavy set appearance.
Why are My Blue Laced Red Wandotte’s Legs Not Yellow?
All birds of the Wyandotte family should have yellow legs, even the blues. Blue Wyandottes with dark legs are owed to a black and blue genotype.
Yellow legs require the brown gene that is found in the Silver and Gold Laced Wyandottes.
How to Sex Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicks?
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte can be sexed once their adult feathers start developing. The cockerels will have pronounced red feathering on the neck and across the saddle area compared to the lighter coloring of the pullets.
Are Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Good Layers?
If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy and fertile hen, Wyandottes can produce around 200 eggs per year. Less productive or fertile hens won’t lay abundantly and you might only get 100-150 eggs on a yearly basis.
What Color are Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Eggs?
With all the exotic feather colors in your Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, you’d think that they’d lay an interesting egg color?
Well, your hen will lay medium to large-sized brown eggs with some including brown or white speckles on the shells.
What Age Do Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Start Laying?
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte will start laying eggs by 16-20 weeks and will continue to lay through the cold season.
Because of their tolerance to colder climates. Healthy and productive hens are considered the ultimate winter layers in the chicken world as they continue to produce eggs when other chickens stop laying.
Is the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Broody?
These chickens are not particularly broody but you will find some hens willing to hatch eggs.
They can be good mothers, a broody Wyandotte chicken does well at hatching eggs that are placed underneath her making it easier for you to raise your own birds.
How to Breed the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte
To produce the unique Wyandotte Blue Laced Red coloring, very specific breeding practices must be followed.
Each color requires a careful balance of genetics to produce the desired Red Wyandotte Blue Laced pattern.
The base color must consist of mahogany red firstly, no other color will do. The deep red feathers are produced from chickens with a mahogany base color such as the Rhode Island Reds that possess the red enhancing genes.
Their red enhancing genes combined with a red and yellow pheomelanin called gold, should create the perfect shade of red.
When you breed two lavender color birds you get lavender chicks but when you pair two blue-colored birds together you won’t breed true blue. You will need to combine a chicken that has the lacing gene and the Andalusian blue gene with a black bird to produce blue.
Andalusian blue is known as incomplete dominant which means that it is a diluting gene. To achieve the Laced Red Wyandotte Blue color, a copy of Andalusian blue must be present.
The violet tones in this color variety come in three shades including charcoal or dark blue, splash, and gray.
To breed blue lacing is a complex and time-consuming process. It is also one of the reasons you should prepare for sticker shock because you’ll be paying $30 to $40 for a good quality chick.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte bird is a dual purpose chicken and their meat is described as tender and flavorful.
As a heritage breed, they provide good-sized table fare with most roosters ready for slaughter at 5 lbs and 5 months of age.
Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Infertility Issues
The low fertility rates of the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte are associated with their rose comb gene.
This particular gene is responsible for their dense feathering but is also linked to compromised fertility in Wyandotte chickens.
Wyandottes are friendly chickens and they make splendid additions to the backyard coop. Some are very gentle around people and don’t mind the odd cuddle while others like to be treated like the queens of the coop.
While Wyandotte chickens are known as friendly and social, every chicken has their own personality.
Wyandottes get along with most breeds that have calm temperaments and won’t challenge their bossy personalities! Pair them with Brahmas, Cochins, Rhode Islands, and even Silkies that won’t challenge their top position in their pecking order.
Are Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Cold Hardy?
Does this breed do well in colder climates? A Blue Laced Red Wyandotte’s thick plumage ensures that it does well in cold climates but such dense feathers make it tough for them to cope in warm weather.
Keep Wyandotte chickens cool in the heat of summer by providing large shaded spots and cool, clean water.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is not a noisy chicken, in fact, the hens can be pretty quiet and will only chat with their keepers and other chickens in their flock. But it might not be the same case with roosters.
The roosters have a deep bellowing crow so they may not be the best choice for a backyard coop in the city.
Do Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Tolerate Confinement?
They tolerate confinement quite well but do need a large chicken coop to accommodate their size and some of their attitude! They should be provided a minimum of 6 square feet of coop space per bird.
Wyandottes do best when they are allowed to free range so give them some time to forage about the yard. It is also a good way for them to find grass to eat, including bits of grit for crop health.
Although these birds are good foragers they are not fast runners or good flyers they can easily become the victims of both ground and aerial prey. Keep an eye out if your area is frequented by predators or allow Wyandottes to forage in a secure chicken run.
Is the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte a Healthy Breed?
Lice and Mites
Most heavy feathered birds suffer from mite and lice problems at some stage in their lives. The sheer volume of down makes the perfect hiding spot for parasites, especially around the vent.
To help your wyandotte chickens combat pest problems, always provide an area for them to sand bath in. Sand bathing smothers any pests hiding on their body and is a natural prevention.
Wyandottes are heavily feathered around the shanks, vent, and tail and sometimes runny droppings can become stuck in the feathers where lice can hide. Simply trim the fluffy feathering in this area to get rid of the hardened droppings and to help you spot any creepy crawlies on their skin.
Chickens affected by these parasites will have red and irritated skin, poor feather condition, and constantly scratching to remove the pests. If your birds are infested, apply a poultry-approved powder or treatment to get rid of parasites.
Wyandottes can reach 5-8 years of age.
Is the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte for You?
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is an assertive but friendly, and healthy bird that is easy to care for.
Their beautiful color makes them an attractive choice of backyard chicken and their docility make them ideal for first-time chicken keepers.
If you want to breed these chickens, the Blue laced coloring is difficult to produce because blue does not breed true. This breed also suffers from fertility issues because of a gene connected to the rose comb.
If you have a small backyard, this may not be the breed for you because Wyandottes are large birds and need at least 4 to 6 square feet of coop space per bird. They also like to free range to remain happy and healthy so a fair sized and secure yard is a must.
So, if you want a chicken with uniquely colored feathers, a friendly personality, and will continue to lay eggs in winter, then the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is the chicken for you.
The Blue Laced Wyandotte is an American breed with defined blue lacing across deep mahogany red feathers.
While the Silver Laced Variety was first developed in the 1880s, the Blue and Red color type was bred in the late 19th century and is not accepted by the APA. Despite their lack of an official breed standard, they remain sought-after chickens for their beauty and charm.
Egg Laying and Hardiness
If you want a pretty chicken that lays a decent number of eggs then this breed won’t let you down. Hens can lay up to 200 eggs per year and the ones that do become broody make great mothers raising their chicks.
These chickens are cold hardy and they can tolerate confinement making them an excellent option for city chicken keeping.
One of the drawbacks of keeping Laced Wyandottes is that they are challenging to breed owing to their low fertility rates. The price per chick is also higher than the common silver and gold color varieties.
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Let’s continue to improve the popularity of these Wyandottes so these chickens can receive the official breed standard they certainly deserve!