The Golden-laced Wyandottes
Our flock of chickens is entirely comprised of Golden-laced (GL) Wyandottes. We have culled our flock down to 1 rooster and 7 hens, feeling this is a manageable number based on coop and run size. In the future we hope to triple this amount once we've converted an old garden shed into a coop (eventually using our smaller coop for brooding). That will come once we build a new garage in a year or two.
We chose GL Wyandottes for a variety of well-thought out reasons. We researched this for some time:
The chicks of this flock were purchased from Mt. Healthy Hatchery out of Cincinnati Ohio. We were very pleased with their service, delivering us a very health flock of chicks (17 total--we ordered 16) at a very reasonable price. The benefit of Mt. Healthy is that you're not stuck at the 25 minimum of hatcheries such as Murray McMurray and their price on rare breeds is much more affordable. Our chicks were very healthy, none died in transit or during brooding. The only ones who died were at my hand for a chicken dinner.
- [FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Dual breed: We wanted a breed we could count on for both meat and egg production. They are also a large breed with the roosters getting up to 8 to 10 pounds.[/FONT]
- [FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Legacy breed: We wanted an "antiquity" breed, inherent to the traditional small farm. Wyandottes, along with Dominques and others, were common-place on small farms from the turn of the 20th century up until the 1940's. The breed started dying out and has now, I believe, been listed as recovering. We intend keep this flock as a self-sustaining flock and do our part for preserving this great poultry breed.[/FONT]
- [FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Hearty breed: Because of their size, this breed does very well in northern climates (having originally been breed with this in mind). Additionally, their rose comb makes them almost immune to frostbite. Lastly, because of their heartiness in the winter, they will continue egg production, albeit it limited, in the winter months.[/FONT]
- [FONT=tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Plumage: Of the Wyandotte breeds, we personally find the coloring of this breed most appealing. In the rooster, you have the contrast of the orangish hackles against the gold and brown feathers against the metallic greens in the tail feathers. A magnificent bird.[/FONT]