The true origin of the Wyandotte is surrounded by mystery. They were first known by such names as "American Seabrights" and "Seabright Cochins". It is believed that they originated in New York State. It is known that the Silver Laced Wyandotte is the parent variety of the Wyandotte family. They became a standard breed under the name Silver Laced Wyandotte in 1883.
Spangled Hamburgs and Dark Brahmas were used to develop the American Seabright. We see the cropping out of the Hamburg comb and Dark Brahma color markings in the earlier Eastern strains.
The color pattern of the Seabright Bantam has long been the ideal for both Silver and Golden Laced Wyandotte breeders. However, the color pattern should have more sharply defined and wider black lacing to match the broader oval center of the feather.
Golden Laced Wyandottes were produced by mating Silver Laced Wyandotte females with a crossbred Partridge Cochin-Brown Leghorn cockerels. Golden Laced originated in Wisconsin in 1880. They were admitted to the standard in 1888.
There are many varieties of Wyandottes. There are White, Buff, Black, Partridge, Silver-Penciled and Columbian. Combined with the Golden and Silver Laced there are 8 different standard varieties. In the Bantam class we have Birchen, Black, Black Breasted Red, Blue, Blue Red, Brown Red, Buff, Buff Columbian, Columbian, Golden Laced, Silver Laced, Lemon Blue, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Splash, White, and White Laced Red, bringing the total to 17 different varieties.
The texture of the feathers is important in Wyandottes. This is especially true in the White Breed. Broad feathers and smooth fitting plumage are necessary to preserve the characteristic of formed curved lines in the true Wyandotte.
The first Buff Wyandottes were light colored Rhode Island Reds. These were lacking in type and off in color. However, they laid the foundation for the true Buff Wyandotte that was correct in breed, type, and color. Buff's were admitted to the Standard in 1893.
Black Wyandottes originated from the black sports of the Silver Laced variety.
An interesting cross breeding brought about the Silver Penciled Wyandotte. They were produced by the blending of two strains; one, a Partridge Wyandotte - Dark Brahma cross, the other, a cross of Silver Laced Wyandotte and Silver Penciled Hamburgs.
Columbian Wyandottes were first exhibited at the Columbian Exposition of the 1893 World's Fair held in Chicago. This variety was produced by crossing a White Wyandotte and a Barred Plymouth Rock.
The ideal Wyandotte type would include; Comb - Rose, Beak - Short and well curved, Face - Smooth and free from small feathers, Eyes - Full and round, Wattles - Moderately long and nicely rounded with no folds or wrinkles, Ear Lobes - Oblong, smooth, and about a third the length of the wattles, Head - Short and round with a broad crown, Neck - Short and well arched, Back - Broad, but medium in length with flat looking shoulders, Tail - Short, well spread at the base, and carried at a 45 degree angle, Wings - Medium in size and well folded with no drooping, Breast - Broad, deep, and round, Legs - Set well apart and straight, Toes - Well spread with four on each foot.
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Photos by Dennis Hawkins unless otherwise noted.