A stunning member of the Wyandotte family, the Columbian Wyandotte chicken is known for its unique reddish-orange coloring. Given their placid nature and low maintenance requirements, they make excellent birds for newbie owners.
The Columbian Wyandotte is a rare and lovely hybrid breed of chickens. These Wyandottes are a medium size with the characteristic deep, well-rounded bodies and close-set comb of all Wyandottes.
Beautiful in appearance, these birds have white bodies with black necks, tails, and wing plumage edged in silver. In addition to laying brown eggs, their pleasant yellow skin and round bodies make them a breeze to dress.
The name “Columbian” comes from the fact that these chickens were first displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Chicks range in color from creamy white to light gray with dark gray shading on the back.
How exactly do you take care of this rare chicken, and do you think it’s the best kind to keep?
History of the Columbian Wyandotte Chicken
Wyandottes are an American chicken breed that originated in the 1870s in upstate New York. The Wendat are a Native American people who originally inhabited the area, hence the name.
However, the Wyandotte chicken has no ties to that particular tribe. Prior to being added to the Standard of Perfection, Wyandottes were known as American Sebrights or Sebright Cochins.
The American Poultry Association (APA) officially recognized the Silver Laced Wyandotte as the first Wyandotte chicken in 1883. This breed was developed by breeding the Silver Spangled Hamburg with the Dark Brahma.
B.M. Briggs in Rhode Island, an early-American chicken fancier, developed the White Wyandotte, the Black Wyandotte, and the Columbian Wyandotte from Silver Laced Wyandottes.
The Columbian Wyandotte came about as a result of a chance breeding between a White Wyandotte and a Barred Plymouth Rock.
The breed was originally displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was officially known as The World’s Columbian Exposition.
Fairgoers in 1992 were commemorating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas. Before 1893, Briggs was the only person involved in the breeding of Columbian Wyandottes.
He started selling hatching eggs in 1893 but waited until 1894 to sell the resulting stock. The Columbian Wyandotte chicken was officially added to the Standard at the 1906 APA convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In December of 1894, Briggs displayed the first Columbian Wyandottes at the Providence, Rhode Island Show, according to the Wyandotte Standard and Breed book published by the American Poultry Association in 1919.
Two years later, in 1894, Briggs showed five Columbians at the Boston Show and sold out by September 1896. In contrast, he returned to the Columbian Wyandotte five years later and was able to acquire birds from his original line.
There were hardly any chickens that could be used for both chicken laying and meat production in the 1800s.
To address this problem, in the 1870s, chicken farmers bred the first Wyandotte chicken, which was designed to be a productive layer as well as a tasty meat bird.
It was built to withstand the harsh conditions of the Arctic winter with its massive frame and plump feathers.
In the same way that many other chicken breeds did, Wyandottes were originally a hybrid of two different types of chickens.
Although the precise breeding that resulted in the creation of the breed is unknown, Brahmas and Hamburgs are likely contributors.
Even today, farmers in the northern states favor this breed. These well-liked hens are excellent layers and meat producers.
Appearance of Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
This Wyandotte is one of the most unusual of the many possible appearances for this breed.
The Columbian Wyandotte is a large, white bird with a beautiful, lacy pattern of black feathers around its neck.
The tail is typically solid black but may have some white lacing on rare occasions, and the wings are white with black lacing on the wing tips. This beautiful chicken’s distinctive appearance is a result of the contrast between its black and white feathers.
The Columbian’s broad, short back and neck continue into a slender, rounded torso covered in loose feathers. Earlobes are oval and bright red; the wattle is fairly long.
The eyes are a ruddy orange color, and the beak is yellow. Both the hens and the roosters of the Columbian Wyandotte breed have a bright red rose comb that rests flat and close to the head.
This protects the comb from getting frostbite in colder climates, where the chicken might otherwise be vulnerable.
The small comb and the Columbian Wyandotte’s loose, fluffy plumage make it an excellent cold-weather bird.
This chicken, which ranges in size from medium to large, is distinguished by its yellow skin, plump body, and featherless legs.
Yellow with a gray or black back and a black patch on the head characterizes day-old Columbian Wyandotte chicks. Among the many Wyandotte varieties, this graceful, well-balanced chicken stands out as a favorite.
Eggs from a Columbian Wyandotte Hen
Columbian Wyandotte eggs are typically a light brown color, but they can occasionally have a pinkish hue. It’s possible that sometimes the eggs are a deep chocolate brown, reminiscent of piping hot chocolate.
Typically, the eggs laid by these birds are around the middle of the size spectrum.
Pullets of the Columbian Wyandotte Chickens Breed
Put simply, a “pullet” is a teen who acts as though they were a chicken. It’s the transitional period from juvenile to adulthood. Because their feathers haven’t fully grown, most pullets have an unsightly appearance.
The feathers of a Columbian Wyandotte chick are the standard-issue fuzzy yellow and black. The young birds start out with brown and black feathers, but as they mature into pullets, their new feathers become predominantly white.
Until the pullets mature into chickens, they typically do not get their adult plumage of darker feathers.
Columbian Wyandotte Chicken Hens
This variation is nearly all white, save for a collar-like cluster of black feathers at the base of the neck. They may also have some black feathers on their tails and wing tips. Their plump feathers and spherical bodies help them stay warm in the arctic.
To further prevent frostbite, these hens have a rose comb that covers their entire head when not in use. The typical weight of a Wyandotte hen is between six and seven pounds.
The Columbian Wyandotte Rooster
Columbian Wyandotte roosters can weigh up to nine pounds, making them slightly heavier than standard roosters.
This shade is analogous to the hens’, as both share a white “body” and a black “collar.” In contrast, the rooster’s “V” shaped body makes the black tail stand out more.
The Personality and Temperament of the Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
With their calm demeanor, Columbia Wyandottes are great for first-time chicken keepers. They are typically placid and sociable, but they also have a healthy dose of natural inquisitiveness.
As much as they enjoy themselves, they can get into trouble if they are allowed free reign of the house. Large enclosures are ideal for meeting their needs without compromising their security.
Although the Columbian Wyandotte chicken does best when given access to a large outdoor area where it can roam and forage for food, it can adapt to less open conditions if necessary.
These chickens are great for first-time chicken keepers because of their mild breed and easy care requirements. Both the hens’ constant cackling and the rooster’s crow can be quite loud, making this a particularly noisy chicken breed.
The Columbian Wyandotte is a calm and tolerant chicken breed that is simple to care for. The Columbian Wyandotte chicken is an exceptionally calm and sociable bird, though it can be reserved with those of different breeds.
The Columbian Wyandotte may be one of the more dominant breeds in a mixed flock, and thus one of the birds at the top of the food chain.
Although the Columbian does not appear to be a bully, its assertive demeanor among other bird breeds means it is rarely bullied itself. It is a chicken breed known for its independence.
Broodiness of Columbian Wyandotte Chicken Hens
Generally speaking, hens like these don’t go broody, but it is possible. Hens can be excellent parents if they have a comfortable environment in which to raise their young. And yet, their gloominess isn’t too oppressive.
Are Columbian Wyandottes Noisy?
Even though Wyandottes are typically quiet birds, laying hens can make a bit of a racket. Normal chicken behavior includes a lot of chatting amongst themselves, and egg-laying hens are no exception.
Although there are methods for reducing chicken noise, the fact remains that clucking is an innate part of chicken behavior and can’t be eliminated entirely.
Can Columbian Wyandotte Chickens Go Well With Other Pets?
This particular breed of chicken is known for getting along well with other avian species. They aren’t likely to get into fights with other animals, so they’re safe for kids and new pet owners.
However, because of their inquisitive nature, they are particularly vulnerable to predators; therefore, it is important to keep them safe from harm.
Specific Requirements for Care
You’ll need some knowledge of bird husbandry if you want to bring one of these lovely creatures into your home. Following these guidelines should help you maintain a healthy and content Columbian Wyandotte.
Feeding Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
Chickens need a high-protein diet because they will be growing rapidly in the first few months of their lives. The ideal would be a chicken base with a protein content of at least 20%.
The chicks can be gradually transitioned to a lower protein feed between the ages of 16 and 20 weeks. Layer feed with 16% protein is the norm for adult hens.
Calcium supplements are also important for hens. If you want to supplement their diet with calcium, you can give them oyster shells in a separate bowl.
If you feed oysters to your hens, they will lay healthier eggs. Molting chickens can benefit from the chicken feed with more protein.
As with most pets, Columbian Wyandottes can supplement their diet with nutritious foraging. Despite having access to an abundance of food, chickens will still forage for and eat whatever they can get their beaks on.
Chickens need to forage because it provides them with a variety of nutrients and is an integral part of their diet.
No matter what kind of chickens you keep, it’s important to always make sure they have fresh water. If you want to keep your birds healthy, you should change out the water whenever it gets dirty.
Housing for the Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
As a consequence of their size, Wyandottes necessitate a sizable enclosure. The recommended minimum size for a chicken coop is four to six square feet, but providing more space is always preferable.
It’s recommended that each chicken has eight to ten inches of roost space in the coop.
Hens need their own space in the warm months, but they’ll cluster together for warmth during the summer. Nesting boxes for them should be a minimum of 12×12 inches.
Having access to the outdoors is a favorite activity for Columbian Wyandottes. However, they are inferior at evading danger, so a large fenced-in area is a better option.
There is no need for a high fence to contain these birds because of their poor flying abilities.
Birds of this species are prone to developing undesirable habits if they are confined in too small of an environment. Bored hens may resort to picking at each other’s feathers. For this reason, an abundance of space is preferable to a scarcity of any kind.
Ideal Temperatures for the Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
Wyandottes have a greater tolerance for low temperatures than other breeds of chicken. The rose comb and dense feathers of these birds protect them from the cold.
They’re hardy enough to survive in any climate, but they thrive in places where winters are actually colder than summers.
Health Issues of the Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
There are no known Wyandotte-specific health problems, but the breed’s characteristically thick and fluffy plumage can lead to a buildup of droppings in the vent area, which can lead to issues on rare occasions.
In terms of care, a Columbian Wyandotte is on par with all other chickens when it comes to health. Parasites can be managed with regular worming and, if necessary, vaccinations.
A clean source of water, an abundance of high-quality food, and a secure coop in which to live, roost, and lay eggs are essential for any chicken breed.
However, even though the Wyandotte is more resistant to the cold than other breeds of chicken because of its larger size and fluffier feathers, you should still provide it with a warm, dry, and well-ventilated chicken coop.
These birds are robust in body and mind, making them resistant to serious illnesses. To be on the safe side, many chicken keepers still vaccinate their Wyandottes when they’re young.
Columbian Wyandottes, like all chickens, are susceptible to parasites like mites, lice, and worms. If you keep a tidy coop and get your birds checked by a vet regularly, you won’t have to worry about these pests.
If they do become infected, however, there are easy treatments available.
Only if you get them from a nasty breeder could your birds be dangerously ill. Due to the high demand for rare Columbian Wyandotte colors, some breeders prioritize feather pigmentation over bird health.
Make sure the Columbian variant you buy still has a typical build that will keep them warm in the winter.
Egg Production of the Columbian Wyandotte Chicken Hens
The Columbian Wyandotte hen is a high-energy breed that lays an annual average of 200 large brown eggs.
Unlike many other chicken breeds, this one can lay the cold and will continue laying eggs all through the winter. By the time the hen is 7 months old, she has reached the average age at which she will lay laying eggs.
At least until the age of three, a healthy Columbian Wyandotte should lay eggs consistently.
It’s possible that she’ll continue laying eggs after that, though likely at a much lower rate. Some layers, however, can maintain their egg production throughout their lives.
The eggs can be any shade from a delicate light brown (sometimes with a pinkish tinge) to a deep chocolate brown. This breed of chicken is sometimes used to hatch eggs from breeds that aren’t good mothers or who aren’t typically broody.
For the most part, a Columbian Wyandotte hen will diligently sit on fertile eggs and take excellent care of her chicks, even protecting them fiercely from predators.
On average, a Wyandotte hen will produce three to four eggs per week. Since they are able to lay eggs year-round, you can expect to receive 200-250 eggs per year.
However, while their egg production may be lower than that of more common breeds, their laying pattern remains reliable.
Tips on Raising Columbian Wyandotte Chickens
You’ll need access to the outdoors to successfully raise these chickens, as they enjoy exploring their environment in search of food. For them to have at least some of the day to roam freely, you’ll need a large enough plot of land.
Columbian Wyandottes thrive in cold regions. Areas with consistently high temperatures may be too hot for them. When the weather gets hot, make sure there is plenty of places to take shelter and water available.
Wyandottes were developed for the express purpose of serving as a source of both eggs and meat. This chicken breed matures rapidly, and their stocky build makes them excellent meat birds.
On average, male chickens weigh 9 pounds and females weigh 7 pounds. In addition to being small and manageable, this makes them a viable option if you plan to butcher your own birds.
In urban or suburban areas, the Columbian Wyandotte’s potential for noise may dissuade you from considering them as pets.
Check city ordinances to make sure there are no restrictions before bringing any birds home. The early-morning crowing of roosters has led some areas to ban the birds.
They are so tame and easy to work with that besides being wonderful pets, they can also be used to fulfill the requirements of 4-H projects.
This is one reason why they are so popular in poultry show competitions. They must put up with being in a cage all day with strange birds nearby.
They must be able to deal with stress such as being handled by strangers and being picked up, examined, and judged. Wyandottes take it in stride.
It is important to remember that the average life expectancy of a Columbian Wyandotte chicken is between 6 and 12 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
There may be some unanswered questions you have about Wyandotte chickens that you want to be answered before you decide if they are the right chicken for you. So, here are some questions that first-time chicken owners frequently have.
When comparing the Columbian Wyandotte and Delaware, what are the key differences?
The appearance of a Delaware chicken is comparable to that of a Columbian Wyandotte. The black “collar” of a Delaware, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as impressive.
Both types of chickens are easy to care for and have productive layers, so it’s up to the beginner to decide which is best for her.
Is There a Big Difference Between the Different Types of Wyandottes?
The United States Poultry Association recognizes 19 Wyandotte varieties, including 9 standards and 10 bantams. The Columbian Wyandotte is a recognized Wyandotte breed.
Is a Columbian Wyandotte Right for You?
The Columbian Wyandotte chicken is perfect if you want to raise attractive birds with calm personalities and minimal care needs that will give you eggs throughout the year.
Many people think that Wyandotte chickens are beautiful, useful, and fun to have around the chicken and yard.
Because of their attractive appearance, Columbian Wyandotte chickens are among the most sought-after of all Wyandotte breeds.
Yet, physical appearance should never be the deciding factor when purchasing an animal. Instead, make sure you’re up for the challenge of caring for it and its unique personality.
Columbian Wyandottes, fortunately, are relatively easy-going chickens that are perfect for novice keepers.
They have many potential purposes, but the most common ones involve the production of eggs and meat. As a result, these birds could be ideal for your flock if you’re looking for a beautiful and simple chicken breed.