Their feathers are used for making fly fishing lures for trout, as well as by milliners in hat making, so even their annual moult feathers are highly prized.
Wyandottes are a heritage breed that originated in the cold climate of New York State, USA, in the 1870s and were named in honour of the local Wyandotte indigenous people.
Wyandottes come in many colours, with silver laced and white Wyandottes being amongst the most popular.
My own flock, consists of four gold laced standard hens and one extremely rare buff Columbian Wyandotte bantam, who is my absolute favourite and follows me around like a puppy. She eats out of my hand and is the broodiest of them all, as well as being an exemplary “mother hen”.
All my “Wynos” take their names appropriately from wine varieties.
Whilst Wyandottes do not lay every day of the year they do produce good sized eggs very reliably. They stop laying during their annual moult, as well as when the weather cools and days are short.
Wyandottes are a round “heavy breed” meaning that they have heavy feathering designed to protect them from the cold. They cope very well with Ballarat's frosty winters.
The Wyandotte Chicken Club of Victoria is very active in the Ballarat area and I have found its members to be an enormous support and resource.
Serious poultry breeders enjoy showing their birds and aim at breeding the perfect Wyandotte.
As an increasingly rare heritage breed, Wyandottes are worth keeping to ensure the breed is preserved. They will certainly be a talking point in your backyard and are to be recommended as highly useful, productive friendly and extraordinarily beautiful pets, perfect for Ballarat’s cold climate!