Buff orpington chickens are a great breed of chicken if you're just starting your backyard flock, or if you are an experienced chicken owner. This breed is friendly, hardy and they make great egg layers.
History of Buff Orpingtons
William Cook who was a coachman in the city of Orpington in Kent, England, developed the breed of chicken we now call Orpingtons. England saw a rapid decline in popularity of raising chickens in the 1880s, what was once a common backyard animal became all together unfamiliar in the British suburbs. Cook became fascinated with the breeding potential of chickens and wanted to breed a chicken that could inspire everyday people to raise chickens again.
Cook combined large meat chicken breeds, and those that were excellent layers. His flock’s lineage consisted of three primary chicken breeds including the Minorca, Langshan, and Plymouth Rock chicken. What he ended up with was a large laying hen that could be used for meat as well. These birds were incomparably well mannered not to mention extremely productive.
What do Buff Orpingtons look like
Orpington chickens come in a variety of colors blue, lavender, black and of course buff. The Buff colored orpingtons are a creamy orangish color. They are a bit larger than many other laying hen breeds and they have deep pink waddles. Buff orpingtons have full fluffy plumage and sturdy stature. They are extremely beautiful stately birds when full grown.
Are Buff Orpingtons Good Egg Layers
Buff Orpingtons are excellent egg layers. They lay medium -large brown eggs typically. Orpingtons typically continue to lay year round unless they are under stress, or undergoing a typical molting phase.
Remember that due to unfavorably hot or cold weather, or stress all laying hens will occasionally stop laying. Creating a comfortable and healthy environment for your chickens is important to egg production and quality.
Buff Orpington Chicken Egg Production
Buff Orpingtons lay around 250-280 eggs per year. I typically get about five eggs per chicken per week when they are laying.
How long until Buff Orpingtons start laying eggs
You can usually depend on most chickens including orpingtons to start laying eggs around the six-month mark. If they are not laying at this point consider if their feed has enough nutrients and specifically protein, or if they are possibly overcrowded or stressed in any way.
Buff Orpington Personality
One of the reasons that Buff Orpington chickens are so popular is their incredibly mild temperaments. Often called “lap chickens” they are extremely docile. Orpingtons are also a less noisy breed of chicken, making them perfect for small backyards that may be closer to neighbors.
Buff Orpingtons are extremely affectionate and love to be held, making them easy for handling and a great option for families with children.
Are Buff Orpingtons Cold Hardy
Orpington chickens in general are cold hardy. Although they do not have a short waddle which is typically indicative of chicken breeds that are bred specifically for cold weather, the orpington can undoubtedly tolerate freezing temperatures. One thing you may want to note is that although the birds can tolerate this cold weather, your egg production may take a hit. This is true for any egg layer. I recommend winterizing your chicken coop and taking extra special care of your birds during colder weather.
Is the Buff Orpington Chicken Right For You?
Buff orpingtons are an exceptional breed of chicken, one might even say they are the best chicken breed for a beginning backyard chicken owner. I have had excellent luck with Buff Orpingtons and continue to promote them to chicken novices and experienced chicken owners alike. They are friendly excellent egg producers and just generally low maintenance birds. If you have children or are looking for a chicken breed that is mellow yet productive, they just might be right for you!