Pros: Heritage breed, friendly, gentle, good egg producers (even in cold winter months), winter hardy, beautiful in coloring.
Cons: None. This is a MUST HAVE breed for every flock!
Buff Orpingtons are so friendly, do well in winter, and are a "Heritage Breed". I honestly believe that anything hybridized has been compromised. Heritage breeds are more hearty than production or hybrid breeds. They display more traditional chicken behaviors, like foraging for food, being good setters (going broody easily), and roosting. Heritage breeds lay eggs for more years than the poor hybridized production birds, but at a slower rate. Buff Orpingtons are a heavy breed which means they get large. They also become heavily feathered so they do very well in winter. They tolerate confinement well which is also good for winter since many people don't free range while winter passes (I do. My girls just hate to be locked up). I keep our chickens food and water in the chicken run. This brings them outside from the coop every day no matter what the temperature. Even in the cold of winter, they enjoy being outside rather than in the coop. They are considered a dual purpose bird (good for both eggs and meat). Our girls of course are for eggs. I just couldn't ever imagine them on our dinner plates! We love them so. . . . .
Now those are all very important factors to considered while researching the breed you want, but what really put me over the top, was their personality. They are said to be docile, friendly, and social birds. They like to be held, petted, and will follow their owners around the yard. They are great with children and very social. I mean really! With a spec sheet like that, why look anywhere else!! Suffice to say, we ❤LOVE❤ our precious Buff Orpingtons. When we decided that we were going to take a stab at the world of chicken raising, I had imagined that I wanted a really colorful egg basket. I thought I'd like some pretty blue eggs, mixed with some dark brown eggs and light brown eggs. I'd get a variety of birds so as to have a variety of egg colors. Well, I can tell you from the heart that I don't care what color my eggs are, as long as they all come from Buff Orpingtons, because they are the only breed I ever want to own. Buff Orpingtons lay large eggs which vary in color from brown, light brown, to pinkish brown.
Our hen's were handled and loved on every day since they were day old chicks. As a result, they are so fun and a big part of our family.
Here are some pictures of this very special, productive and lovable breed:
Because our hens were all the same breed, and I knew they would be pets, I decided to use colored zip ties to identify who was who. They day they came home, 3 of the girls were assigned a color and as they grew, I just used a little pair of wire snips to change a new zip tie. It worked wonderfully. I got the zip ties at Home Depot.
Did I mention that they are absolutely WONDERFUL with children? Well, they are!
Buff Orpington's will come when called by their name, and can learn tricks like jumping for treats...
...and swimming in the pool!
Chickens are even fun in the winter!
My girls are trained to come when I call them, so they can be safe in their run when I have to leave the house. Check out this video as I call them into the chicken run.
I almost forgot! If you have cats (we have 2 who are outdoor and fully clawed.) your hens will establish a pecking order over the cats and they will live in harmony with the cats being submissive.
In this photo, our kitty is wishing she had eaten them when they were just little nuggets:
And in this photo, our other cat was cowering in submission as the little pullets kept charging her.
Eventually, the cats will accept their submissive role and give the hens the respect they will demand. If your cats are like mine, they may even join in on a dust bath!
Or share some treats with Them!
Their feathers are shiny and absolutely striking against the green of summer foliage.
Aside from bringing your newly hatched chickens home for the first time, there is nothing more exciting than finding that very first egg!!
Isn't it just beautiful?
A little known fact is that chickens are great inspiration for Halloween Costumes:
Yes, those are rubber glove feet!
There is no other chicken breed that can hold a candle to the breathtaking Buff Orpington!
It is my hope that every chicken owner who does not have a Buff Orpington, will consider getting at least 2. You will be so happy you did!!!!