I only have one of these girls, and her name is Nimby Nugget. She is a very nice girl and an early layer - started way before my heavy layers were supposed to. She has a beautiful buff color and is one of my fiancee's favorites. She squats for pretty much anyone and is very easy to pick up and cuddle since she's so relaxed. She does tend to boss some of the others around and has been known to test her boundaries with the flock (ninja kicking the rooster and picking on the boss brahma twice her size) but is gentle with chicks. Her eggs are plentiful and a pretty tan color. I really like this breed.
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!!!!
My BO is a really nice bird. Out of all my hens, she's the only one who's still chugging out an egg nearly every day (the others have slowed down since it's winter). She's quiet--no loud clucks, just kind of little clucks like she's talking to herself. I especially like BOs' shape, they're just so plump-looking!
(You can see my avatar in the background.)
The only problem--and I don't know if this is necessarily a problem--is that she's really, really shy. I'm one of the only people she'll allow to pick her up, and even then she complains a lot when I do. She'll run away from everybody except me pretty much. That's ok though, it's good to have a shy chicken or two I think.
My buff girl is a big marshmellow, and the only true lap chicken of my original flock. She'll peck at your pants leg until you pick her up, and has been known to chase other birds off my lap so she could hop up there for some lovin'. She looks like a fat chicken, but it's all fluff (proven by getting caught in a rain or molting). She's just a big, fluffy pillow. Other than their size, I think they'd do well around children, because they're pretty gentle. I think the buttery coloring is beautiful. When she was younger, she laid 5-6 eggs per week (usually 6), but since molting, she's taking this winter off.
I love my Buffs. That is correct - they stand out in the rain, getting wet. Not too swift. They are really great, tho. Very friendly - my daughter plays with them all the time, and they put up with it . I can pick all of mine up. There is one, Zoey, who like to run away, but they are all pretty docile. I am getting great pinkish/brown eggs - all pretty good sized, but someone is laying whoppers, like, between goose to duck egg size. They started laying late last year, and I am still getting eggs everyday, like, 5 at least. They seem to be hardy - we are having a mild winter this year in New England, so I haven't seen them in consistent below freezing temps. I would highly recommend them to someone who is just starting out with hens.
Pros: Hardy, Good egg layers and *can* be friendly
This is a very nice bird, it lays nice brown eggs and is hardy in cold/hot weather. But I have noticed they aren't the brightest birds... when it rains they will stay outside and sometimes sit in the rain, not caring if they get wet. Their feathers are not rain resistant and they will get a chill if not put inside to dry off.
As for being friendly and docile... its all about how you raise them up. 1 of my buff orpingtons is a complete sweetheart and will run to you when called... the other buff orpington will run to you when called but won't let you touch her. I can pick up the none friendly one on occasions, but she wasn't held enough as a chick by her previous owner.
Wish I could agree with the friendliness aspect that everyone is raving about. My girl is not as easy to catch and didn't eat out of my hand until a week ago when she started laying. I suggest getting these as chicks if breeder quality, or from someone that has kids who handle them. I got them from someone who never handled them, and my girl was quite apprehensive regarding humans.
Absolutely great birds. I have one Buff Orp hen named Amulet, who is THE sweetest thing alive. She'll sing back to me when I break off of singing silent night. Her and my australorpe, Pepper, get along very well. She's the leader of the two, half skittish, but very, very sweet birds over all. I love ya, Amulet!
My Buffs are gorgeous, sweet, love to cuddle, and very intelligent. They are protective of the flock, the most watchful, etc. Only problem is a couple of them like to try and "preen" me with the same vigor they do the other chickens. Sweet, but Ow!
Very nice birds...(I have only raised the buffs) very pretty buff color, hardy and good layers of medium to large eggs. Seem to have no fear of humans and are at the top of the pecking order. I always have a few Buffs in my flock.