Any Experience With Buff Orpington's???...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mandylovespets, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. mandylovespets

    mandylovespets Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering if Buff Orpington's would make good pets for a first time chicken owner???... I think they are sooo pretty and would love to get 2 or 3 pullet chicks. I would love to hear all about your experiences with this breed. Also, are they good egg layers, would they fly over a 5ft. fence, what should they be fed as they grow???... Any advice would be appreciated!!! Thanks!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are an excellent choice for families with children in my humble opinion. My 14 mo. old is laying an egg a day for 8 days in a row now! I have two. The other one is 9 mo. old and molting, so no eggs right now from her. Mine are exhibition size (extra large), and they don't fly very high at all, but I'm not certain about the regular sized Orpingtons. I think I've read that most chickens tend to fly more when they are very young. I've read of some even clearing a 6 ft. fence before! You might consider putting bird netting on top of your run or even wire. I have my run top wired. When mine free range, they (so far) don't roam far from the coop and pen. I got them about a month ago, and had them eating Romaine lettuce out of my hand in just a few days! Now they run to me when they see me coming (looking for treats and spoiled rotten!). It's easier to tame them if you get day old chicks or even better, hatch them yourself!
     
  3. mandylovespets

    mandylovespets Out Of The Brooder

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    How do you get them to go back to the coop?
     
  4. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you first get them, you leave them closed up in the coop for 2 or three days and nights (if they're started meaning older pullets) so they learn that is where they are supposed to sleep. If mine get spooked the slightest bit while they're out of the pen, they run right back inside. At dusk, they get in the coop and on their roosts with no encouragement at all! If I wanted them in the pen in the middle of the day, I would just toss some Black Oil Sunflower Seeds into the pen/run and they hurry in because they are gluttons for BOSS!!! LOL! Even my best forager comes running for any kind of treat because she is so jealous of the other birds. Of course, if you start with day old chicks, you keep them in a brooder with a heat lamp until they are fully feathered or 8 wks. old. You can set up your brooder in the coop if you have electricity in your coop or a long enough extension cord. If not, once you move them outside to the coop at about 8 wks. of age, you do the 2 or 3 days and nights closed up in there so they learn it's their roosting place.
     
  5. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry! I missed your question about what to feed them. You feed them chick starter or starter/grower feed until they lay their first egg. Then you switch to layer feed; either mash, crumbles, or pellets. Mash goes bad faster. Some brands of pellets seem to be too large for them. Mine like crumbles and small pellets. The chick starter/grower I use is in crumble form and is medicated to prevent cocci. Opinions vary on whether to give the chicks the medicated feed or not. I use the medicated for my young ones, and I haven't had a problem with it. If you are going to have young and mature birds mixed, there's a whole lot of reading to do! But regarding food for mixed ages, most folks on here recommend keeping them all on chick starter/grower and providing crushed oyster shell 24/7 in a bowl for your layers. You can purchase it at your local feed store. It is rich in calcium which your layers need in order for their egg shells to be hard. They seem to know that they need it. Roosters allegedly don't need the calcium, and they show no interest in oyster shells. Young pre-laying pullets don't need the calcium, and they also don't show interest in the oyster shells. Chick starter/grower has more protein than layer food, but the extra protein doesn't seem to hurt the laying chickens as long as you provide them a source of calcium all the time.
     
  6. mandylovespets

    mandylovespets Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! I had no idea about the oyster shells!!! Thanks! Also, what is grit? I've seen people mention grit for chickens... what is it, why is it needed, should I feed it to my chickens along with their normral feed and oyster shells (when they start laying of course), how often should it be fed to the chickens etc...
     
  7. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 2 BO hens at the stables are the friendliest of all the free range hens, they will come up and eat out of my hands. The babies I have at home, the BO's are the calmest and will let me pet them. My Buttercups are the same way.

    Grit is small sized ground up rock, (like very coarse sand, for the chicks, a bit larger for adults that does NOT dissolve like oyster shell and they need it to digest food other than the chick starter.
    CHickens (and other birds) don't have teeth, so the grit helps them grind up hard foods. You can get it wherever you get your feed and oyster shell. Free ranging chickens will pick up what they need off the ground, but you need to have it available for older babies and ones that are penned.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008
  8. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Grit is a chicken's teeth! Some chick starter has it included. It wouldn't hurt to have extra available if there is any doubt. They don't actually need it if all they are eating is their starter/grower, but if you give them any other sort of treat, it's a MUST! For little ones, I buy the parakeet grit at WalMart because it is fine like sand and easy for little beaks to handle. I have recently noticed that WalMart is also carrying Chicken Grit. It is larger. It's like very small pebbles. It grinds up food for them so they can digest it. Without grit, the crop could become impacted which is very bad. Your feed store should have grit, too. You can sprinkle it on top of their food, or keep topping it off in a separate bowl and have it available to them 24/7. With really young chicks, it's probably better to sprinkle it on their food.....again if you are feeding them grapes or grass or anything other than their regular food. If when they are a bit older, you let them free range, they will get bits of sand and/or pebbles eating off the ground, and won't need the grit. My theory is it doesn't hurt to keep a bowl available anyway, so I always keep grit and oyster shells near their feed stations in the coop and in the run.
     
  9. mandylovespets

    mandylovespets Out Of The Brooder

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    If I provvide a small container of grit for the chickens, do you think my ducks will try to eat it?
     
  10. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know much about ducks. You might inquire on the other animals section of the forum if you don't get an answer to that right here. Best wishes! Oh.....please post pics when you get your chickens!
     

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