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Blue Orpington Thread

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by write2caroline, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I searched and searched but never found a place for Discussions about Blue Orpingtons. I have a couple of chicks so I am not by any means an authority but I was hoping others with more experience would come join the thread and post pictures.

    So here are some questions:

    How many Blue Orpingtons do you keep?

    What do you love best about them?

    What are some of the challenges of keeping them?

    Besides Color - are their personality differences to note?

    What kind of other Orpingtons do you keep?

    From where did you get your Blue Orpingtons?



    Caroline
     
  2. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You can see the blues in the mix

    Caroline
     
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    The babies are now in their third week and I have three but clearly two are greyish and one is black - I had lost one of the chicks in mailing and I wasn't sure if it was a dominique or another black orpington but the Dom's are showing some barring as they feather out and the black chick with the black legs must be an orp. They are really happy and content. One of the greys is much lighter than the other. They are all a little skittish so I don't want to try to photograph them outside in the brooder yet. If the weather stays good, I am moving them into the big girl coop outside. They are quickly growing too big for this brooder and the coop is a much bigger place for them. I have to block off the nest box and add some bricks for raising up the food and water.

    I think they are really beautiful and I really really hope they have personalities like my buff orps had. They got more friendly as they got older and were always coming up for a treat.

    Caroline
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I've had Blue Orpingtons for almost 7 years. My flock sire, Suede, died a year ago September at the age of 5 1/2, with his last breath watching over his hens, though he'd been declining since mid summer. We miss him terribly. I still have one blue hen, Dusty, who is now 5 1/2, but she only lays in spurts at this time in her life.

    Suede, who most BYC folks know well, and who my business with a friend is named after (that and her Blue Orp rooster), Blue Roo Creations. Got him and his hen, Velvet (also deceased, crop issues during hard molt) from Bama Chicken, Julie Batchelor in Alabama:

    [​IMG]

    Dusty, who is getting up in years now-this was before she tried to dub her own comb on the fence (it now lays like a French beret, lol). Came from someone out west.

    [​IMG]







    One of Suede's last blue sons I had:
    [​IMG]




    Smoky, who died awhile back when her usually pendulous crop just quit working entirely and we could not get it moving again. She was Dusty's half sister, same splash sire.

    [​IMG]


    Some Blue Orps tend toward pendulous crop issues. One of Smoky's daughters my friend owns is dealing with the same thing now at 3 years old. It is a genetic proclivity. Thankfully, Dusty has avoided it so far.

    They are very heavy birds, so leg issues can happen if roosts are too high. Mine have a roost shelf "hammock" style made with plastic 1' opening garden fencing on a frame. Male fertility tends to go out earlier than some lighter weight birds, but can also be from their size and ungainliness in mating. I even trimmed fluff on both rooster and hens for a couple of years to help out, but I believe Suede's fertility was declining at around 4 years old.

    I have had Buffs, both hatchery and breeder type. One breeder quality Buff hen, Nugget, is the same age as Dusty. Another is only 2 1/2 and has been battling some internal issues for over a year, hasn't laid in longer than that. No idea why she is still kicking, but she is. That is highly unusual for a bird of her quality genetics.

    The Blue hens I've had tended to be standoffish. I had another one, Skye, from Jim Cox in W. VA. All were the same personality, from different breeders. The Buffs generally were friendlier, for some reason.

    Though I've enjoyed having them, after Suede passed on, I don't have interest in keeping them any longer and when Dusty passes, won't get more blues. I do now keep BBS Rocks, whose size I like a tad better. They are much better layers. I do love blue chickens and also have BBS Ameraucanas.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  5. Tumbleweed33

    Tumbleweed33 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've had blues for almost four years now! I had buffs before, just from the local feed store, and there's a huge difference! I bought my blues from a high quality breeder in Ohio (I'm in Las Vegas) and they are much bigger and fluffier than the buffs from the feed store (they are both "American" orps). I incubate my eggs and sell the babies locally :) I have met some really awesome people from doing this. I just recently decided to add a few more hens to my flock of blues (I have Creme Legbars and Marans as well) so I chose three beautiful juveniles to keep for myself, finally! They are now about 6 months old. Well, to my surprise, this morning I found three tiny eggs under the hay, and guess what....they are blue!!! I am dumbfounded! Their parents definitely lay cream eggs, and have done so their entire lives. There's no way the eggs belong to the CL because they are in a coop. The orps are the only hens that get to roam the yard. I immediately got on the internet to do some research....let me know if anyone knows anything about this! Or maybe I'm going nuts :)!!
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Are you sure they don't have some lavender blood in there? The lavenders were created using Ameraucanas, if I'm not mistaken. I've heard of this happening before, a lav Orp laying a green egg, throwback to the blue egg gene from the stock they came out of. Other than that, I have no idea, but you're not alone.
     
  7. Tumbleweed33

    Tumbleweed33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply! I didn't know that the lavendar were created with Ameraucanas; that's interesting. As far as I know, these guys are 100%
    Blue. I've hatched 100's of their babies and they've all come
    out blue or black as well. Maybe I should contact all of my buys and see if they've got any blue egg layers as well. I learned today that the blue gene in blue egg layers is actually a retrovirus that has been passed through generations....
     
  8. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    That would not happen with a lavender ORP in the line the blue egg comes from ameraucana breeding in for blue....they lay a blue egg. ALOT of breeders do this and never bother to tell you but Orps are a brown egg layer period. Any other color egg comes from throw back genes or a mixed breed bird.

    BTW Cyn....Athena is four now s if sept 7 Woot
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I didn't realize she was already four years old. At least you have a fabulous vet who will look at your chickens when he does a farm visit for your very spoiled Arabian mare. Athena is a beauty and I hope she doesn't go the way her mother did. That crop stuff killed three of my Blue Orp hens, the first two not related to Smoky that I'm aware of.

    Agreed that no Orp should ever lay an egg other than brown, period. If so, there is a blue egg layer in her lineage somewhere. It's rare that a single combed bird will lay a blue egg, as it is closely related to the pea comb, but it does happen. Genes are funny little gremlins, for sure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  10. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]I am soooooo Happy to find other keepers of Blues!!!!!!

    I do love the buffs, I was so hoping that buff friendliness was an orpington trait. My biddies are skittish. They are doing really well. I will heed your comment about lowering the roosts. I have two roosts and one is lower but the other is much higher and they do seem to prefer the highest roost. So I think I will lower both. I will watch the crop too.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    They look so different than last week. I think they are in the awkward preteen time. They are in the big girl coop today. I blocked them off from the run but they are way too big for the brooder and we have such nice weather I decided today was the day for the big move.

    Caroline
     

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