Breed question on buff orpingtons

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by riley grapes, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. riley grapes

    riley grapes In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    I've heard alot of good things about this breed (winter hardy, dual use, friendly) but I want to know a bit more about it. 1: Where did this breed come from. 2: Where wold be the best place in the world to raise this breed. 3: I want to know a bit more about how tame and kind this breed is. Thanks guys!

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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008
  2. blurose

    blurose Songster

    May 25, 2008
    Winston, Oregon
    All I can offer is my own little experience with the breed. Others will need to help you further. I too heard all of the "good" things about the breed that you have mentioned. However, my own 3 buff orpington pullets turned out to be the meanest bullies in my whole flock. To give them some credit, they were influenced at just the right (or wrong) stage in their social development by a little Napoleon (a male chukar that infiltrated my flock of very young pullets). This little Napoleon, although half the size of my smallest pullets and at least a third the size of my buff orps, turned them into what I call the "buff shirts" or his enforcement squad. :eek: He had them bullying, intimidating and beating up all of my other pullets while he stood their as if shouting orders to them. They even cuddled up to him at night in the henhouse and protected him so I couldn't get him out and dispose of him myself. No matter how many times my son chased him up and out of the chicken yard, he was right back hours later when he felt the coast was clear. At least the pullets weren't of an age yet to let him have his way with them. Because of this he was a very, VERY frustrated little MALE, if you know what I mean. [​IMG] I had to remove the buff shirts from my flock after the little Napoleon was finally dispatched for good, and since then things have been pleasant out there in the chicken yard. My sweetest birds in my flock are by far the speckled sussex hens. They just love people and are very docile. However, it is, I feel, important to start handling any chickens you get often. This will certainly improve their friendliness towards people.
  3. sunshineinsc

    sunshineinsc Songster

    May 27, 2008
    I got my buffs when they were 4 months old. They were never held ect before we got them but by the 2nd day ,my kids were able to go in and pick them up without a problem. My 7 yr old was the first to pick them up and she's a huge scaredy cat!!

    I'm in SC and they seem to do fine here but there coop is in complete shade so I'm sure that helps with the summer heat.
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Their personality can depend on where you obtain your stock. Hatchery birds are not as selectively chosen as breeder birds. Personally, I have only ever kept one buff orp with a bad attitude (a hen) because of her size and quality. All of my roosters and other hens have been superb for excellent personalites and tameness.

    On the same note about where you get them from will also determine their natural broodiness (desire to become moms). That is something that is important to me as a breeder - that the flock can self sustain. Hatcheries are working on creating more of a production breed, so you may get few that go broody from a hatchery and more from a breeder who drives this influence.

    I know winter hardy is a big seller for this breed, but keep in mind that the roos have large combs which are susceptible to frostbite and preventative measures are necessary. Their heavy plumage is a bonus for getting through bitter cold nights.

    This breed also does well in confinement as well as free range. They are not stressed easily and are an all around mellow breed IMO.

    All of ours are hand reared here, so that we can monitor temperaments and cull for any problems. This bonding period allows me to closely monitor my flock and be able to handle them easily as adults for care and enjoyment.

    There is a lot of info on the web about the origination of the breed and their overall breed specifics. What I am offering here is my personal experiences.

  5. llucius

    llucius Hatching

    Jun 22, 2008
    Senatobia, MS
    I am the proud owner of a refurbished greenhouse transformed into a wonderful chicken coop. My dilemma is what breed of chickens to purchase. I want strong layers as I use a LOT of eggs and the buff orpingtons are real beauties. I'm partial to cochins, but understand that they only mediocre layers. Does anyone have any experience with the Red Star or Black Star in comparison to the Orpingtons?
  6. riley grapes

    riley grapes In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    Interesting, the good, the bad, and the ugly (not really, chickens aren't ever ugly). This breeds behavior is surprisingly influenced by where you get them, I'm pretty new, so I jut wanted to know. Thanks guys!
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  7. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    My orps came from a hatchery and they are all very sweet and gentle. They are still young so I have no experience about hatchery orps and broodyness. The males do have big combs, but I've read if you put vaseline or something similar on their combs on very cold nights it will help prevent frostbite.
  8. riley grapes

    riley grapes In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2008
    Vaseline? That seems kinda strange since it feels so cool when you put it on, but to the point... Thats interesting, thanks for the tip.
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  9. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Orpingtons are from Orpington, England...They'd do well in England, assumingly... I plan on getting some myself in the next year, and I'm in Ontario, Canada.

    Edited to add:

    The original Orpington (the Black) was developed in 1886 by William Cook. He crossed Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks to create the new hybrid bird. Cook named the breed after his home town in Kent. The first Orpingtons looked very much like the Langshan and were black. Between 1889 and 1905, Cook also created white, buff and blue colored Orpingtons. The breed was famous for its great egg-capacity.

    That's from Wiki.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2008

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