Buff Orp - pattern on tail feathers?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Buff Hooligans, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    I have five Buff Orp pullets from McMurray. Three of them have 4 or 5 tail feathers with a dark brown pattern on them. At first I thought it was dirt, but it's not.

    It looks like brindle coloring on a dog, or on what I've seen of Ameraucana color patterns.

    Is this typical of Buff Orps? Or do these girls have mixed grandparents? Does this happen at professional hatcheries?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I only have 2 Buffs but noticed the same thing on one of mine. It's very faint, though, and on wing feathers more than tail feathers.
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    My two buffs have the same thing---my husband jokes that their tail feathers are mildewing! Actually, that is kind of what it looks like.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    I too got my BO from MM...and have been VERY dissapointed. Several of my hens have the same tail coloring....a few have green legs, and one with bright yellow legs. This was my first time ever ordering from a large hatchery...and I have to say, I am very dissapointed.
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    My BOs from MM have the right colored legs but do have a few mildewy-looking feathers at the tail.
  6. jbkinor

    jbkinor In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2007
    Western Oregon
    Every buff orp I've had has had that pattern on a few tail feathers. Don't know if it's standard or not. Kind of pretty though.
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Buff color is one of the most challenging colors to perfect. I am sure hatcheries do not have time to continuously work on this as most breeders do. This is for any buff colored breed, not just orpingtons. Breeders spend years moving birds in and out of pens until they find the right group that produce proper offspring.

    What I call "dirt" in the wings and tails of buff colored birds is actually pretty common, even from well known breeders. It comes with the challenge of this color. You can hatch a hundred chicks and only get one with perfect buff color, although when you have the right breeders together that percentage can be improved.

    Another issue with buff is white feathers. White and black or 'dirty' feathers in buff colored birds is a no-no for show quality. However it is pretty common in hatchery stock and pet - breeder quality.

  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Wow, I must have lucked out with my Buff Orp girls from Ideal. I knew they in general looked better than others I've seen from even the same hatchery, but neither one has any smutty or white feathers.
  9. LynnGrigg

    LynnGrigg Songster

    Jun 6, 2007
    Winston Salem, NC
    Some of buffs from MM have ruddy streaks in their tail feathers. One has pale yellow legs. They are super sweet though so I don't really care. I have no plans to show them. I just hope they stay hardy and lay well. -Lynn
  10. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I also wanted to mention that sometimes that 'dirty' plumage will molt out. Not always, but sometimes. I never judge a buff bird by baby plumage. They change quite a bit until they have their adult plumage. That's not just about the buff, black or white either. Some buff birds get heavy red in the wing bars, which shouldn't be there either. If you're considering showing a buff bird, you really have to raise it up pretty long before deciding if they're proper for color or not...not to mention all the other breed requirements. I don't show personally, but I do know how long it takes for me to decide on keepers versus culls for my buff breeding.

    I have also seen buff orps hatch with yellow legs and they turn white by 5 weeks. So I wouldn't panic on the yellow legs for very young chicks..that could change too.


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