Buff Orpington 101 class please??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by MamaDragon, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    I Think Luck just smiled on me (will take a few weeks to know for sure).

    Out of the blue, I was given 5 BO's today, 4 hens and a roo. The roo and at least 2 of the hens are three years old. The other two hens are at least a year, and possibly up to three years old as well.

    These were all private breeder stock, cleaning out some of his overflowing birds. He had given these birds to his preacher, and preacher kept them for about 18 months, then gave them back to the breeder. He didn't have room for them, so offered them to me. He doesn't show his birds, but other people who have purchased his stock have won at the county fair with his birds, so maybe not so bad (if the hens settle down and lay again).

    The hens are in the middle of moulting, as well as being moved twice now in 3-4 weeks.

    How long should I wait to determine if they're going to go back to laying? or if I got a bunch of geriatric yard decorations?

    For non-hatchery BO's, how many years can/should they continue to lay?

    How long will the roo stay virile? I've also been offered 2 more of the younger roos, and need to know how to determine the best one to keep.

    [I don't think 3 yr old roo would even make a decent stock/stewing bird, but we may find out.]
     
  2. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    For a second, while I was reading the first line in your post I thought you wrote "Lucy smiled on me". I was wondering "who is Lucy" until I went back and read it again!
     
  3. DutchChic

    DutchChic Chick Charmer

    Jun 4, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    I can only speak for myself....but I have 6 year old Buff Orps that are still going strong, still lay eggs, and still go broody and hatch them out. In fact, I found yesterday that one of my grannie buffs is sitting on eggs right now. I also have some 7 or 8 yr old Australorps that are still laying. They don't necessarily give me an egg every day, but they do still lay and I have offspring from all of my grannies running around out there right now.
     
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    I agree with DutchChic - those birds have a lot of life in them yet. Remember to keep them quarantined for 30 days to ensure good health and they transition well. Other than that, you should be good to go. Keep in mind that if you do not supplement light, they will not likely resume laying until next spring (altho some do come back from moult during winter and give some eggs).

    Jody
     
  5. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    I've got a 100watt light in the brooder cage in the coop. It stays on all night for now. It lights up the coop well enough to do chores without additional lighting. Do I need more light than that?

    Brooder is on the back wall of the coop which is closed on three sides, and fourth side is an attached dog-run with tarped top. Will be closing up a good portion of the fourth side by winter with wooden doors or super-thick plastic to cut wind drafts, and maintain some heat.

    The New Gang is in the section I closed off for the hatchlings I've got in the bator, and should be ready to move outside about Halloween. I don't have the ability to put them totally in a seperate area, all I can do is fence the two flocks apart, and hope for the best. All the breeder's chickens appeared healthy, happy, well taken care of, etc.... as I went out to see his place before I committed to taking them. If it had given me any questions or doubts about how he cared for them, I would never have brought them home.

    How many hours of light a day/night would they need to bring them back to laying? How long does a moult usually last? I don't want to "burn them out" either, just determine if their "lay-off" (pun intended) is temporary or permanent.

    The breeder did tell me that they hadn't laid since he had them back, but wouldn't tell me how long that had been. So I'm uneasy about this "gift".

    Either way, I had planned on giving them until at least Halloween, and probably until Thanksgiving to see if they settle in and resume laying or if I"m feeding "lawn decorations".

    I DO hope they settle in and come back.... I so much want Buff Orps!!

    Thanks Ladies for your input, hopefully more people will care to voice their feelings on this over the next few days.
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The most I have ever used for winter hatching is 12-14 hours (making the light come on earlier in the morning, since the chickens will naturally roost when it's gets dark at night). Moulting varies by chicken - some even continue to lay right thru moult. However typically it is about 3 months for moults to complete and can take even longer for them to resume laying cycle. Good luck with your orps.

    Jody
     
  7. DutchChic

    DutchChic Chick Charmer

    Jun 4, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    I bet once they settle in, they will lay. Unless they are in molt, then it may not happen until after they are finished. But I wouldn't worry about them just being yard ornaments....3 yrs old is not that old and what does a hen do but lay eggs? [​IMG] Just make sure they have enticing nest boxes to use and you'll see....they will lay for you. I, myself, would not turn down 3 yr old buffs.
    By the way, they probably didn't lay for the breeder due to the move from one place to another. Just hang in there....you won't be disappointed![​IMG]
     

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