Buff Orpington vs Barred Rock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by RachelEllen, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. RachelEllen

    RachelEllen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Ok, may be totally overthinking this, but we are planning our backyard, suburban micro flock (2-3 chickens) and I want to get it right!

    We are looking for some good chickens for backyard egg laying and pets. Top characteristics - quiet, friendly, egg laying, not great flyers (i.e. good pets and good neighbors) . I realize that there are variations within every breed. However, my husband is a vegetarian, so whichever birds we get are with us for the long haul. (He will only agree to this project if we keep the chickens until they naturally expire eggs or no eggs)
    Because of this, I had also decided we should work with started pullets, so we don't have to deal with possible roosters, able to better control exact number.

    I had settled on the Buff Orpington as our best bet. However, my husband, for purely aesthetic reasons really loves the Barred Rocks.
    They both look like great birds and reasonably easy to find. But, from what I read the Buff Orpington is marginally more likely to be the right bird for us. So, thoughts? Overthinking? He's willing to go with whatever I decide, but if its truly not that big a difference, or individual bird variation will make it a toss up anyhow, I want to go with his choice. I considered one of each, but I'd read that the Barred Rock is likely to pick on the Orpington.

    Other decision is 2 chickens or 3. 2 would be more manageable. Plus, I figure we could work in another one later if we want a steady (if slow) stream of eggs. However, if we just get two and we lose one, is that really awful for the other?
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had both breeds over the years (still have BOs in my flock) and the difference is slim and there are variations in both breeds. Both breeds are very cold hardy, and the lay rate of both breeds is about the same although the Buff Orpingtons tend to go broody slightly more than the Barred Rocks. Both breeds are also generally docile although I have occasionally had an aggressive Barred Rock that I had to cull from the flock, but that has definitely been the exception rather than the rule. I've never had an aggressive Buff Orpington in my flock and my children and granddaughter (pictured in our avatar) have very easily made lap pets of them.
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    P.S. I would suggest getting 3 hens as chickens are gregarious and like company. That way if you do lose one, the other two can still keep each other company.
     
  4. RachelEllen

    RachelEllen Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2015
    Thank you for the feedback! I should have mentioned we have a 6 year old daughter as well. Are the barred rocks significantly different in their interaction with kids?

    I think the reason my husband has such a pull towards them is we have a stunning picture of my daughter at age 3 with her arms overflowing with one and a huge grin.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree on getting three birds, and personally I'd get three different breeds. With a daughter that age, telling the birds apart is going to be important. Don't get hugely bogged down on breed. As stated above, there's not tons of difference in most dual purpose breeds. I'd say get an Orpington, a Barred Rock and an Easter Egger for a cool colored egg your daughter will love.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think there's a significant difference. In my personal experience I do think that Buff Orpingtons tend to be slightly better with kids (there are always exceptions), but if your husband likes Barred Rocks there's certainly no reason why you can't get both breeds.
     
  7. bumblebird

    bumblebird Out Of The Brooder

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    Due to "it's what the feed store had" we have a mixed mini flock (6 total) of Buff Orpington and white Plymouth Rocks (same thing, just white feathers). :)
    We are looking forward to the fun of getting to know them.
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    That should make for a nice mixed flock. Enjoy!
     

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