Growth Rate Between Red Star and Buff Orpington

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by katie4, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. katie4

    katie4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    I purchased 12 "left-over" chicks all 2.5 weeks old from my reputable farmers' co-op.

    I finally identified them as 9 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Red (Star) sex-links. They are currently 6 weeks old.

    All 3 Red Stars are almost half again as big as the Orpingtons. The literature I've found that give size guidelines states that hen Orpingtons are about 8 pounds and Red Stars are 5-6 pounds at maturity. But the Red Stars are noticeably heavier and taller than the Orps.

    Can anyone give info about the size difference between the two varieties?

    The chicks have all the basic necessities plus more...Lots of clean space (indoor and outdoor), proper food, water, protection from elements/predators, etc. There is no competition for resources. All seem to get along well and are fairly laid back and not aggressive.


    (I'd post photos but I'm still too "recently hatched!")
  2. CayuseRanch

    CayuseRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Newalla, Oklahoma
    I am really to new to qualify to answer, but my buff orpington chicks are growing a lot slower also, hence why I opened looking for an answer. Maybe they just grow slower.
  3. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    My red star is also much bigger than my other pullets, I believe it is due to the fact that they are bred to lay early so they develop faster than other breeds.
  4. CowgirlMama

    CowgirlMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2011
    Baker City, Oregon
    RSLs are a crossbreed, thus they have what's called "hybrid-vigor". Based on my knowledge of hybrid-vigor in other species (cows, sheep etc), the RSLs will grow faster than the purebred Orps. Now, I'm somewhat new to chickens, so someone correct me if I'm wrong, but yes, because they are bred to lay sooner and more they will grow faster! Hope this helps! [​IMG]
  5. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Quote:The opposite of this is called "inbred depression." Basically, when you inbreed your stock poorly, resulting in the offspring inheriting all the negative aspects from both parents. Slow growth, low fertility, poor imune system, etc... Not to say you're BO's are, just thought I'd add to the above.
  6. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    We ended up with some Red Star roos several years ago, and the little devils grew much faster than any of the other breeds; they looked like they were trying to be broilers at one point. I recall raising some Red Star hens for a friend, and they also grew very fast. If I recall correctly, our buff Orpington hen was a slower-growing bird.
  7. J.S. Webb

    J.S. Webb Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    N/W Florida
    BOs grow much slower than sex links.
  8. katie4

    katie4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    Thank you, everyone, for your replies! Your experiences with both breeds is helpful.

    I wondered about differences in growth rate but didn't come across any information about it in my many hours of perusing chicken literature.

    I am happy with the mixed lot I got from the feed store! 12 cheap leftovers of which 9 are Buff Orps, 3 fast-growing, early laying (woo-hoo!) RSLs, and zero mortality and health problems to date!
  9. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    it's also possible that they are slightly different ages. at 2.5 weeks, even 3 or 4 days makes a big difference. [​IMG] but yes, BO's do grow slower also.
  10. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    I expected my Black Star pullets, as hybrids, to grow noticeably faster than my Buff Orpingtons but the Orpingtons have always been slightly bigger. That being said, the Black Stars are maturing more quickly as evidenced by their combs and wattles which are redder and more fully developed than those of the Buff Orpingtons.

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