How do you tell Buff Orpingtons apart?


8 Years
May 27, 2011
So I just got two BO's and two Ameraucanas.
They are only six days old and the Americaunas have slightly different "chipmunk" colourings but the BO's look EXACTLY the same.

It occurred to me that every picture of adult Buff Orpingtons I've seen looked the same too.
Will I ever be able to tell the difference or are BO's the identical twins of the poultry world?
You can put a zip tie around one chicken's leg. I haven't done this but I read here that people do to tell them apart.

eta: a plastic zip tie. Not sure if there are other kinds.

eta again. I just noticed the age. We are waiting until our chicks feather out fully before marking any. I figure there's always a chance someone will have some unique color pattern.
Last edited:
I can tell my 4 apart. Ruby is always up my butt whenever I am outside. Buttercup was the roos fave and has a messed up comb from him. Pumpkin has some smut on her tail. And Sunshine likes to talk.

Ideally, show quality birds will look alike. If you do not have SQ Orps then you can start by checking their feet/legs and eyes. Sometimes you will find differences there. After a while you will be able to tell them apart by behavior, weight differences, sounds, tail, etc.
I have several adult Buff's that look exactly the same. I "mark them" with a Sharpie permanent marker on their combs when they are in the nesting boxes. This will last a few months and let's me know who is who.
It has been easy to tell our 2 Buff Orps apart because Pearl was always a bit smaller than Doris. Also, when Doris was young, we had to spray Blue Cote on her rump so that others wouldn't peck at a sore that she had. One year later, some of her tail feathers still have a slight trace of purple tint on them!

good luck!
I don't have any trouble telling mine apart - once they are older it gets easier. Of my two, one is a little larger than the other and her comb stands straight up. The other is very petite, has the tiniest little feet of any of my adult chooks, and her comb flops to one side a little. I've also noticed that they have different voices. When one is coming up behind me I can usually tell who it is just from the "conversation". And last, one molted last Fall and the other didn't. The one who didn't has sun-bleached feathers so is now a much lighter color than the one who did. As chicks they can all look alike but I think you'll find once they develop more, you'll have no trouble.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom